The latest National Statistics produced by Defra from the June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture were released on 20 September 2012 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
The total number of pigs has increased by 1.7% in 2012 to 3.7 million. While the number of fattening pigs rose by 1.8% to 3.2 million, the female breeding herd saw a 0.8% decrease to 351 thousand.
A younger breeding herd has led to improvements in sow productivity therefore availability of pigs for slaughter is good, which may explain the increase in the fattening pigs. However recent high feed and input costs may start to impact on returns and some destocking is expected, which may have more impact later in 2012.
The total female breeding herd has declined in numbers over the past decade, falling from 458 thousand pigs in 2002 to 351 thousand in 2012. Sows in pig account for over two thirds of the total breeding herd. Numbers of gilts in pig and other sows are broadly similar.
Thursday September 20, 2012/ DEFRA-Statistics/ United Kingdom.