January 23, 2017
Pork production in the UK in 2016 increased 1% to 908,000 tonnes compared with the previous year, the highest recorded since 2000, latest data from the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) showed, according to AHDB Pork.
Pork production surpassed beef for the second consecutive year, a trend which had not been previously seen since 2003. The pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said the 2016 increase was almost entirely driven by the first half of the year, as production in the latter five months of 2016 fell behind year-earlier levels.
Clean pig slaughterings during the first four months of 2016 averaged 4% above year-earlier levels, which elevated production and put considerable pressure on pig prices.
The decline in clean pig slaughterings as the year progressed counteracted the earlier elevated numbers, leaving overall throughput for 2016 stable on the year at 10.6 million head.
Average carcase weights continued the long-term trend and were higher in 2016 compared with the previous year, averaging 82.2kg. Weights were up throughout the year but were particularly heavy in the early months when poor prices encouraged producers to hold back their pigs.