EU production growth slows in August, but still up in the year to date
EU pig meat production fell slightly in August, compared with both July and year earlier levels. However, production remains 3% higher across the bloc in the year to date compared with 2017, according to data from Eurostat.
The fall in August was due to a combination of lighter carcase weights and the slaughter of fewer pigs. Throughputs were down 0.7%, compared with the same month last year, at 20.9 million head. Production was down by 1% compared with a year ago at 1.87 million tonnes.
Overall, the total number of pigs killed in the year to date reached 171.4 million head, 2.4% more than in the first eight months of last year.
Rising Spanish pig slaughterings continue to be a theme of 2018, and they rose again by 1.3% in August to 4.01 million head, not quite matching last month’s 11% growth. French throughputs too grew again in August to over 2 million head.
The Netherlands however recorded a smaller kill in August (-2.6%), also after impressive growth last month. In Germany, the largest EU pork producer, there was a 9% reduction in slaughter compared with year earlier levels. Again, this reflects a trend recorded throughout 2018, as while the major pork producing EU states have slaughtered more pigs so far this year, German slaughterings are down 1% in the year to date.
Duncan Wyatt, Lead Analyst
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