Small increase in EU pig kill in 2014
Complete 2014 data for EU pig slaughterings and pig meat production from Eurostat confirm industry reports from across the continent, that supply was plentiful throughout the year courtesy of improving physical performance and favourable feed costs.
In December 2014, 22.1million pigs were slaughtered, up 8% on November and up 6% on December 2013. Cumulatively in 2014, 248 million pigs were slaughtered, almost 1% more than 2013. As a result of this increased kill, production was up by a similar amount and totalled 22.1 million tonnes as carcase weights were largely unchanged. As alluded to in the EU Short term outlook an increasing production trajectory is set to continue.
The additional kill reported in December 2014 compared with the previous month was seen primarily in some of the biggest producing member states; France (14%), Germany (13%) and Poland (12%). Similar developments compared with December 2013 also took place. For 2014 as a whole slaughterings were largely unchanged in Germany and France. In contrast they were up by as much as 4% in Spain and the Netherlands while in Poland the increase was even higher at 7%. In contrast there was a decline of 2% in Denmark. This is due to the increasing export of weaners and finished animals for slaughter in neighbouring countries, and supports recent announcements of further slaughter capacity reductions by Danish Crown and the takeover of Tican the second largest pig meat processor in Denmark. Kill for the year was also down slightly in Belgium and Austria. Although Italy recorded a sharp decline of 17% based on official data there has been a change in the series and data from other sources suggests the true fall was nearer 1%. Other smaller producing countries showed varying trends. The UK, with the ninth highest kill, was up on the year by 2% while Ireland expanded by 5% with both countries showing a similar increase in slaughterings in absolute terms.