UK produced more pork than beef in 2015
The UK produced more pig meat than beef in 2015 for the first time since 2003, according to latest figures from Defra.
Pig meat production increased by over 4% in 2015, to almost 900,000 tonnes, the fastest growth since 2011. Growth was slightly slower in the second half of the year but December’s output of 68,900 tonnes was still 3% higher than a year earlier. The higher production was mainly due to a near 4% rise in clean pig slaughterings, with the total of just over 10.6 million head the highest since 2000. Slightly slower growth in December, just under 3% year on year, took that month’s throughputs to 820,600 head. The UK figure for December was boosted by a 12% annual rise in the Northern Irish kill and a 7% increase in Scotland; English slaughterings only grew by 1% compared with a year earlier.
Following strong growth in 2014, carcase weights were only slightly heavier in 2015, averaging 81.3kg. Through the autumn, weights were actually below year earlier levels but by December they had moved slightly above December 2014’s level, to average 80.9kg. With sow slaughterings also up again during the month, by 7% to 16,600 head, this added to the production growth. Sow throughputs for the year as a whole totalled 244,400 head, 1% more than in 2014. A 5% rise in the second half of the year more than offset the 4% fall in the first half.