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EU Pig Meat Production - 2009

by 5m Editor
30 July 2010, at 12:00am

EU - According to Eurostat, pig meat production in the EU-27 was just under 21.3 million tonnes last year – a reduction of almost six per cent compared to 2008. This rather modest average masks massive declines in output in some countries, especially some of the New Member States, writes Jackie Linden, editor of ThePigSite.

In its latest update, which is complete for 2009, Eurostat reports that output of pig meat by the EU-27 totalled just under 21.3 million tonnes in 2009, which is 1.3 million tonnes or 5.8 per cent less than in the previous year. The table below shows the figures for 2008 and 2009, as well as the volumes and percentage changes between 2008 and 2009 for each country and the EU-27.

Still top of the pig meat-producing countries in the EU is Germany, with an output over 5.25 million tonnes in 2009. This is one of just three countries that recorded an increase in production from the 2008 level, and it amounted to 139,000 tonnes (2.7 per cent).

Second in the rankings but well behind Germany came Spain, producing 3.29 million tonnes of pig meat in 2009. This was a fall of 194,000 tonnes or 5.6 per cent compared to 2008.

France held on to its third place in the EU rankings but production fell by 12 per cent to just over two million tonnes.

Despite an even larger decline in pig meat output of 14.8 per cent, Poland remained fourth in the league table. Last year, the Poles produced just over 1.6 million tonnes of pig meat, down from not far off 1.9 million tonnes in 2008.

Italy and Denmark share the honours of taking fifth position in the EU-27 in terms of pig meat output at between 1.58 and 1.59 million tonnes. However, whereas Italy recorded only a small decline of 1.1 per cent, Danish output was down 7.3 per cent. Interestingly, the pig population in Denmark was around six per cent higher in 2009 than the year before.

The only other countries to register increases in pig meat output in 2009 compared to 2008 were Belgium (+2.4 per cent) and Austria (+1.4 per cent).

Production levels is all other countries were down in 2009: in some cases, these were modest but in 12 countries, the cut-backs reached double digits. Particularly hard-hit were Estonia (-22.3 per cent), Slovenia (-23.2 per cent), Slovakia (-31.5 per cent), Latvia (-39.2 per cent), Lithuania (-45.4 per cent), Bulgaria (-47.5 per cent) and Romania (-51.2 per cent).

The source of the data, Eurostat, does not note any changes in the method of recording pig meat output in these countries of central Europe, which joined the EU since 2004. The falls in pig meat output in these countries suggest a series of catastrophic industry collapses. Whilst significant structural changes in the pig industries could have been predicted as the result of EU membership, the extent and suddenness of the declines is hard ot explain, The latest pig population figures for 2009 from the same source do not support the theory that the industries are in free-fall.

Pig meat production in the EU - 2008 and 2009
(tonnes; as of 27 July 2010)
2008 2009 Difference % change
EU-27 22,599,321 21,291,898 -1,307,423 -5.8
Germany 5,114,319 5,253,795 139,476 2.7
Spain 3,484,363 3,290,571 -193,792 -5.6
France 2,276,678 2,004,185 -272,493 -12.0
Poland 1,888,035 1,608,238 -279,797 -14.8
Italy 1,606,013 1,588,444 -17,569 -1.1
Denmark 1,707,400 1,583,200 -124,200 -7.3
Netherlands 1,317,705 1,274,980 -42,725 -3.2
Belgium 1,056,169 1,082,036 25,867 2.4
UK 739,602 720,253 -19,349 -2.6
Austria 525,865 533,436 7,571 1.4
Hungary 460,413 388,717 -71,696 -15.6
Portugal 381,265 373,420 -7,845 -2.1
Czech Republic 336,485 284,572 -51,913 -15.4
Sweden 270,758 260,748 -10,010 -3.7
Romania 455,100 222,070 -233,030 -51.2
Finland 217,067 205,655 -11,412 -5.3
Ireland 202,450 195,575 -6,875 -3.4
Greece 119,032 117,583 -1,449 -1.2
Slovakia 102,406 70,145 -32,261 -31.5
Cyprus 59,177 58,102 -1,075 -1.8
Lithuania 75,863 41,428 -34,435 -45.4
Bulgaria 72,917 38,287 -34,630 -47.5
Estonia 39,645 30,808 -8,837 -22.3
Latvia 40,733 24,757 -15,976 -39.2
Slovenia 31,405 24,115 -7,290 -23.2
Luxembourg 9,953 9,409 -544 -5.5
Malta 8,503 7,369 -1,134 -13.3
Data from Eurostat

Further Reading

- You can view our report on the Eurostat data for pig populations in the EU in 2009 by clicking here.


July 2010