UK slaughter numbers flat in Q1

UK clean pig slaughter in March totalled 854,600 head, under 1% lower than the same month in 2018. Factory breakdowns had limited supplies for much of March, but higher throughput at the end of the month compensated for this.

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Throughput fell further in England and Wales, decreasing by over 1% to 683,000 head. Pig slaughter in Scotland also fell by 5% on a year earlier. However, throughput in Northern Ireland rose by 2%. DEARA slaughter figures show that this growth comes from a larger domestic supply, rather than live imports from the Republic.

Meanwhile, adult pig slaughter in March totalled 21,000 head, almost 4% lower than the same month in 2018. This is the second consecutive month of decline.

AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins said: “Clean pig carcase weights during the month averaged 85.1kg, up 2% on the same period in 2018 and on par with the elevated levels in February. Rolled pigs probably influenced this. Consequentially, pig meat production increased by 1% year on year to 75,800 tonnes in March.”

UK clean pig slaughter in the first quarter of this year showed some stability, with only a marginal decrease on a year earlier, to 2.63 million head. However, higher carcase weights boosted pig meat production, which was fractionally up at 232,200 tonnes.

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