UK production growth continues
Latest figures from Defra appear to show a 9% year-on-year rise in UK pork production in February. However, a change in methodology means that this growth is overstated and the increase was actually around 4%.
Similarly, the apparent 8% uplift in clean pig slaughterings was in reality a rise of little over 2%, similar to the increase seen in January. The explanation is that, while historically data has always been published for ‘statistical months’ (based on either four or five full weeks), from now onwards they will be on a calendar month basis. That means the figures for February 2016 cover one more working day than February 2015 (due to the leap year). Similar adjustments will be required for future months, to account for the differing numbers of working days from year to year.
The adjusted figure for sow slaughterings shows another significant rise, of 12%, compared with February 2015. Weekly throughputs were at their highest level since November 2012. This adds further weight to suggestions that some producers may be starting to reduce the size of their herds. As well as this, heavy carcase weights continue to contribute to the growth in pig meat production. The average clean pig weight of 83.3kg was half a kilo lower than in January but still represented the second heaviest weight on record.
Stephen Howarth, Market Specialist Manager
Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org, 024 7647 8856