May UK pig production bucks the trend

UK production of pig meat increased year-on-year for the first time this year in May.

Production reached 74,300 tonnes during the month, up 1% compared with the same month in 2016, due to higher throughputs of clean pigs and sows. The increase occurred despite falling carcase weights.

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May saw 870,800 clean pigs slaughtered, 83,300 more than in April and nearly 1% higher than a year earlier. Clean pig carcase weights have been declining for the past few months and this typical seasonal trend continued into May with the average weight coming in at 82.1kg. This is a further 900g lighter than the month before, although 600g heavier than in May last year.

Sow slaughterings increased slightly month on month, to 19,300, although the longer-term downward trend persists. The figure is 7% below that seen in May 2016 and further supports the view that stability is gradually coming into the breeding herd.

Tight supplies continue to drive high prices with the Standard Pig Price of nearly 162p/kg for the week ending June 17 more than 40p higher than the equivalent week in 2016.

GB slaughterings appeared to confirm the tight supply situation, despite the May figures. For the week ended June 17, they were estimated at 161,100, down by 4,200 compared on the previous week, and the lowest throughput since Easter. Compared to a year earlier they were down by 6,600 head, or 4%

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About The Author

Editor of Pig World and contributor to LBM’s other farming publications. Also National Pig Association webmaster. Formerly political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years. Enjoy a bit of media punditry. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm. Work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Under-9 football coach and big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.