UK slaughterings steady, but production up

UK clean pig slaughterings in January totalled 946,700 head, almost identical to the same month in 2013, according to Defra figures reported in the latest edition of Pig Market Weekly.

The BPEX publication reports that finished pig numbers remain constrained following the decline in the breeding herd during 2012. The number of pigs killed in England and Wales in January edged up marginally, but Scottish throughputs declined by 8%. In contrast, slaughterings in Northern Ireland increased by 1% compared with the same month last year.

The average clean pig carcase weight in January reached 81.20kg, up 2% from a year earlier and the heaviest on record. As a result, pig meat production during the month reached 80,500t. Which was also 2% above the previous year’s level.

Adult pig slaughterings in the first month of this year totalled 24,600 head, down 3% from January 2013. While average GB sow prices are not available, trends in the EU market suggest that the GB sow price is likely to have weakened as of late. If this is the case, lower cull sow numbers may reflect producer reluctance to sell their animals, given the low returns available for doing so

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