BPEX: English breeding herd increases despite fewer total pigs
In the provisional June 2010 census the total number of pigs declined by almost 2%. This was mainly driven by a reduction in the number of fattening pigs of 2% year on year to 3.2 million.
High producer prices may have encouraged pigs forward early and this has been evident in the increase in slaughterings during the first half of the year.
Despite the overall decline the breeding herd increased by 1% to 427,000 head year on year. Although the number of sows in-pig declined by 5% this was more than offset by a 28% rise in gilts in-pig and a 14 % rise in maiden gilts.
Usually the maiden gilts category is a good indicator of confidence in the industry and could still lead to an increase in the English herd by December. However, rising feed prices may dampen confidence in the sector.
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