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Photo of EU pig meat production in February still strong

Bethan Wilkins

Analyst

AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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EU pig meat production in February still strong

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2018 \ May \ EU pig meat production in February still strong

In February, EU pig slaughtering increased 1% on the year to 20.5 million head, according to data from Eurostat. This showed a slight slowdown in slaughterings compared to January, bringing the total for the first two months of the year to 43.9 million head, 4% (1.9 million head) higher than the same period last year.

Consistently heavier average carcase weights compared with a year ago raised EU pig meat production in February by 3%, to 1.9 million tonnes. For the first two months of 2018, EU production was 7% (252,000 tonnes) higher than the same period last year, at 4.1 million tonnes.

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The increase in EU pig slaughtering was supported by increases in throughputs from Spain, the second largest producer of pig meat in the EU. Spain reported a 4% increase in slaughterings year-on-year, as it actively grows both its white pig herd and exports. Denmark and the UK also reported increased throughputs on the year by 5% (72,000 head) and 12% (95,000 thousand head) respectively. These increases were more than enough to compensate for the decline in slaughterings recorded in Germany, the EU’s largest pig meat producer. Slaughterings there fell by 3% (157,000 head) on the year in February, a development which contributed to the rally in European farm gate prices seen at the time. However, a strong start to the year means that in the first two months of the year in total, German slaughterings were still 2% ahead (190,000 head) than at the same time in 2017. The European price has since softened suggesting the dip in German throughputs was temporary, and the market as a whole is likely to be again in a position of slight oversupply.

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Felicity Rusk, Trainee Analyst

Felicity.Rusk@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8818