February figures show 4% increase on 2014 for clean pig kill

February returns reveal a 4% rise in clean pig kill numbers over February 2014 and a 6% rise in total pigmeat production, according to BPEX.

Quoting the latest Defra data, BPEX reported that clean pig slaughterings in the UK in February were 4% up on the year at 815,800 head.

“This provides confirmation of industry reports of continued ample supplies at that time,” said BPEX.  “Northern Ireland again reported the highest increase in kill as growth in its herd becomes evident throughout the supply chain, but all parts of the UK recorded year-on-year growth.”

Sow and boar slaughterings were reportedly 2% back on last February, however, at 19,100 head.

“As cull sow prices continue to be poor, increased retention is likely as sow replacement becomes less economically attractive,” said BPEX, warning that this could negatively impact the efficiency of production in the coming months.

The Defra figures also show that, although carcase weights were down marginally on January, at 82.3kg, this was over a kilogram heavier than in February 2014. This, alongside higher throughputs, resulted in a 6% year on year increase in pigmeat production, to 70,500 tonnes for the month.

“Finally,” added BPEX, “as slaughterings for the first two months of 2015 are up on those in 2014 by almost 3%, the downward movement of finished pig prices clearly continues to be, in part, supply driven.”

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