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Photo of UK production growth continues in May

Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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UK production growth continues in May

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2015 \ June \ UK production growth continues in May

Latest figures from Defra show that the strong growth in UK pig meat production continued in May, with output over 5% higher than a year earlier at 66,700 tonnes.

At 789,400 head, the UK clean pig kill was also up by 5%, in line with the trend in most recent months. The year-on-year growth in slaughterings was similar across all parts of the UK, with Scotland and Northern Ireland also recording a 5% uplift. Although these figures add weight to the view that census results showing a declining breeding herd may have been pessimistic, they also confirm that the productivity of the UK’s sows continues to improve.

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As well as the ongoing increase in pig numbers, carcase weights have also been consistently heavier over recent months. This trend continued in May, with the average of 81.2kg around three-quarters of a kilo heavier than in May 2014. However, the growth in production from clean pigs was again partly offset by lower sow slaughterings. Throughputs were 7% down on a year earlier at 18,000 head. Cullings have now declined for 12 consecutive months, adding to concerns that increased retention of sows could have an impact on productivity in the longer-term.