January 24, 2024


UK pork production in December 2023 fell by 14,300 tonnes




The United Kingdom produced 71,900 tonnes of pork in December 2023, a substantial decline of 14,300 tonnes compared to the same month the previous year, according to the latest Defra figures.


The amount concludes another challenging year for the UK pork industry. For the full year of 2023, the UK produced 927,400 tonnes of pork, an 11% year-on-year decline and the lowest annual volume recorded since 2018.


Carcase weights have been lower throughout 2023 compared to 2022, averaging at 89.1kg. However, the predominant driver in reduced pig meat production comes from a sharp fall in the number of pigs slaughtered, not weight.


Clean pig kill in December totalled 781,800 head, a loss of over 177,000 head from December 2022, despite reported efforts to pull pigs forwards ahead of Christmas. Adverse wet weather conditions caused flooding and wider disruption during the month and may have had an impact on throughputs.


For the full year, clean pig kill last year fell 10% year-on-year to 10.06 million head, the lowest annual clean pig kill in a decade (in 2013, the UK clean pig was 10.05 million head).


Sow and boar kill has also fallen in the year, down 15% year-on-year, likely due to the contraction seen in the UK pig herd throughout 2022 and 2023.



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