UK production of pigmeat in January was 7% down on January 2022 due to a combination of lower slaughter numbers and lower carcase weights.
The latest production figures released from Defra show the UK produced 79,400 tonnes of pig meat in January, down 500 tonnes from December 2022, and 6,100 tonnes below volumes seen at the same time last year.
The production of pig meat in January 2023 is the lowest monthly figure since January 2021, sitting 4% (-3,400 tonnes) behind the 5-year average for the month.The decline in production has been driven by reduced slaughterings, amid clear signs of tighter supplies and shortages of pigs. The clean pig kill for January stood at 863,700 head, down 21,900 head from December 2022 and 9,100 head behind numbers seen this time last year. Following the same pattern as production volumes, this is the lowest monthly number of clean pigs slaughtered since January 2021.
However, the slaughter figures do not suggest as big a dip in pig beings processed as AHDB’s weekly estimates, which suggested 35,000 fewer pigs were slaughtered in January than a year ago, although the two data sets measures slightly different timeframes, while the AHDB figures are for GB, not the entire UK.
Average carcase weights for January were up 1.6kg from December at 88.9kg, sitting 0.7kg above the 5-year average. However, year on year carcase weights have fallen by 5.4kg as the backlog of pigs seen in early 2022 has cleared.