German herd continues to contract, for now
The overall number of pigs in Germany fell between May 2018 and 2019 by 3.7% to 25.9 million head.
The majority of this reduction came from fattening pigs, down 566,900 to 11.3 million head, which will likely continue to limit production in the coming months.
There was also a reduction in the overall number of breeding pigs. The increase in the number of non-pregnant sows and gilts, however, may imply a slowdown in the rate of herd contraction. Despite sluggish domestic demand, the high price for pigs in Europe is clearly an incentive to expand, although there isn’t yet evidence that this is happening.