UK market set to remain well supplied in 2016
UK pig meat production is expected to rise in 2016 for a seventh consecutive year, according to the latest supply forecasts from AHDB Pork.
Most information suggests a broadly stable breeding herd, so productivity growth remains the main driver of pig slaughterings. Analysis suggests that productivity continues to increase at a similar rate to recent years and there is little reason to think that this rate of improvement can’t be sustained. As a result, clean pig slaughterings are likely to rise again next year, albeit possibly at a slightly slower rate than in 2015. In late 2014 and early 2015, carcase weights were well above year earlier levels but in recent months weights have close to last year’s levels, albeit rising seasonally of late. This trend is expected to continue into next year, so production growth is forecast to be broadly in line with slaughterings and, hence, slightly slower than in 2015.
With the EU market also well supplied and prices on the continent well below UK levels and forecast to stay low well into 2016, a further increase in imported pork is also predicted. Meanwhile, the relatively strong pound is still limiting export growth and the global trading environment is likely to be tough next year. Exports will, therefore, probably rise only slowly, even if the UK gains agreement to export trotters to China. This means that there should again be more pig meat available on the UK market next year. This will keep prices under pressure, with the direction they take depending, as always, on how demand responds.
To read more detail about the latest AHDB/BPEX forecasts for pig meat supplies, click here.