Decline forecast in EU pig breeding herd
The EU pig breeding herd is predicted to fall in the first quarter of 2009 by at least 4%, with a 2% drop predicted for the second quarter.
EU pig prices are being aided by the decline in production affecting finished pig supplies. The most significant falls in production are forecast for countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, where production in the early part of 2009 could be down by as much as 20%.
Significant pig herd reductions are also expected in countries such as Spain and Denmark, and British pig numbers have been in steady decline over recent years.
British pig industry
In their latest summer census, the number of replacement gilts had fallen 12%, indicating that further contraction is expected. In 2009, British finished pig supplies are forecast to fall by 4%, particularly during the first half of the year. Profitability for EU pig farmers improved in 2008, but the weakening economic climate has affected demand.
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