UK pigmeat production in the coming months may grow more slowly than previously forecast, according to BPEX.
Based on the larger than expected fall in the UK breeding herd recorded in the June survey, BPEX says that growth may “stall for a while” early next year. After that, however, pig slaughterings for most of 2015 can be expected to grow at a “similar rate” to that recorded since the spring of this year.
“Over the last five years, productivity has improved at a steady rate and this should be sustainable in the absence of major disruptions, such as disease outbreaks,” said BPEX. “Therefore, for most of the coming year, pig slaughterings should grow at a similar rate to that recorded since the spring. This means that they will be up around 2% on a year earlier, although growth may stall for a while early next year (assuming the June survey figures are accurate).”
Pigmeat production, meanwhile, is expected to rise slightly faster than slaughterings, due to a further small rise in carcase weights.
Commenting on EU prices, which have been well below UK ones all year, BPEX said they are expected to remain low. There is some encouragement for domestic producers, however, drawn from the fact that import growth has been modest so far this year, with retailers’ commitment to British pork remaining strong.
“Assuming this continues to be the case,” said BPEX, “there may only be limited further imports’ growth next year.”
The prospect for exports, however, remain good for the coming year, despite the strong pound and relatively high prices.