Pigs up, cows down in 2021

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The number of pigs a-snorting and a-snuffling on Latvian farms increased in 2021, while the number of cows a-lowing and a-mooing decreased, according to data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) March 24. 

In 2021, compared to the previous year, the number of pigs increased by 20,200, or 6.6 %, amounting to 327,000. The number of cattle decreased by 5,500 or 1.4 % compared to the previous year.

The number of dairy cows also continued to decrease, reaching 131.2 thousand at the end of 2021, which is 4.8 thousand or 3.6 % less than last year.

As far as baa-ing and bleating were concerned, the numbers of sheep and goats dropped by 1.7 % and 0.7 % respectively.

Number of livestock at the end of the year (thousands)

 

2020

2021 (provisional)

Changes, % (2021/2020)

Cattle

399.0

393.5

-1.4

dairy cows

136.0

131.2

-3.6

non-dairy cows

60.0

61.4

2.4

Pigs

306.8

327.0

6.6

Sheep

91.9

90.3

-1.7

Goats

11.5

11.4

-0.7

Horses

8.3

8.4

2.0

Poultry

5 837.9

5 857.7

0.3

laying hens

3 345.1

3 395.2

1.5

Meat production in Latvia increased in 2021, with 93.4 thousand tonnes of meat produced, that is 1.5 thousand tonnes or 1.7 % more than in 2020. Production increased by 6.3 % for beef, 1.6 % for pork and 0.2 % for poultry, while sheep and goat meat production decreased by 16.8 %.

The number of exported live cattle in 2021 was unchanged compared to the previous year (60.4 thousand). The number of imported cattle increased by 1.9 thousand or 1.8 times.

In 2021, exports of live pigs decreased by 27.0 thousand or 11.7 % compared to 2020. Of the total number of pigs exported, 73.5 % were piglets for further fattening (68.4 % in 2020). Number of imported pigs decreased by 0.5 thousand or 0.5 %.

The number of live sheep exported in 2021 increased 3.4 times compared to 2020.

For more detailed information on animal imports and exports, see the Official Statistics Portal under “Foreign trade in goods”.

The average purchase price of milk increased by EUR 37 per tonne, or 13.2 %, to EUR 318 per tonne, the highest milk purchase price in the history of Latvia. The lowest milk purchase price was in January (EUR 292/tonne) and the highest in December (EUR 397/tonne). The volume of milk purchased increased by 2.8 %.

Despite a decrease in the number of dairy cows, with the average milk yield per dairy cow increasing by 199 kilograms or 2.8 % to 7 362 kilograms per year, the total volume of milk produced (including goat milk) in 2021 was slightly up by 2.1 thousand tonnes or 0.2 %.

At the end of 2021, the number of laying hens increased by 50.1 thousand or 1.5 %. 825.6 million eggs were produced, an increase of 23.8 million or 3.0 % compared to 2020. Of the total quantity of eggs produced, 97 % were hens' eggs (99 % in 2020). On average, 299 eggs were produced per laying hen, a decrease of 2.6 % compared to 2020.

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