The latest update from Eurostat on the pig population for the 27 member countries of the European Union at the end of 2009 reveals a fall of more than one million or 0.7% from the previous year, to an EU-27 total in 2009 of just under 152 million pigs, according to BPEX.

However, the picture for pigmeat production raises more serious concerns. Overall, pigmeat production in the EU-27 was just under 21.3 million metric tons last year – a fall of almost 6% compared to 2008. According to BPEX, this somewhat modest average fall masks massive declines in output in some countries, especially the new Member States of cental/east Europe.