EU production levels are starting to stabilise, based on provisional figures from the European Commission (EC) which show EU pigmeat production down 1% year-on-year in March this year, according to AHDB Pork.
“This represents a slowdown in growth compared with much of 2015, supporting forecasts that supplies will begin to tighten throughout 2016,” said AHDB Pork, adding that the 2016 report period also included an extra working day, versus 2015, making the 1% decline even more significant.
“Similarly, clean pig slaughterings were down 1% in March on the year earlier, to 22.4 million head.
“These production movements would suggest that the herd rationalisations starting to be recorded in the December censuses of major producing states are now starting to have a tightening effect on supplies.”
There were fluctuations, however, in the outputs from member states in March, according to the new EC figures. The UK, for example, recorded an output increase of about 5%, when compared with March 2015, with the Netherlands and Spain seeing year-on-year growth in production volumes of 9% and 2% respectively.
Other member states, meanwhile, recorded a fall in production, most notably Germany, with volumes down 8% on March 2015. Once again, these decreases were despite more working days during the month in 2016, so may actually represent a greater fall than recorded.