Latest EU data shows slaughter numbers down

Eurostat figures for October 2013 (the most recent available) show EU pig slaughterings totalled 22.1 million head, about 1% lower than in the same month of 2012.

This continued the trend recorded during most of the year, with throughputs for the first 10 months down by a similar proportion at 203.7 million head.

With carcase weights averaging somewhat heavier than in 2012, pig meat production during October was virtually the same as a year earlier, at a fraction under 2 million tonnes.

With many forecasts having suggested that slaughterings would be down in the second half of last year, these figures indicate that pigs were more plentiful than anticipated, and BPEX suggests this has contributed to the falling prices seen across the EU since the summer.

The three largest pig meat producers, Germany, Spain and France, all recorded year-on-year falls of 1-2% in slaughterings and production for October.

Danish throughputs were similar to a year earlier, while some countries, including Italy, Poland and Belgium, recorded modest increases.

Despite the fall in October, Germany killed 1% more pigs in the first 10 months of the year, partly due to increased live imports.

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