GB pig feed production lifts

Thursday, 10 June 2021

By Bronwyn Magee

Total GB pig feed production in the year to April rose 2% (10,900 tonnes) year-on-year, totalling 666,200 tonnes.

This rise was mainly driven by an increase in the production of finishing feed, up 4% (14,100 tonnes) compared to the same period last year to 335,600 tonnes. Increases were also seen in growing feed production, up 3% (3,800 tonnes) year-on-year.

The rise in the production of finishing feed supports the lift in pig slaughter we have seen in recent months. This comes as the backlog of pigs on farm at the end of 2020 came forward earlier than anticipated, with strong progress made in March. Pigs have also been heavier this year, due to the backlog earlier, on top of a trend in taking pigs to heavier weights. There is also some evidence that feed efficiency has worsened.

Looking at breeding feed, production held relatively steady in the year to April, dropping back just 0.4% on the same period last year. Sow slaughter had been elevated on year earlier levels in previous months, likely influenced by previous logistical issues exporting carcases to Europe. However, revised April slaughter figures suggest breeding herd contraction is possibly now less likely to be underway, with sow slaughter 11% lower than April last year. The minimal change seen in breeding feed production supports this.

In our latest pork market outlook, we anticipated a 4% increase in pig meat production for 2021, reflective of higher slaughter levels and elevated carcase weights. The increase in total pig feed production, particularly in finishing feed, supports this view. We will be releasing a new outlook at the end of July.

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