December 03, 2003
EU 1994-2002 Pig Stock Trends
The number of pigs in the European Union totalled about 122 million in 2002.
Records of pig stocks in EU-15 exist from 1994. This publication outlines the major changes in pig stocks and in the breakdown of those stocks by category of animal in the Member States between 1994 and 2002.
After a downturn in the yearly figures for 1995, EU pig numbers tended to increase until 1998. The biggest increase occurred from 1997 to 1998 (+5.4 %). Pig stocks then fell by 2% in 2000 compared with the previous year. The figures subsequently remained fairly stable. In spite of this reduction, community stocks in 2002 were up by 4.3 million on the 1994 figure.
Pig Stock Trends In The Member States
Germany, with 21.5% of the EU total in 2002, has the most pigs in the EU. After the reduction in number recorded between 1994 and 1995, stocks in Germany rose between 1996 and 1998. Year 1998 shows the greatest increase, when pig stocks rose by 6% compared with the previous year.
Stocks then fell in 1999-2000, but climb slightly in 2001 and 2002. By 2002, the total number of animals in Germany had increased by 1.6 million compared with 1994.
Spain is the Member State which ranks second for the number of pigs. Its share of total EU stocks went up from 15.5% in 1994 to 19.3% in 2002. The biggest rise in stocks in Spain occurred in 1997-98, when numbers increased by 10.7%.
Pig surveys in the Member States reveal that stocks grew in 1998 in most Member States, the exceptions being Greece, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Stocks have tended to decline in the UK since 1998, and from
1999 to 2000 they fell by 15.5%.
The biggest increase in stocks occurred in the Netherlands, where the number of pigs rose by 17.3% between 1997 and 1998. However, this followed a sharp decline of 19.8% in 1997 compared with the previous year.
Breakdown of Pig Stocks By Main Categories
In most Member States pigs for fattening account for the largest category among total pig stocks. The two countries that disregard this trend are Denmark and the Netherlands, where the biggest category in 2002 was piglets. These two countries are followed by Luxembourg, where the number of piglets in total pig stocks averaged 34% between 1994 and 2002.
A look at the breakdown of pig stocks by main category in 2002 in comparison with the average figures for 1994-2002 shows that the biggest changes occurred in Luxembourg, where the percentage of piglets fell to 28% in 2002, compared with the average figure of 34%. Pigs for fattening accounted for 40% of total pig stocks in 2002, while the percentage of breeding pigs has declined. In Belgium the percentage of pigs in the 20-50 kg category went down in 2002 compared with the average. This reduction began in 2000 and was offset by an increase in the number of pigs for fattening.
As for other Member States, piglets account for the biggest share (38% in 2002) of the total pig population in the Netherlands whereas the percentage of breeding pigs (10%) is relatively low. The same country also has the lowest percentage of pigs in the 20-50 kg category (17%) among all the Member States.
The biggest percentage of the total pig population in Greece is represented by pigs for fattening (35% in 2002), with piglets accounting for only 25%. This is the lowest figure recorded for this category between 1994 ¨C when the figure was 30% - and 2002. The highest figure for breeding pigs (21%) was recorded in 2000, when piglets accounted for 27% of the total population.
Portugal is the Member State which ranks second for the percentage of breeding pigs (14% in 2002). Piglets account for a higher percentage of total stocks in Portugal than in Greece. As mentioned, pigs for fattening account for a larger percentage of stocks in Italy than in other Member States.