Tight UK supplies continue
UK clean pig slaughterings remained well below last year’s level in November, according to the latest figures from Defra.
The monthly total of 932,200 head was almost 5% lower than the same month last year, once figures are adjusted for the change in reporting periods introduced earlier this year. This is the largest year-on-year fall recorded so far in 2016, and indeed the largest since mid-2009, but represents the fifth substantial decline in the last six months. This is the legacy of the contraction of the breeding herd driven by low prices a year ago, coupled with some reports of increased disease pressure affecting productivity.
In contrast, sow slaughterings were higher than a year before, after adjustment, by 4% at 22,600 head. However, this follows a sharp fall in October, so shouldn’t be interpreted as a significant rise. Having been similar to a year earlier in the previous month, carcase weights returned to the upward trend recorded for most of the year and were around a kilo heavier, on average, than in November 2015, at 82.7kg. This partly offset the lower clean pig numbers but pig meat production was still 3% below last year’s level on a like-for-like basis, at 80,400 tonnes.
Stephen Howarth, Market Specialist Manager
Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org, 024 7647 8856