Fewer and fewer pigs in German stables; more and more in England

The size of the German pig herd decreased further last year due to the African Swine Fever to its lowest level in the past 25 years. In Britain, pork production has risen to a record high since 1999.

The latest figures from the German Federal Statistical Office show that the German pig population stood at 23.6 million at the end of last year, a decrease of 9% compared to the previous year. The number of sows was 1.57 million head, a decrease of 7%. 

The poor market conditions are mainly influenced by the African swine fever among German wild boars, which severely limits German export opportunities. The number of livestock farms keeping pigs has fallen by 8% to 18,8,000 in the past two years – since the outbreak of the ASF on German soil. The number of piglets decreased by 10% to 6.92 million. 

Pork production in the UK was 1.02 million tonnes in 2021, the highest production level since 1999. Despite the challenges facing the sector, production has increased by 4% in 2020 and 11.1 million will be clean by 2021. pigs slaughtered, 2% more than in the previous year.

In addition, the average carcass weight at 90.9 kg is significantly heavier, as many pigs were kept on farms longer than previously planned due to transport problems and capacity shortages in abattoirs. Processing capacity in some meat processing plants has been further curtailed in recent days due to high absenteeism due to the latest wave of the coronavirus.