Pigmeat production in 2015 finished ahead beef on volume for the first time since 2003, according to the latest figures from Defra, as analysed by AHDB Pork.
Output of pigmeat increased by over 4% in 2015, to almost 900,000 tonnes, the fastest growth since 2011, despite a slight slowing of production in the second half of the year.
“The higher production was mainly due to a near 4% rise in clean pig slaughterings, with the total of just over 10.6 million head being the highest since 2000,” said AHDB Pork.
The advance in carcase weights also continued in 2015 but not to the extent to which weights increased in 2014. Through the autumn, in fact, weights were actually below year earlier levels but by December had moved slightly above December 2014 figures, to average 80.9kg.
“Sow slaughterings were also up again during December, by 7% to 16,600 head, which added to the production growth,” said AHDB Pork, noting that sow throughputs for the year totalled 244,400 head, 1% more than in 2014.