UK production higher in August

The UK produced 81,800 tonnes of pig meat in August, with 947,000 clean pigs slaughtered according to data published by Defra. Production in the month was 4.5% higher (3,500 tonnes) than in August 2017.

Following a challenging July, where CO2 shortages limited slaughtering, last month clean pig throughputs across the UK were higher by 7% overall (63,400 head), and 14% in Scotland. UK sow slaughter was 15% higher (3,000 head) than in July. Carcase weights picked up slightly to 82.8kgs for clean pigs in August, although sow weights fell slightly.

This brings total production for the year so far to 614,500 tonnes, which is a 4.7% increase (27,700 tonnes) compared with the same period last year. Clean pigs continue to be plentiful; year to date slaughter is now over seven million head, 273,000 more than at the same point in 2017.

Although prices have been relatively stable throughout the summer, they are now showing signs of softening. With limited domestic demand growth and a small fall in exports, it may now be that as production growth has picked up again after slowing in June and July, the additional supplies are coming to bear on the market.

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