Pig Farming UK - Statistics and Information on UK Pig Farming

Pig Farming UK – Statistics and Information on UK Pig Farming

The purpose of this blog post is to collate relevant pig data for England courtesty of Rural Business Research. Data has been presented for different time series in order to show the key changes. The following figures clearly portray the dramatic structural change that has taken place in the industry during this period.

Pig Population – June Census

Table 1.1 shows the pig population in England according to the June census data. Data for the three years 2008-2010 is presented together with historic data for 1990 and 2000 as a comparison.

The 2009 data has been revised so there is break in the data series. Pig numbers have declined by 43% in the last two decades between 1990 and 2010. In 2009 there was a slight recovery in breeding pig numbers compared to the previous year. In 2010 breeding pig numbers were very similar to 2009 but there was a 2.6% fall in fattening pigs which meant that overall pig numbers declined.

Regional Specialist Pig Holdings and number of pigs

Table 1.2 shows the number of holdings in 2009 classified as specialist pig holdings according to region in England. Perhaps surprisingly the number of holdings has increased over this three year period. This reflects the fact that a considerable number of these holdings would be hobby or part-time holdings and would not be commercial farms.

Indeed, of the total recorded for 2009 only 1,462 holdings would be classed as commercial according to the Census definition. (For Census purposes commercial pig farms are defined as having either more than ten sows or more than 50 pigs.) In other words only one-half of the pig farms recorded in the Census are deemed to be commercial holdings.

Table 1.3 shows the distribution of pigs by region in 2009. This highlights the fact that the Yorkshire and the Humber and Eastern regions taken together account for 60% of the pigs in England. However, they only have 33% of the number of holdings. In contrast, the South West region has 23% of the number of holdings and yet only 12% of the number of pigs.

Pig slaughter data for England

Table 1.4 shows the number of clean pigs and sows and boars slaughtered in England for the period 2000-2010. Unfortunately since the middle of 2010 Defra have been unable to release data on the number of sows and boars slaughtered. This is for confidentiality reasons and it is unlikely that this data will be available in the future.

The figures for sows and boars generally match those of clean pigs except that in 2001 there was a sharp decline in slaughterings due to the impact of FMD.

The number of pigs slaughtered in 2009 was the lowest recorded at 6886 thousand but in 2010 the number had increased by 6% and was the highest recorded since 2002. Not shown in the table is the average carcase weight. Figures for the UK indicate that the carcase weight of clean pigs averaged 70kg in period 1998-2000 and had risen to 77kg by 2009. In other words carcase weights have increased by 10% in the last decade.

Pigs on agricultural holdings in England 1st June

Table 1.1

1990 2000 2008 2009 2009 Revised 2010 % Change 2010 / 2009
Total Pig 6308 5442 3854 3872 3689 3606 -2.20%
Breeding Pigs 757 595 410 444 421 423 0.60%
Sows in Pig 417 340 245 264 250 228 -9.10%
Gilts in Pig 92 60 45 43 41 54 31.70%
Other Sows 137 103 55 65 61 64 6.50%
Boars 37 25 15 16 15 14 -3.20%
Gilts not yet in Pig 73 68 49 57 54 63 16.30%
Fattening Pig(liveweight) 5552 4847 3445 3428 3268 3183 -2.60%
110kg and over 52 47 36 39 38 38 1.60%
80-110kg 513 643 556 532 511 503 -1.60%
50-80kg 1473 1280 873 821 770 796 3.30%
20-50kg 1785 1468 1002 1029 982 921 -6.20%
Under 20 Kg 1728 1409 977 1006 967 925 -4.30%

Specialist Pig holdings by region 2009

Table 1.2

Location 2007 2008 2009
North East 60 67 74
North West and Merseyside 186 206 231
Yorkshire and the Humber 433 435 460
East Midlands 220 229 266
West Midlands 245 264 302
Eastern 462 472 521
South East 298 339 423
South West 549 588 685
England 2453 2600 2962

Number of pigs by region 2009

table 1.3

Location 2009
North East 97559
North West and Merseyside 153798
Yorkshire and the Humber 1255563
East Midlands 377889
West Midlands 212949
Eastern 1088340
South East 234648
South West 451667
England 3872413

Pigs slaughtered in England 2000-2010 (thousand head)

table 1.4

Year Clean Pigs Sows and Boars
2000 10374 310
2001 8646 163
2002 8231 289
2003 7074 226
2004 7126 227
2005 6984 198
2006 7020 196
2007 7231 206
2008 7223 231
2009 6886 196
2010 7312 c