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RIGA - The number of cattle at Latvian farms increased 3.2 percent in 2012, according to the Central Statistical Bureau’s data. There were 393,100 cattle at Latvian farms at the end of 2012, 12,500 more than at the end of 2011.
Cattle numbers rose in all cattle age groups: the number of calves under 1 year increased 4.4 percent or 4,600, heifers aged 1-2 years - 5.2 percent or 2,900, suckling cows - 16.5 percent or 3,600, dairy cows - 0.3 percent or 500. The number of sheep increased 5 percent or 4,000. Cattle numbers grew due to farms getting ready for the planned lifting of EU milk quotas in 2015 and an increase in the number of meat cattle herds.
Due to the loss of the pig-breeding sector competitiveness, growth in production equipment prices and Russia’s decision to stop importing live pigs from the EU as of March 20 last year, the number of pigs fell 5.3 percent or 19,800 in 2012. The number of horses reduced from 11,500 at the end of 2011 to 10,900 at the end of 2012. Goat numbers reduced from 13,400 to 13,300.
78,600 tons of meat was produced in Latvia in 2012, 1.1 percent less than in 2011. This reduction was influenced by decreases in beef and pork production - 3.9 percent and 4.9 percent respectively. The share of pork accounted for 45.5 percent of total meat production in 2012, beef comprised 22 percent.
Poultry and sheep meat production grew 7.3 percent and 1.2 percent respectively. The share of poultry meat amounted to 31.3 percent. The purchase prices of beef and pork increased 15 percent and 7.6 percent respectively. The average purchase price of meat rose from 1,163 lats (1,655 euros) per ton in 2011 to 1,290 lats per ton in 2012 or 11 percent.
In 2012, egg production volumes in Latvia increased 0.9 percent. 671.4 million eggs were produced in 2012, compared to 665.4 million eggs in 2011. On average, one laying hen produced 277 eggs last year - 4.9 percent more than in 2011. The average price of eggs increased 44.4 percent from 3.99 lats per 100 eggs in 2011 to 5.76 lats in 2012.
The number of dairy cows and goats had little change in 2012, but the average milk yield per cow grew 3.7 percent or 186 kilograms, thus the amount of milk produced (including goat milk) increased 3.4 percent or 28,600 tons last year, according to the Central Statistical Bureau’s data.
In 2012, the amount of milk sold to milk procurement and processing companies grew to 718,000 tons, 8.5 percent more than a year before. The share of sold milk in the total amount of produced milk increased from 78.6 percent in 2011 to 82.5 percent in 2012.
The average purchase price of milk reduced from 207 lats per ton in 2011 to 191 lats per ton in 2012 or 7.9 percent, reaching the lowest purchase price in August - 174 lats per ton.