EU pig meat production down in September
For the first time this year, EU pig meat production was lower than a year earlier in September, albeit only marginally.
At 1.89 million tonnes, output was just 2,000 tonnes less than in September 2014. This continued the slowdown which had been apparent in previous months and meant that less than 2% more pork was produced in the third quarter, compared with 5% growth in the first half of the year. Pig slaughterings during September were down 1% on the year, at 21.2 million head, also the first decline of the year to date. EU pig prices were relatively firm during September, reflecting the reduction in supplies but have since fallen sharply. Although partly demand driven, this suggests that volumes may have picked up again since September.
To some extent the fall in production during September was due to a sharp 20% drop in Danish output, although its figures have been unusually volatile this year, perhaps due to some change in reporting periods. However, there were also declines reported by Germany (-1%), Belgium (-5%) and Poland (-4%), among others. These falls were largely offset by the ongoing growth of Spanish production, up 4% year on year in September, along with rises elsewhere, including France (+2%), Italy and the Netherlands (both +11%).