Pig production across the EU is expected to slip by 2% next year as producers who do not want to comply with the sow stall ban leave the industry.

Latest figures from the EU Commission suggest production across the leading pig producing countries, such as Germany, France and Poland, could fall up to as much as 5% in 2013 as the effects of the sow stall ban and rising feed costs affect production.

But the commission said it expected production in Denmark to remain stable at 14.6 million head in the first six months of 2013.

Speaking at the Herning Pig Congress in Denmark this week (23 October), Nicolaj Norgaard of Denmark’s Pig Research Centre said while the sow stall ban was expected to cause a 3-5% drop in sow numbers in the country, those that remained would see productivity increase.

“The number of piglets has increased to 28.8 weaned piglets per sow across one million sows so I am confident we know what to do to keep production up.”

Karsten Flemin of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council said Danish producers’ self sufficiency in feed had also helped many producers ride out the increase in grain costs.

“Producers are about 60-70% self-sufficient in feed, which has helped producers make a little money,” he said.

The predicted fall in production across the EU, coupled with continued strong demand for pigmeat from countries such as China, could see price forecasts for pigmeat rise next month, providing some relief to producers, he added.

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