More EU pigs so far in 2015
The number of pigs slaughtered across the EU in the first half of this year was up nearly 5 million head (4%) on a year before, based on latest figures from Eurostat.
Rising production was expected following the increase in the EU breeding herd in 2014 but the growth reported is higher than in most forecasts. All the major producers recorded increased throughputs, with growth led by Spain, where 8% more pigs were slaughtered. There was a similar rate of increase in the Netherlands, partly due to lower exports of slaughter pigs to Germany. Even so, German throughputs were up 2%, while France and Denmark killed 1% more pigs. With carcase weights also slightly heavier, total pig meat production during the six months was up 5% at 11.4 million tonnes.
Growth continued in June, with slaughterings across the EU up 7% on the same month last year, at 20.7 million head. Even allowing for an extra working day during the month this year, this confirms that supplies remained plentiful. At 10%, growth in Spain remained a key contribution to the total but there was also double digit percentage increases in France and Poland, among others. Across the major producers, only Denmark showed lower throughputs for June but its figures have been unusually volatile this year and must be treated with some caution. Pig meat production in the EU during the month was up even more, being 9% higher on the year at 1.9 million tonnes.