Q2 pig meat production shows greater than expected decline

UK pig meat production continued to trend below year earlier levels during the second quarter, with the year-on-year decline being slightly greater than anticipated, according to AHDB Pork’s latest outlook review.

“This was due to clean pig slaughterings falling 0.9% behind expectations, possibly due to the sow herd being below previous estimations,” said AHDB Pork. “As such, the recovery in production in the latter half of the year could be more stable than previously anticipated, without any significant growth on the horizon.

“Meanwhile, pig meat imports showed a surprisingly large (16%) increase on year earlier levels during January-May, contrasting reports of tight supplies on the market. This was particularly driven by higher imports of fresh/frozen pork, and as such it may be that these import figures are somewhat overstated. Imports are still expected to moderate in the latter half of the year, as the tight supply situation eases.”

On the export side, AHDB Pork reported a shipments fall, year-on-year, largely in line with expectations, following from the assumed contraction in available exportable supplies. Shipments had been anticipated to pick up in the latter half of the year, although this could be limited by Chinese import demand.

“Overall, the extent to which production picks up over the next few months, and the scale of export demand, will be key to determining the market balance in the third quarter,” said AHDB Pork. “Supplies look set to move closer in line with demand, which will likely limit any further upward momentum to the pig price.”

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Freelance journalist Colin Ley is Pig World's website news reporter