UK pig production increases in November
Clean pig slaughterings in November totalled 964.1 thousand head, according to the latest data from Defra, almost 2% higher than the same month of 2016. Despite this, year to date slaughterings remain 2% behind year earlier levels, reflecting lower slaughterings in the first half of 2017.
In mid-November, a major Scottish plant reopened following temporary closure since August. Scottish slaughterings were 28% lower year-on-year in November, following production declines of around 75% in September and October, highlighting the effect of this plant closure. Although Scottish slaughterings remained subdued in November, given the low baseline (3% of UK clean pig slaughter on average), the effect on overall UK slaughterings was compensated by growth in other regions. On a regional basis, slaughterings in England and Wales were up 1% on the year in November, and up 8% in Northern Ireland in the same period.
November UK pig meat production was 3% higher on the year at 84,200 thousand tonnes, although year to date production remains 1% lower than year earlier levels. In the same period, carcase weights rose a notable 1.4kg to 84.2kg. This was an 800g decline compared to the previous month, potentially signifying the slowing of the trend of exceptionally heavy weights witnessed in the previous few months.
Sow and boar slaughterings were 11% lower on the year in November, at 20,100 head, while year to date slaughterings remain 10% lower at 213,300 head.
Annie Linekar, Trainee Analyst
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