Photo of EU pig meat production falls in April

Bethan Wilkins


AHDB Pork Market Intelligence


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EU pig meat production falls in April

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In April EU pig meat production fell by 9% on the year to 1.8 million tonnes, according to latest data from the EU Commission.

It is worth bearing in mind that April 2017 had three fewer working days, due to Easter. Therefore, on a like for like basis EU pig meat production in April was 7% up on year earlier levels.  However, this should be treated with caution as some abattoirs would have increased their daily kill to compensate for fewer working days. Year to date (January to April) pig meat production is 2% down on the same period in 2016 at 7.7 million tonnes.

EU pig supplies reportedly remained tight in April, with slaughterings for the month falling by 10% on the year to 19.2 million head.  However, taking into account the fewer working days this year, slaughterings were 5% up on the year. Carcase weights in April were over 1.6kg heavier than year earlier levels, suggesting producers have been increasing animal weight to offset the tight supply situation witnessed so far this year and the high pig prices.


On an individual country basis nearly all, excluding Hungary, reported an annual fall in pig meat production April. In Germany, the EU’s largest pig meat producer, output fell by 10% on the year in April to 426 thousand tonnes. While it is important to remember the fewer working days during the month, year to date German pig meat production is down 3.2% on the year. Danish pig meat production recorded a smaller loss of 1% on the year in April, with year to date output down 2% on the same period last year at 513 thousand tonnes. Spain is the second largest producer in the EU and production in April was down as much as 15% on a year earlier and no doubt the Easter holidays contributed to this development, as year to date production was only 1% lower.

Millie Askew, Senior Analyst, 024 7647 8968