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
|1990||2000||2008||2009||2009 Revised||2010||% Change 2010 / 2009|
|Sows in Pig||417||340||245||264||250||228||-9.10%|
|Gilts in Pig||92||60||45||43||41||54||31.70%|
|Gilts not yet in Pig||73||68||49||57||54||63||16.30%|
|110kg and over||52||47||36||39||38||38||1.60%|
|Under 20 Kg||1728||1409||977||1006||967||925||-4.30%|
Specialist Pig holdings by region 2009
|North West and Merseyside||186||206||231|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||433||435||460|
Number of pigs by region 2009
|North West and Merseyside||153798|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||1255563|
Pigs slaughtered in England 2000-2010 (thousand head)
|Year||Clean Pigs||Sows and Boars|