Higher throughputs support UK pig production in February

Monday, 16 March 2020

By Felicity Rusk

In February, UK clean pig slaughter reached 864,400 head, 3.6% (29,200 head) more than in the same month in the previous year. This continual growth in throughputs comes despite industry reports suggesting the supply of finishing pigs has been tight.

All UK regions recorded an increase in slaughter in February; however, it was the uplift in England & Wales that accounted for the majority.

  • England and Wales ↑3% to 687,00 head
  • Scotland ↑11% to 29,000 head
  • Northern Ireland ↑6% to 149,000 head

As such, in the first two months of this year, UK clean pig slaughter now totals 1.82 million head, 2.8% more than the same period last year.


Carcase weight

Finished pig carcase weights in February averaged 86.9 kg, 1.3kg more than in the previous year. Average weights were also 300g heavier than in January.

Adult pig slaughter

UK slaughter of sows and boars in February totalled 20,000 head, 5% more (1,000 head) than in the same week in the previous year. With the cull rate relatively low across last year, the age profile of the herd will have risen.  As such, we could continue to see an uplift in culling rates over the coming months.


Pig meat production reached 77,900 tonnes in February, 5% (3,800 tonnes) more than in the same month last year. As such, production in the first two months of this year totalled 163,600 tonnes, 4.1% more (6,500 head) than last year.



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