EU pig slaughter climbed for a second consecutive month in September, totalling 20.9 million head – only slightly below slaughter in the same month in 2020.
Despite throughputs in major producing countries Germany and Denmark falling, by 6% and 10% respectively, these declines were offset by an 8% increase in Spanish slaughter. Across of the rest of the bloc, production fell only slightly.
The number of pigs slaughtered during the first three quarters of the year is now at 185.1 million head, which AHDB lea analyst for red meat, Duncan Wyatt, pointed out is 2% higher compared with the same period in 2020, and was ‘enough to keep the EU well supplied with pork’.
Mr Wyatt noted that pig meat production in September totalled 1.93 million tonnes, around 1% lower year on year, bringing production for the year to date to 17.41 million tonnes – 2% higher than during the first nine months of 2020.
He also noted that Prices for pigs in the EU have fallen dramatically over the past several month, as although pig meat exports from the region are up, they have not been able to keep pace with the increase in production.
“This means product is finding a home within the EU itself, and this is slowly replacing lost export opportunities,” he explained. “However, drawing out this demand has not been easy, it would probably need Chinese import demand to pick up in the New Year, to mark a quicker reversal of fortune for the sector.”