Poland counted a record low of pig numbers at the latest livestock count in November 2008, according to the German agricultural statistics bureau ZMP. In total, 14.2 million pigs were counted – the lowest in about 40 years.
Many producers have given up, ZMP writes, since feed prices went up and pig cost prices were low in the middle of 2007.
Hence, in November 2008, the numbers of pigs in Polish agricultural industry were over 3 million lower than 12 months earlier, which equals a year-on-year decrease of 19%. Especially the number of piglets went down; a drop of 23% was noted. Numbers of sows and finishers dropped by about 19%.
Increase in imports
Parallel to the decrease in pig numbers, an increase in Polish imports could be seen. Since 2007, pork imports have been larger than exports. According to estimates, in 2008, Poland imported 440,000 tonnes of pork whereas 250,000 tonnes were exported.
Apart from meat, the Poles also bought many piglets and finishers abroad. Polish importers ordered approximately 200,000 finishers in the Netherlands in 2008 and 510,000 piglets. From Germany, the Poles got another 100,000 finishers and 220,000 piglets.
In the beginning of 2009, the Polish currency zloty lost value against the euro, which curbed this foreign trade.