According to the latest figures from Eurostat, there was a 4% decline in EU pig slaughterings in January 2014 compared to 12 months earlier.
BPEX said the January figure of 21.2 million head indicated a tight supply situation in the early part of the year, and a decline in some carcase weights during the month meant that overall pig meat production in the EU was actually down by 5% on the year at 1.9 million tonnes.
Most major producers slaughtered fewer pigs in January, with Denmark and Italy recording falls of 23% and 16% respectively, although declines on this scale are very unlikely to be sustained.
The number of pigs killed in Germany came down by 3% and in Spain by 5%, with smaller falls in Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands.
In contrast, Poland was the only major producer that recorded a sizeable increase in slaughterings, up by about 4% year on year. French throughputs were also up but by less than 1%.