Pig production falling in Eastern Europe
Production of pigs and pigmeat has fallen in Eastern
Europe in view of constant high feed prices and comparatively low pig and
According to German market and price analysis centre, ZMP, the need
for imports is becoming more obvious and this trend is expected to continue in
the near future. Latest reports indicate that stocks are lower than in previous
Additionally, higher grain prices are strongly influencing production in
Eastern more than in Western Europe as feed costs make up a higher proportion of
total costs. Production methods are also more efficient in the west and farmers
in the east lack own capital, making the acquisition of finance more difficult.
Lower herd numbers
The latest figures from December 2007
reveal that there has been a reduction of 10% in the number of sows in Poland,
Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Poland counted 1 million less sows in 2007 than a year previously.
ZMP predicts around 3 million less slaughtered animals this year than
The Czech Republic registered 24,000 (11%) fewer sows than previously
counted. The picture in Hungary is similarly dismal. Romania and Bulgaria also
have fewer animals than previously counted. In the December count there were 3%
and 15% fewer animals respectively.
Pigmeat production in the countries of Eastern Europe covers only 60%-80% of
domestic need excluding Poland and Hungary.
Estimations show that the new EU member states of
Eastern Europe will be required to import around 1 million tonnes of pigmeat
this year. Germany will play a major role as a key supplier. Competition for
Eastern Europe will pick-up from countries outside the EU such as Brazil.
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