The latest figures for August 2013 show a 6% year-on-year decline in EU pig slaughterings, to 19.2 million head.
Part of the annual decline is a result of an additional working day in August 2012 compared with the same month this year, but even allowing for this, the trend was downward.
BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly says the year-to-date figures showed a similar trend, but throughputs declined at a slower rate of 2% compared with the January to August period in 2012. Carcase weights in the eighth month were little changed from the previous year. As a result, pig meat production in August was down by the same amount (6%) to 1.68 million tonnes.
There was a contraction in production in most member states during August. One exception was Poland where output came up by 3% on the year, following a particularly sharp fall in August 2012.
Production in the Netherlands continued to decline in double digits, by far the largest drop among the major member states at 12%.
A year-on-year decline of 9% was recorded in Ireland, while production in Spain and France decreased by 8% compared with August 2012.
Germany, the largest pig meat producer on the Continent, reported a 6% drop and Danish throughputs were down by 7%.
Provisional data for September and October show different trends among the key pig producers, with German volumes similar to last year’s levels, but lower throughputs continuing in Denmark and the Netherlands.