New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and that the trend is being mirrored around the world, according to Britain’s National Pig Association.

All the main European pig-producing countries are experiencing shrinking sow herds, with falling numbers in the 12 months to June 2012 reported by Denmark (-2.3), Germany (-1.3), Ireland (-6.6), Spain (-2.8), France (-3.2), Italy (-13), Hungary (-5), the Netherlands (-3.6), Austria (-2.8), Poland (-9.6) and Sweden (-7.2). “Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya harvests, and British supermarkets know they have to raise the price they pay Britain’s pig farmers or risk empty spaces on their shelves next year,” said association chairman Richard Longthorp.

British Pig Executive director Mick Sloyan said at a recent summit in Brussels, Belgium, that a fall of only two percent in slaughterings in 2013 could lead to prices rising by 10 percent.