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Photo of UK pig meat supply growth set to be slower

Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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UK pig meat supply growth set to be slower

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2014 \ October \ UK pig meat supply growth set to be slower

Based on the bigger than expected fall in the UK breeding herd recorded in the June survey, UK pig meat production in the coming months may grow more slowly than previously forecast. Nevertheless, with productivity continuing to improve, latest AHDB/BPEX forecasts suggest that supplies will again be higher over the coming year.

Based on the bigger than expected fall in the UK breeding herd recorded in the June survey, UK pig meat production in the coming months may grow more slowly than previously forecast. Nevertheless, with productivity continuing to improve, latest AHDB/BPEX forecasts suggest that supplies will again be higher over the coming year. Over the last five years, productivity has improved at a steady rate and this should be sustainable in the absence of major disruptions, such as disease outbreaks. Therefore, for most of the coming year, pig slaughterings should grow at a similar rate to that recorded since the spring. This means that they will be up around 2% on a year earlier, although growth may stall for a while early next year (assuming the June survey figures are accurate). Pig meat production is expected to rise slightly faster than slaughterings, due to a further small rise in carcase weights.

UK pig meat supply growth

EU prices have been well below UK ones all year and they are expected to remain low. Nevertheless, so far this year, import growth has been modest, about 5%, as retailers’ commitment to British pork remains strong. Assuming this continues to be the case, there may only be limited further growth next year. Despite the strong pound and relatively high prices, exports have increased again this year and prospects remain good for the coming year. Balancing all these factors out, supplies available for consumption on the domestic market have been higher this year than last. So far, this hasn’t been matched by an increase in consumer demand, creating the pressure on pig prices which has been apparent for much of the year. Supply growth is forecast to be slower in 2015 but, even so, higher consumer demand will be needed to match the increased availability.

To read more detail about the AHDB/BPEX forecasts for pig meat supplies, click here. Further analysis of the outlook for UK supplies can be found in the document below.