Slow EU pork production growth at start of 2021

Thursday, 27 May 2021

By Bethan Wilkins

The latest figures from the EU Commission show that EU pig meat production increased year-on-year across January and February- up by 1% to 3.97 million tonnes. This was driven by a 5% increase in February, as production in January was 2% lower than in 2020.

This is a similar level of growth to that seen for 2020 overall, and aligns with forecasts that pig meat production would also be a little higher in the first half of 2021.

Clean pig slaughter, meanwhile, was stable during January-February compared to a year earlier, totalling 41.2 million head. The December census results for Germany and the Netherlands, both major producers, indicated breeding herd decline. This may constrain production levels going forward, though trends in physical performance and from other nations may limit the overall impact on EU supply.

There were differences in the outputs from member states across January and February this year, when compared with a year earlier. Denmark led the growth, with production volumes up 16% (+42,000 tonnes) on a year earlier. The December census results did indicate an increase in the Danish pig herd and on top of this Germany’s ASF status reduces the incentive to export live animals there. Poland and Belgium also recorded noticeable increases in production, both of around 17,000 tonnes.

However, Germany and France both recorded falls in production levels, of 4% (-35,000 tonnes) and 3% (-12,000 tonnes) respectively.

Image of staff member Bethan Wilkins

Bethan Wilkins

Senior Analyst - Red Meat

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