February 21, 2017


UK pork supplies in January fall by over 5%



UK clean pig slaughterings in January were in the same level as in January last year, but it can be said that slaughterings were over 5% lower than a year earlier at 849,600 head, since there was an extra working day in January this year compared with 2016, according to AHDB Pork.


"Overall, this continues the trend of lower slaughterings seen in previous months, driven by the fall in the size of the breeding herd that occurred last year", the pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board noted.


Sow slaughterings were 17% lower than in the previous year at 19,200 head, according to figures released by the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, or Defra. This is after figures were adjusted to account for the change in reporting methodology and extra working day in January 2017. This also followed the trend seen in the previous month, possibly due to the smaller breeding herd, or fewer sows to be slaughtered.


Carcase weights were in the same level as the same month in 2016 at an average 83.8 kilogrammes, the first time since 2015 that weights have not increased. "This all meant that while pork production in January appeared to be level at 74,000 tonnes, this apparent stability was again due to there being an extra working day in 2017, and production on a like for like basis was actually 5% lower", AHDB Pork said.


Pig meat exports


Meanwhile, the volume of UK pig meat exports in December 2016 increased 3% year-on-year to over 15,600 tonnes, the first hike since August. It was the highest volume exported in the month of December since 1999.


The value of pig meat exports in December also increased, by 26% year-on-year to £22.2 million (US$27.65 million), helped by further currency movements. 


The volume of UK pig meat exported for the whole 2016 was 10% higher than 2015 at nearly 206,000 tonnes, the highest since 1999, while the value of pig meat exports climbed by 28% on the year in 2016 at nearly £252 million ($313.8 million). 


Imports of pig meat into the UK in December rose 32% on the year at nearly 43,000 tonnes.
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