UK pork growth continues but not by as much as Defra said

UK pork production rose by around 4% year-on-year in February, having increased by a little over 2% in January, according to AHDB Pork’s reading of the latest figures from Defra.

A switch in Defra’s data reporting methodology made it look as if the January and February increases were much larger, however, apparently rising by 8% and 9% respectively. AHDB Pork explained that those totals “over-stated” what has actually happened since the turn of the year.

“While historically, data has always been published for ‘statistical months’ (based on either four or five full weeks), from now onwards they will be on a calendar month basis,” said AHDB Pork. “That means the figures for February 2016 cover one more working day than February 2015 (due to the leap year). Similar adjustments will be required for future months, to account for the differing numbers of working days from year to year.”

Taking “adjusted” figures for sow slaughterings, however, AHDB Pork said they revealed “another significant rise” in February, climbing 12% on the same month last year, with weekly throughputs reaching their highest level since November 2012.

“This adds further weight to suggestions that some producers may be starting to reduce the size of their herds,” said AHDB Pork.

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