Recent survey results from Eurostat show 13% fewer pigs in Hungary in December 2008 compared to a year earlier, says the European Market Survey. At 3.38 million head, there were also 9% fewer pigs than in August 2008.

The sow herd reportedly contracted by 6% between August and December resulting in 38,000 fewer sows in December than a year earlier. Over the course of 12 months, there was a 6% reduction in the number of holdings with pigs.


Latest production data indicates a 7% fall in pig meat output in the 10 months to October 2008 compared with a year earlier. According to the European Market Survey, a fall in output from the domestic herd and imports of live slaughter pigs will have contributed to the overall fall in pig meat production.


In January-October 2008, Hungary reportedly imported 207,000 slaughter pigs, 46% fewer than in the same period of 2007. Imports from Poland, the largest supplier of live pigs, were down by two-thirds to 87,000 head, reflecting the contraction in the Polish pig industry.

Despite the fall in pig meat production last year, exports of pork were up slightly on 2007 levels. There was a recovery in exports to non-EU countries to 25,000 metric tons, Japan and South Korea being the main destinations, says the European Market Survey.