UK pig supply remained tight in December

UK clean pig slaughterings in December 2013 were below those recorded 2012, according to new figures from BPEX.

The throughput during the final month of last year totalled 758,300 head, which was 1% lower than in December 2012.

All parts of the UK recorded similar trends, with the English kill down by 1% and Scottish and Northern Irish numbers both down by 2%.

The figures mean that UK slaughterings for the year as a whole reached 10.05 million head, which is 12,000 more than in 2012.

This stability in throughput came despite a fall in the breeding herd last year, which suggests a further rise in productivity from the industry. The number of pigs slaughtered per sow averaged 23.0 in 2013, up from 22.3 in 2012.

As had been the case all year, clean pig carcase weights were much heavier in than in 2012. In December the average of 79.2kg being 1.5kg more than a year earlier.

This meant that, despite the lower slaughterings, pig meat production for the month was marginally up on the year at 62,500 tonnes.

Total production for the whole of 2013 was 832,900 tonnes, which was 1% more than in 2012.

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