There were 318,000 pigs in Scotland in June 2015. The number increased sharply in the 1950s, peaking in the early 70s and late 90s, with numbers in general decline since then.
Chart 5.20: Number of pigs in Scotland 1883-2015
Chart 5.22 shows that the majority of pigs were located in Grampian (176,900 pigs or 56 per cent). Tayside, Lothian, Highland and Scottish Borders each accounted for between six per cent and 11 per cent of the total number of pigs in Scotland.
The pig sector is highly concentrated. In June 2015 nine per cent of pig holdings accounted for 85 per cent of the total number of female breeding pigs (46 holdings each having more than 250 female breeding pigs, with 26,200 breeding pigs, out of a total of 30,800). Conversely, 73 per cent of holdings accounted for just over two per cent of female breeding pigs (356 holdings with fewer than five female breeding pigs each, and 671 between them).
This structure is similar for fattening pigs, with 15 per cent of holdings accounting for 98 per cent of fattening pigs (117 holdings with herds of 100 and over accounting for 186,600 of the 190,800 fattening pigs in Scotland). Likewise there were 72 per cent of holdings accounting for less than one per cent of the total number of fattening pigs (550 holdings with herds of fewer than ten). In the case of both breeding and fattening pigs, this concentration of larger herds is greatest in the North East, where the majority of pigs in Scotland are located.
5.4.3 Income from pigs ( Table A6)
Pigs accounted for about three per cent of output from farming. The value of income from pigs increased by £18 million (26 per cent) between 2005 and 2015; the 2015 value was £85 million (see chart 5.1). Income has seen several rises over the period, particularly in 2011 and 2014. Between 2011 and 2013 values fell by 12 per cent, but rose again in 2014 by £14 million (18 per cent), due to an increase in numbers.
Between 2005 and 2015 total pig-meat production fell by 2,160 tonnes (three per cent), (see chart 5.2). Including cull of older animals, production in 2015 was at 67,000 tonnes, up 6,200 tonnes on 2014 (10 per cent). Production fell by 15 per cent in 2013, but recovered in the next two years, showing an increase of 27 per cent by 2015. Chart 5.21 shows data for finished pig production, excluding older livestock.
Chart 5.21: Finished pig production and average price, 2005-2015
Over the past ten years there have been increases in the price of finished pigs, up from an average of £1.02 per kg in 2005 to £1.33 per kg in 2015, a 30 per cent rise.
Chart 5.22: Distribution of pigs and poultry by sub-region, June 2015