Number of pigs on Danish farms at 25-year low

The number of pigs bred and kept at farms in Denmark has dropped to its lowest level since 1998.

Number of pigs on Danish farms at 25-year low
File photo of an organic pig farm in Denmark. The number of farm pigs in the country is at its lowest since 1998. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Ritzau Scanpix

In the first quarter of 2023, the number of pigs dropped by as much as 20 percent to around 2.2 million in Denmark, a country occasionally light-heartedly described as having “more pigs than humans”.

The current number of pigs is the lowest since 1998 and well under the human population of 5.8 million.

The count of pigs comes from national agency Statistics Denmark.

The news will come as little surprise to the agricultural sector, however, with meat producer Danish Crown having fired 800 staff from its slaughterhouse in the town of Sæby last month.

Inflation has made it increasingly difficult for Danish pig farmers to cover costs, the company has said.

As a result, many have closed their styes while others have sold their animals for export. Both factors have had knock-on effects at Danish Crown.

The chairman of the national association for pig farmers (Landsforeningen af Danske Svineproducenter), Jeppe Bloch Nielsen, said he was concerned more businesses would close in the near future.

“These figures reveal the consequence of Danish Crown not having been able to pay a competitive pork rate to farmers. This has meant that the production of pigs for slaughter has been loss-making for Danish farmers for a long period,” Nielsen told media Finans.

“In the rest of Europe, slaughterhouses pay higher prices for the pigs, which results in high prices for piglets in those countries. That is why Danish farmers choose to export piglets out of the country instead of raising them for slaughter in Denmark,” he said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Danish farmers to get millions in EU drought aid

Almost 50 million kroner from the EU is to be granted to farmers in Denmark to help them cope with the financial impact of this summer’s drought.

Danish farmers to get millions in EU drought aid

The EU money is granted to help farmers in member states, including Denmark, when drought occurs. The grant to Denmark, which totals 47.3 million kroner, was confirmed by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries in a statement on Thursday.

“I am very pleased that the EU Commission has decided to allocate more money for extraordinary drought aid to farmers,” agriculture minister Jacob Jensen said in the statement.

“Danish farmers have been through a tough summer, first with extraordinary drought and then with a very wet July, which has given the farmers difficult working conditions,” Jensen said.

READ ALSO: Rain and floods: How global heating could alter Nordic summers

The EU Commission has made a total amount of 330 million euros available for drought aid, the ministry said. Denmark’s allocation of just over 47 million kroner, or 6.35 million euros, will be paid out by January 31st next year.

The money will be distributed to applicants for the agricultural grundbetaling or basic payment in 2023, based on the number of per hectares for which basic payment was applied for.

Grundbetaling is the basic element of the agricultural aid that all farmers who have more than two hectares of agricultural land can apply for in Denmark.