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Dutch pig herd shrunk by 2.4% since April

Total numbers of pigs in the Netherlands have sunk throughout 2008. In April 2008, the country had over 12 million in the Netherlands, but by December this had decreased to 11.7 million head – a 2.4% decrease.

This reports the Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad on the basis of a report by the Dutch central statistics bureau (CBS). The number of pigs, however, was in December 2008 about similar to December 2007, and larger than in 2005 and 2006.

The strongest decrease could be seen in piglets. The number of piglets shrunk from 1.9 million to 1.7 million – a 12.9% drop. The number of younger pigs (-50 kg) decreases as well, by 2.7% to approximately 4.9 million.

These decreases have struck experts, since the total production is on the increase. They are related to a reduction of the total number of sows. In April 2008, a slight drop in the sow herd could be seen and this tendency became stronger throughout the year. In December, just above 1 million breeding pigs could be counted, which equals a decrease of 6%.

Finishers up
Finishers (+50 kg) however showed an increase, as their numbers rose from 3.9 million to 4.1 million in comparison to April 2008. These amounts however are expected to come down in the coming months.

The number of gilts is still going down and that will inevitably have consequences for the rest of the pig herd. Smaller numbers of piglets and weaners will also contribute to a further reduction of the pig herd.

Related websites:
Dutch central statistics bureau (CBS)
Agrarisch Dagblad

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