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Number of pigs in Estonia drops 15% in 2015

Staff writer |
The number of pigs on the agricultural holdings of Estonia declined 15% in 2015 and is set to drop even more in 2016.

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This is causing an estimated 36 million euros of damage to entrepreneurs, the Estonian Institute of Economic Research estimates.

Of the total number of domestic pigs in Estonia 26% live on farms situated in a level 1 zone for ASF control, 46% in a level 2 zone, 16% in a level 3 zone and 12% in areas where no ASF related restrictions apply, said Marje Josing, director of the Estonian Institute of Economic Research. "The decline will be bigger still this year."

The number of domestic pigs dropped by 15% compared with the end of 2014 to 307,000 pigs at the end of 2015, the lowest level of the past ten years at least.

The number of piglets born dropped 9% whereas the number of pigs slaughtered moved up 4.4% year over year. The import of pigmeat increased 11% in 2015 while the amount exported was about the same as in 2014.

The drop in the number of pigs means that also Estonia's self-sufficiency in pigmeat has come down from the levels of 100% and higher where it used to be in recent years. The self-sufficiency rate is estimated to have been 88% last year and will be 70% this year based on a very optimistic scenario, she added.

The average rate of decline in the wholesale price of pork was 12% both in Estonia and the European Union.

Of the pig producers interviewed 12% are planning to go out of business during the next year, 16% are planning to suspend their pig growing business and another 16% to reduce output. Nineteen% were unable to say.

AFS caused damage worth 8.7 million euros to the Estonian state and damage worth 7 million euros to entrepreneurs last year, according to the Estonian Institute of Economic Research. Damage this year is estimated to amount to approximately 36 million euros.


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