EU pig meat production consistent in August

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At 1.9 million tonnes, EU pig meat production in August was unmoved on year earlier levels, according to the latest data from the European Commission. However, at 15.3 million tonnes, accumulated year to date production to August is 2% lower year on year, reflecting generally reduced production so far in 2017.

Pig supplies in August this year were 1% lower than in 2016, with slaughterings totalling just over 21.2 million head. Likewise, year to date slaughterings were down 2% year on year. Considering the stability in production volumes, carcase weights in August are implied to have risen compared to year earlier figures, offsetting the decline in number of pigs slaughtered.

Following sharp falls throughout July, the EU reference price stabilized before beginning to climb slightly in August, indicating that supplies were balanced with demand. Given that production so far this year has been lower year on year, we can infer that demand remained subdued in August, albeit improved on last year.

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Many key producing member states reported consistent production volumes in comparison to last year. Production in Germany, the bloc’s largest producer, was in line with year earlier figures at 468 thousand tonnes, while year to date production remained 1% lower. Spanish production recorded a similar trend, and was stable on the year at nearly 326 thousand tonnes, with year to date production only 0.4% lower on the year. Denmark and the Netherlands were the most prominent exceptions to this trend, with production in August rising 5% and 4% above year earlier levels to 104 thousand tonnes and 127 thousand tonnes respectively, though year to date production remained lower.

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Annie Linekar, Trainee Analyst

annie.linekar@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8723