UK pig meat production at highest level in over 20 years

Production of pig meat in the UK was 1.02 million tonnes in 2021, according to data released by Defra, marking the highest production level since 1999.

Despite the problems the sector has been facing, production rose by 4% on 2020, and 11.1 million clean pigs were slaughtered in 2021, 2% more than in the previous year.

In December 2021, 952,000 clean pigs were slaughtered, the same number as last December, however, average carcase weights were significantly heavier at 90.9kgas many pigs were held on farms longer than planned.

Chart showing monthly UK clean pig slaughter

Duncan Wyatt, AHDB lead analyst for red meat, said that challenges in the sector remain, with processing capacity in some plants curtailed further in recent days as a result of high level of absenteeism due to the latest wave of coronavirus.

“Combined with less killing over the Christmas period, these factors will not have offered any help to reduce the backlog of pigs still being reported on farms,” said Mr Wyatt.

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