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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 pigmeat prices.

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 years.

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 in 2007.

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.

Imports
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.

Related website:

• ZMP

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