Almost 3 million more pigs were slaughtered across the EU in the first quarter of this year than in the corresponding period in 2104, according to AHDB Pork.
At an increase of close to 5% on the year, the first quarter total this year reached 64.7m head. Even allowing for the effects of an earlier Easter, AHDB Pork said it is clear that “supplies were plentiful” during the period.
“With carcase weights slightly heavier than last year, pigmeat production was up by 6% during the quarter, at 5.86 million tonnes,” said AHDB Pork, adding that the percentage increase in March was into double figures, creating a record tonnage for the month.
“This may help to explain why the upward momentum in pig prices was not maintained in March. However, the fact that prices held up, albeit at a relatively low level, in the face of such high supplies, may indicate some firming of demand.”
AHDB Pork added that, according to early market indications, there “may have been some modest tightening of supplies in April” which helped to provide some support to prices during the month.