EU pigmeat growth continues to slow

EU pigmeat production is continuing to register a slowdown in growth, supporting forecasts that supplies will begin to tighten throughout the year, according to AHDB Pork.

Although provisional figures from the European Commission (EC) show that EU pigmeat production increased by 6% year-on-year in February, this was largely due to there being one extra working day this year, due to leap year.

“So, if working day production was compared like for like, this was equivalent to a rise in production of just 1%,” said AHDB Pork. “This represents a slowdown in growth compared with much of 2015.

“Similarly, clean pig slaughterings were up 5% in February on the year earlier, to 21.4 million head, but this effectively was only a marginal increase.”

AHDB Pork also pointed out that major producing member states illustrated in their December censuses that they are “rationalising” their breeding herds. In addition, new figures from Poland, for example, suggest this trend has continued since then, with its breeding herd in March 16% smaller than a year before.

“There were fluctuations in the outputs from member states in February when compared with a year earlier,” added AHDB Pork. “Spain led the march, with production volumes up 14% on a year earlier while Germany and France also recorded increases in production, both at 6%.

“However, Denmark and the Netherlands both recorded falls in production levels (-6% and -10% respectively). This fall was despite the longer working month, so may actually represent a greater fall than recorded.”

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