Pig supplies remain plentiful in April
At 893,800 head, pig slaughterings in April remained well above their level in the same month last year, according to latest figures from Defra.
Allowing for a change in reporting periods, the latest figure is around 5% higher than in April 2015, although the increase is slightly higher than indicated by other sources, so may be subject to revision. If correct, the rise represents the strongest growth of the year to date and, in this context, it is encouraging that pig prices showed signs of firming during the month.
Adding to supply levels, carcase weights for clean pigs remained well above last year’s level. The average weight during April was 82.3kg, around 600g lighter than in March but 700g heavier than in April 2015. Sow slaughterings also remained inflated, with 22,400 head slaughtered during the month, 12% more than the adjusted figure for a year before. This continues the trend of the year so far and supports the expectation that some contraction in the breeding herd may be continuing. These factors all combined to drive a substantial 6% rise in pig meat production, which totalled 76,800 tonnes during the month.
Stephen Howarth, Market Specialist Manager
Stephen.email@example.com, 024 7647 8856