Pig meat production falls in November

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.

Carcase weights

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.

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