EU production levels starting to stabilise
Provisional figures from the EU Commission show that EU pig meat production decreased year-on-year in March, by -1% to 2.02 million tonnes.
This was despite there being an extra working day in 2016, versus 2015. Therefore, this represents a slowdown in growth compared with much of 2015, which supports forecasts that supplies will begin to tighten throughout 2016. Similarly, clean pig slaughterings were down 1% in March on the year earlier, to 22.4 million head, but this was effectively a slighter larger decrease. These production movements would suggest that the herd rationalisations starting to be recorded in the December censuses of major producing states are now starting to have a tightening effect on supplies.
There were fluctuations in the outputs from the member states in March. The UK had the largest increase, although once the change in reporting periods is taken into account, this represents an increase of about 5%, when compared with March 2015. The Netherlands and Spain also saw year-on-year growth in production volumes, of 9% and 2% respectively. However, other member states recorded a fall in production, most notably Germany, with volumes down 8% on March 2015. These decreases were despite the longer month, so may actually represent a greater fall than recorded.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741