UK production starting to decline
According to the latest DEFRA figures, pig slaughterings for June were up, to 864 thousand head, on the same period a year earlier. However, if you allow for a change in reporting periods, the latest figure actually represents a 3.6% fall in slaughtering levels on June 2015.
This decline in slaughterings, providing a tightening of supplies, is contributing to supporting the UK pig price. The UK pig price has been increasing week-on-week since April, with the EU-spec SPP currently standing at 126.57p/kg, less than 7p behind the same period a year earlier.
Average carcase weight increased modestly on the previous month, by 0.3kg to 81.8kg. This is also 1.2kg more than the average carcase weight recorded in June 2015. However, it remains below the 82kg level that was recorded in the first four months of the year.
Sow slaughtering's continue to increase, with June 2016 levels being 7% more than the adjusted figure for the same period last year. This infers that producers are continuing to rationalise their breeding herds in order to tighten supplies. Indeed some of this is already being experienced, with adjusted production levels down 2% in June versus last year’s levels.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
Vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741