UK pigs in plentiful supply during October
After a much smaller increase in September, UK clean pig slaughterings were up over 5%, compared with a year before, in October.
According to figures released this morning by Defra, 1.09 million clean pigs were killed during the month, the highest October figure since 2000. The latest figures indicate that the productivity of the UK herd continues to improve, given that sow numbers are thought to be broadly stable. Some growth was recorded in all parts of the UK, although at 1% in Scotland and 3% in Northern Ireland, the rate of increase was lower than the 6% rise in England.
Average clean pig carcase weights during October were slightly lower than in October 2014, at 81.8kg. While this mitigated the higher slaughterings to some extent, there was also a rise in adult sow and boar cullings, which were 6% above the level a year earlier. Therefore, pig meat production was also up 5% at 92,500 tonnes. Despite being up on the year for a fifth month in a row, sow slaughterings remain within the normal range and there is little indication that low pig prices are having an impact on the breeding herd yet.