DENMARK, Copenhagen. The pandemic affects the results of the current livestock census. The stables are fuller than expected.
The stables of the Danish pig farmers have been fuller this summer than they have been for a long time. According to the Danish Umbrella Organisation of the Agricultural and Food Industry (Landbrug & Fødevarer, L&F), a total of 13.16 mill. pigs were kept in the northern neighbouring country on the cut-off date of 1 July 2020; this was 611,000 animals or 4.9% more than twelve months earlier. For a summer survey based on sample data from 1,800 farms, this was the highest pig population in 13 years.
With regard to the interpretation of the figures, the analysts from L&F pointed out that at the time of the survey pig marketing had been difficult due to the consequences of the Corona pandemic. Also in Danish slaughterhouses not all capacities could be fully used for reasons of disease prevention. This led to an enormous increase of 11.1% in the number of fattening pigs in particular, to just over 3.1 mill., as it appears that not all animals found buyers promptly.
Significantly lower increases were recorded in the area of piglet production. The number of animals weighing less than 20 kg increased by 3.1% to 2.70 mill. within the year; among the runners weighing between 20 kg and 50 kg a plus of 3.3% to 6.09 mill. animals was recorded.
According to the survey, Danish producers also increased their herds of sows. The total number of breeding females increased by 23,000 or 1.9% to 1.25 mill. compared to the previous year. The number of pregnant sows increased by 2.2% to 785,000 and the number of non-bearing sows by 1.3% to 465,000.
L&F expects Danish pig production to increase in 2020 as a result of the increase in pig stocks already in spring. In the first half of 2020, slaughterings including sows increased by approximately 185,000 animals or 2.2% to almost 8.5 mill. pigs compared to the same period last year. However, exports of live animals did not reach the growth rates of previous years. The total liveweight output of 7.7 mill. animals was 1% higher than in the first half of 2019, with international sales of piglets increasing by 0.8% to 7.55 mill. units.