According to the May-June 2017 livestock survey, the sow herd in the main pigmeat producing countries reversed the declining trend of the last 2 years, rising 1.2 % since the December 2016 survey. This is due mostly to a significant increase in the Spanish herd (+101 000 heads). Other countries expanding their herd were the Netherlands (+43 000 heads) and Poland (+26 000 heads), which is partially offset by reductions in Romania (-35 000 heads), France (-16 000 heads), Germany (-15 000 heads) and Denmark (-8 000 heads).
The previous reductions in the sow herd have been reflected in the EU´s production capacity, with the volume of slaughterings falling by close to 2 % in the first half of 2017 and declines in all the main producing countries except Denmark and Spain.
The fall in production is expected to taper off by the end of the year, reflecting the increase in the herd size. Hence, the forecast for the full year is a decline of 1.1 %, compared to 2016, while for 2018 EU production is expected to rise by 1 %.
Thursday October 5, 2017/ DG Agriculture/ European Union.