EU production growth slowing in February
Provisional figures from the EU Commission show that EU pig meat production increased year-on-year in February – up 6% to 1.95 million tonnes. There was one extra working day this year, due to the leap year, so if working day production was compared like for like, this was equivalent to a rise in production of just 1%.
This represents a slowdown in growth compared with much of 2015, which supports forecasts that supplies will begin to tighten throughout the year. Similarly, clean pig slaughterings were up 5% in February on the year earlier, to 21.4 million head but this effectively was only a marginal increase. Major producing member states illustrated in the December censuses that they are rationalising their breeding herds. New figures from Poland suggest this trend has continued since then, with its breeding herd in March 16% smaller than a year before.
There were fluctuations in the outputs from member states in February when compared with a year earlier. Spain led the march, with production volumes up 14% on a year earlier. Following the results from the December census, showing Spain increasing its pig herd, this increase in unsurprising. Germany and France also recorded increases in production, both at 6%. However, Denmark and the Netherlands both recorded falls in production levels (-6% and -10% respectively). This fall was despite the longer working month, so may actually represent a greater fall than recorded, although reporting periods are thought to have changed, for Denmark at least.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741