Sharp decline in Germany’s pig inventory over the last decade

Source:, 1 May 2021, photo credit: Annibal Affonso

According to preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the German pig population has decreased by 5.5% (-1,430,600 animals) compared to November 3, 2020, and by 3.3% (-840,400) compared to the previous year (May 3, 2020).

Changes in the number of finishing pigs are particularly notable as, after an increase to 11.9 million animals in November 2020, they are down 5.9% (-707,000) to 11.2 million in May 2021. Compared to November 2020, the number of piglets fell by 5.5% (-427,500) to 7.28 million, the number of breeding sows fell by 3.9% (-66,000) to 1.62 million.

Besides the pig inventory, the number of pig farms is also declining. As of May 3, 2021, there were 19,800 farms, down 3.3% (-700 farms) from November 2020, or down 3.2% (-700) from the previous year.

In a ten-year comparison, both the pig inventory and the number of farms decreased by 7.9% (-2.1 million animals) and 37.5% (-11,900 farms), respectively. As the number of farms declined more drastically than the inventory, the average pig herd increased from 845 to 1,246 pigs per farm over the last ten years.

June 25, 2021/ Destatis/ Germany.


The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.