Backlog of market-ready pigs sees average carcase weight reach 90.6kg in January

In January, UK clean pig slaughter totalled 862,100 head – a 10% decline compared to last year. However, as AHDB analyst Felicity Rusk pointed out, January 2021 has two fewer working days than January 2020.

Slaughter of adult pigs fell in January, with throughputs falling by just under third (29%) on the year, totalling 14,400 head.

Ms Rusk said that the cull sow market has also been facing challenges with reports suggesting there have been some difficulties exporting carcases to the continent. “Reduced demand from processors and continental buyers will have limited the ability for producers to have sows culled,” she commented.

Clean pig carcase weights continued to rise in January, highlighting the ongoing challenges with the backlog of market-ready pigs on farms. Weights averaged 90.6kg – the heaviest on record by 1.6kg.

UK pig meat production totalled 80,300 tonnes in January, 6% less than in the previous year. However, as Mr Rusk again pointed out, when looking on a production per working day basis (not including weekends and bank holidays), January 2021 exceeded 2020, with production averaging 4,000 tonnes per working day in January 2021 – 3.0% more than in 2020.

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