The December 2016 livestock survey announced a new 2% reduction in the EU breeding pig herd, the same reduction as in 2015. However, it also showed a 1.4 % increase in the number of sows covered for the first time (after a 6 % drop in 2015). As a result, pigmeat production reversed its existing trend, falling in volume by 1.4 % in the first quarter of 2017. This happened in all the main producing countries but the Netherlands and Spain, where production rose. The negative trend is expected to continue at a more moderate level throughout 2017, as some farms increase production in response to high prices, resulting in a total annual production of around 23.4 million t for the year (-0.6 % compared to 2016). EU pigmeat production is expected to stabilise in 2018.
Wednesday July 12, 2017/ DG Agriculture/ European Union.