EU pig slaughter more stable in June

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

By Bethan Wilkins

The number of pigs slaughtered in the EU in June was 1% higher than in the same month last year. At 20.1 million head, this was also a little higher than the previous two months, but below throughputs from early in 2021. This represents an easing in the trend for increased slaughter levels seen for much of the year so far, with the total for the first half of the year up by 3% at 123.9 million head.

In June, pig meat production was stable at 1.87 million tonnes, indicating that carcase weights have been slightly lower recently. Nonetheless, production for the first half of the year overall was up by 4% from last year at 11.8 million tonnes. This shows that for much of the first half of 2021, carcase weights were above year earlier levels.

Among major producers, Denmark, Italy and Poland all recorded noticeably lower slaughter than a year earlier in June. The largest declines were from Denmark and Italy, in the region of 10%, although monthly Danish figures do tend to be a little volatile (likely due to inconsistent reporting periods). The overall modest increase was driven by the Netherlands, where slaughter was nearly 25% higher than the particularly low figure from last June.

With Europe currently oversupplied with pork, there is much interest in whether supplies are showing any sign of tightening. While these latest production figures don’t point toward a contraction in pork production, it does at least seem that volumes aren’t particularly increasing.

The mid-year EU pig census numbers are currently being released. We will update you on the results, and what they mean for the EU pig meat production outlook, when more countries have published their numbers in the coming weeks.

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