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Pork Powerhouses around the world

After the release of our 2010 Pork Powerhouses report, which lists the largest 25 pork producers in the U.S., I had requests for information on sow numbers around the world. These are not easy numbers to find or track, but thanks to Dermot Hayes, ag economist at Iowa State University, I have a few numbers to share.

China is the largest pork producer in the world with 49.1 million sows in 2010. That number is up from 48.8 million sows last year, and 35.5 million a decade ago in 2000. If you go back to 1990, China had 25 million sows, so the country has doubled in the past 20 years.

The European Union, or EU-27 has been dropping in sow numbers the past 10 years. This group includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The EU-27 has 13.9 million sows in 2010, the same as one year ago. Five years ago these countries combined for 15.3 million sows. In 2000, the number was 15.5 million.

Brazil is another large pork producer with about 3 million sows in 2010, same as last year. The country had 3.1 million sows in 1990, so no big changes to sows in Brazil for 20 years. However, as is the case with the U.S. and most countries, pig production has gone up tremendously in Brazil thanks to better genetics and other factors improving sow productivity. Brazil produced 21 million pigs in 1990 and 37 million pigs in 2010 from basically the same amount of sows.

South Korea is another sizable producer. That country has 966,000 sows in 2010, compared to 887,000 ten years ago and 627,000 twenty years ago.

Chile has about 355,000 sows and produces 5 million pigs a year.

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