UK pig production to move up later this year
The current tight supply of pigs is expected to ease by the second half of 2017, with slaughterings expected to rise further in 2018, according to the latest forecasts from AHDB Pork.
Currently the breeding herd is expected to be edging up again, driven by the improved financial situation of producers. Furthermore, market conditions are expected to remain favourable in the coming months, supporting continued growth in the breeding herd. Physical performance is also forecast to continue moving up and by the fourth quarter of 2017 slaughterings and production are expected to rise by 2% and 3% respectively on the year.
The trade balance will remain critical for the UK pig market outlook, with currency movements remaining a watch point. However, it appears imports have continued to increase in the first two months of this year. Eventually though it is assumed that trade will level off or even ease back, partly since EU production is now declining. On the export side, falling UK production is limiting export availability at present. However, an upturn in exports is expected during the latter half of the year, in line with a rise in UK production and helped by ongoing demand from China.
Taking account of expected developments in production and trade, supplies available for consumption in the UK are forecast to be tighter, especially in the first part of the year. This in turn will help ensure ongoing firm market conditions. However, the decline in consumer demand for pork and external factors could impact on this reasonably positive outlook.
To read more about the outlook for UK pig meat supplies, click here.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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