Cautious growth in EU production during September
Latest figures from Eurostat suggest a modest 0.5% rise in EU pig slaughterings during September relative to the month last year, reaching 21.6 million head.
Though is a like-for-like comparison, as September had the same number of working days in both years, the figure may have been influenced by different reporting methods being used by some key producing states this year. The already modest growth should therefore be treated with caution, especially as pig prices rose during September. A similar trend was also seen for pig meat production, which rose slightly ahead of throughput by 0.6%, to 1.93 million tonnes. This may imply a marginal increase in average carcase weights compared to 2015. Overall, this takes production for the first three quarters of the year to 17.2 million tonnes, 1% higher than during the same period in 2015.
Though the overall trend was for positive growth on the year during September, the majority of EU producing countries, including Germany (-3%), reported production as back on September 2015. Increased production was largely driven by a few key producing states, including Spain (+2%), Italy (+11%), and Poland (+2%). Denmark also recorded a sharp increase, but this follows a sharp decrease on the year for August, so is likely an example of different reporting periods being used in the two years.
Bethan Wilkins, Trainee Analyst
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