DENMARK, Copenhagen. For the first time since the beginning of 2020, the quarterly survey in Denmark showed no significant growth in the pig population compared with the previous year's census.
As reported by the Danish umbrella organization for the agri-food industry (Landbrug & Fødevarer, L&F), a total of 13.17 million pigs were kept in the northern neighboring country as of the July 1, 2021, cutoff date, up just 8,000 animals, or 0.1%, from 12 months earlier. According to market analysts, however, this does not necessarily mean that the trend toward increasing herds is over. The size of the herd this summer was higher than at any time in the last 14 years.
Signs of further expansion in Danish pig production are provided by the development of the sow herd. This increased by 25,000 head, or two percent, to almost 1.28 million animals compared to July 2020. The number of gilts increased at an above-average rate of 4.4% to 423,000 head. This indicates that the stage has been set for higher piglet production in the future. However, the recent price crash is also likely to cause concern among Danish pig farmers if the low producer prices combined with high feed costs persist for a longer period.
According to the umbrella organization, the fact that the overall pig population in Denmark has hardly increased within a year is due to the development of fattening pigs weighing 50 kg or more. According to the sample survey, the number of fattening pigs on around 1,750 farms declined by 62,000 animals, or 2%, to 3.04 million over the course of the year. However, the previous year's corona-related slaughterhouse closures had often resulted in pigs piling up in the barn, which is why the L&F speaks of a slightly distorted result. Excluding the group of fattening pigs, the herd would have increased by 0.7% year-on-year. The number of piglets and runners increased by 0.5% to 8.84 million animals compared to July 2020.