EU pig kill marginally down in August
August figures published by Eurostat showed a marginal decline in EU pig slaughterings compared with the same month in 2013, to 19.3 million head. Pig meat production in August was also almost unchanged from a year earlier.
August figures published by Eurostat showed a marginal decline in EU pig slaughterings compared with the same month in 2013, to 19.3 million head. However, it is worth noting that there was one less working day in August this year, which reduced the overall throughputs. As a result, on a per working day basis, pig slaughterings in the EU were actually 4% higher compared with a year earlier. This increase in supply contributed to the fall in pig prices which has been apparent since the summer. Pig meat production in the EU for August was also almost unchanged from a year earlier at 1.70 million tonnes. Based on these figures, pigs were slightly heavier in the eight month of this year than in August 2013.
During August, Denmark recorded the largest year-on-year decline in pig slaughterings, by 16%, although this may be subject to revision as Danish figures have been unusually volatile of late. Declining throughputs are partly a result of a continued rise in weaner exports, leaving lower availability for the Danish slaughterhouses. In France, pig slaughterings declined by 4% on the year. However, higher throughputs in the other key markets offset these declines, leading to an overall stability. For example, German and Spanish pig slaughtering both increased by 1% on a year earlier. Irish abattoirs slaughtered 4% more pigs in August this year. Increases were even more evident in Poland and the Netherlands, where throughputs rose by 7% and 8% respectively.