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Photo of Pig meat supplies stable in August

Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Pig meat supplies stable in August

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2019 \ September \ Pig meat supplies stable in August

Defra slaughter figures for August show a 1% decrease in clean pig slaughter compared with a year earlier, totalling 938,500 head. However, one fewer weekday in the month this year may have influenced this decline.

There were some differing trends throughout the UK. Slaughter was 3% lower in England and Wales, but a 10% (+15,000 head) increase in Northern Ireland partially compensated for this. Scottish slaughter was also 10% (+3,000 head) higher than last year.

Overall, pig supplies for the first six months of the year were about the same as last year during the same period.

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At 19,200 head, UK cullings of adult sows and boars fell by 19% compared with the same month in 2018. Despite relatively high cull sow prices, this was the largest annual decline since April 2017. A younger breeding herd was expected to lower the cull rate this year. However, such a large decline could also signal positive producer intentions, perhaps with expectations of improved margins. For the January-August period, sow and boar slaughter has fallen by 8% compared to last year.

The average monthly carcase weight increased to 84.2kg in August. This reduced the annual increase slightly, though it remained a substantial 1.4kg.

Despite a slight fall in pig numbers, the higher carcase weights meant that total pig meat production in August was similar to last year, at 81,900 tonnes.

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