At 845 thousand head, UK clean pig slaughterings in June were 2% lower than in the same month in 2016, according to latest data from Defra.
Furthermore, this takes slaughterings for the first half 2017 up to 5.1 million head, 6% lower than in the equivalent period last year. The estimated GB slaughterings data from AHDB indicates that the reduction continued into July.
The decline during June reflects the industry sentiment that UK pig meat supplies have been tight since the start of the year. Nonetheless, it is thought that the UK pig herd will recover during the second half of 2017, following an assumed contraction in the domestic breeding herd last year.
Sow slaughterings continued to decline in June to 21.6 thousand head, 7% lower than the same point last year, supporting reports that producers are no longer rationalising their herds.
Average clean pig slaughter weights in June declined for the fourth consecutive month, to 81.9kg, reiterating the sentiment that domestic pig meat supplies have been tight. The current weight is relatively stable on the same point last year.
A combination of a decline in slaughterings and a fall in average carcase weights has led to UK pig meat production falling by 2% on the year in June to 72.3 thousand tonnes.