March 29, 2017


EU slaughterings in 2016 surprisingly up



Pig slaughterings within the EU were surprisingly up in 2016, though only marginally, given the decline in the breeding herd reported in December 2015 and June 2016.


The latest data from Eurostat showed that, at 257 million head, slaughterings increased by almost 1% from the previous year. AHDB Pork noted that this still represents a considerable slowdown on the growth rate of almost 3% in 2015.


A 4% slaughter growth on the year in December contributed to the overall small annual rise.


"Continuing improvements to sow productivity will have mitigated the impact of the smaller sow herd. At over 23 million tonnes in 2016, production was up ahead of the increase in slaughterings, as carcase weights averaged 0.5 kilogramme higher", the pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said.


Production in the final month of 2016 grew ahead of throughput, increasing by 6% on the year.


On a country basis, Spanish production was 5% higher year-on-year, with increasing vertical integration continuing to drive profitability and expansion.


The production growth of 3% in Poland was also above the EU average, while production in the primary producer, Germany, was stable on 2015.


Denmark reported a 2% decline, due to increasing numbers of young pigs being exported for finishing.
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