EU pig slaughter levels stable in June

Pig slaughter in the EU has stabilised in recent months, with slaughter levels coming in at 20.1 million head in June, a very slight increase on the two previous months. The number of pigs slaughtered in the EU in June was 1% higher than in the same month last year.

“This represents an easing in the trend for increased slaughter levels seen for much of the year so far, with the total for the first half of the year up by 3% at 123.9 million head,” said AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins.

EU pig meat production remained stable in June at 1.87 million tonnes, which could indicate that carcase weights have been slightly lower recently. Production for the first half of the year overall was up by 4% from last year at 11.8 million tonnes, showing that carcase weights were above year earlier levels for much of the first half of 2021.

Denmark, Italy and Poland all recorded noticeably lower slaughter than a year earlier in June. The largest declines were from Denmark and Italy, at around 10%.

The overall modest increase was driven by the Netherlands, where slaughter was nearly 25% higher than the particularly low figure from last June.

“With Europe currently oversupplied with pork, there is much interest in whether supplies are showing any sign of tightening,” said Ms Wilkins. “While these latest production figures don’t point toward a contraction in pork production, it does at least seem that volumes aren’t particularly increasing.

“The mid-year EU pig census numbers are currently being released. We will update you on the results, and what they mean for the EU pig meat production outlook, when more countries have published their numbers in the coming weeks.”

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