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EU growth highlights Hungary, Poland

by 5m Editor
23 May 2003, at 12:00am

EU - Enlargement of the European Union on 1st May 2004 will increase total EU pig numbers by 26%. This will present both challenges and opportunities for the EU’s pig producers and processors, said BPEX chief executive.

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Enlargement of the European Union on 1st May 2004 will increase total EU pig numbers by 26% to about 154 million, according to an estimate from ZMP in Germany quoted by Agra Europe. While large units are already prevalent in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, livestock holdings in the accession countries are predominantly small scale. The report says they are likely to be taken over by big co-operatives after enlargement.

Hungary and Poland are called particularly of interest. Just 800-900 units in Hungary hold half of all pigs nationally, the report notes. On average, however, Hungarian pig holdings are 25 years old and require investment to update them. Poland’s pig structure is far more fragmented in that half the units have fewer than 10 pigs each. Compared with Germany the current Polish production is about 20% poorer for liveborn litter size and efficiency of feed use.

The arrival of more members of the European Union will present both challenges and opportunities for the EU’s pig producers and processors, said BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan in the UK ahead of the World Pork Congress scheduled for Birmingham, England, 19th- 20th June. He agreed that Hungary and Poland are among the key countries to watch, each of them having the capability of becoming even more significant in pork production and consumption.

Hungary’s output reached a peak of 12 million slaughterings/year in the 1980’s, but raionalisation has seen that figure fall to 6 million. Although former state-run units now account for about 85% of production, there are still about one million pigs on small, individually-owned sites. Key export markets for Hungarian pork are Japan, South Korea, Germany and Russia.

In Poland, one million farms hold about 87% of the national breeding herd of 1.58 million sows. Two-thirds of all the meat produced nationally is pork. The country has over 7000 slaughterhouses including 3000 for pigs, but fewer than 10 of them are approved currently for export to the European Union or the USA. Poland’s biggest customer for its pigmeat is Russia, which takes 62% of all its exports.

Provided courtesy of Pig International

Source : Pig International - 23rd May 2003

5m Editor