The latest Defra data shows that the UK produced 83,900 tonnes of pig meat in November, a drop of 2% (1,600 tonnes) compared to the same month last year, with a decline in GB slaughter driving the overall decline.
However, production for the year-to-date totalled 898,100 tonnes, 2% more when compared to the same period in 2019.
A total of 908,700 clean pigs were slaughtered in November, a 6% (53,300 head) drop compared to the same month in the previous year, and 7% lower than October’s figures.
“We had forecast a slight increase in slaughter pig availability for Q4 but this has not come through in the slaughter figures. However, reports indicate a noticeable backlog of pigs has developed on farm, with abattoir throughputs restricted due to COVID-19 challenges,” ADHB analyst Bronwyn Magee reported.
Across England, Wales and Scotland, clean pig slaughter was 8% (62,000 head) down on November last year. In Northern Ireland, however, throughput was 5% higher than last year.
Cumulative clean pig slaughter for Jan-Nov totals to 9.97 million head, virtually on par with 2019.
Clean carcase weights averaged 89.1kg, an increase of 0.82kg on the previous month and 3.59kg heavier than those seen a year ago.
“This is the heaviest clean carcase average on record. While rising carcase weights have been a long-term trend, such a large increase is likely the result of delayed pig slaughter due to the backlog waiting on farms,” Ms Magee added.