Earlier Easter boosts EU pork production in April
Figures from Eurostat show EU pig slaughterings in April were 21 million head, 10% higher year-on-year.
Combined with a slight increase in carcase weights, production was up by 11% at 1.95 million tonnes. The increase was entirely due to an extra two working days in April 2018 compared with a year earlier, partly due to the earlier Easter this year, and so the rate of slaughter itself was broadly similar to that in April 2017.
This brings the production figure for the first four months of the year to 8.1 million tonnes, with 87.4 million pigs slaughtered. This is an increase of 450,000 tonnes (+6%) compared with the same period last year.
This additional production contributed to softening prices on the continent, reaching a recent low of €139.71/100kg in the week ending 13 May. However pig prices have since been rising in Europe, implying a slight tightening of supply.
In terms of individual country performances, of the biggest pork producing nations, Spain continues to demonstrate particularly strong growth. Throughputs were 8% (+1.4 million head) higher than in the first four months of 2017 with 18 million pigs killed. Poland’s throughputs were also 460,000 higher (+6%) in the first four months, totalling 7.7 million head and slaughterings in the Netherlands were 9% higher, at 5.4 million head. In contrast, production in Germany has been comparatively stable year-on-year, showing only 1% growth.
Duncan Wyatt, Lead Analyst
Duncan.Wyatt@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8856