Bord Bia’s Market Monitor reports that the EU herd will fall to 203 million head according to an EU pigmeat forecasting meeting.
Overall EU production is expected to reach 17.75 million tonnes, while consumption levels are forecast to decline marginally to 16.68 million tonnes.
EU exports are anticipated to fall by around 4% to 1.15m tonnes. However pig prices are expected to increase on the 2003 levels.
In the UK, however, pig numbers are expected to stabilise during 2004, following last year’s 13% decline, at 8.89 million head.
Dutch supplies, however, are being tipped to fall 4%, although the fall will lead to price rises of around 5%.
The Danish sector is expected to increase its pig production with a rise of 5% in the second quarter offsetting declines during the rest of the year.