UK clean pig slaughter picks up in February

Thursday, 11 March 2021

By Felicity Rusk

UK clean pig slaughter picked up in February. Throughputs totalled 905,100 head, 5.2% more than the previous year (+45,000 head). Recent reports suggest some progress has been made in addressing the backlog, which this slaughter data supports. However, while the size of the backlog has likely reduced, the reports also suggest there is still progress to be made to eradicate it completely.

Slaughter of adult pigs also picked up in February. Slaughter totalled 23,700 head, 3,800 head (18.9%) more than in the previous year. This reflects reports of improvements in exporting carcases to the continent.

Carcase weights

Clean pig carcase weights dropped back from the previous month’s record-breaking weight of 90.6kg. Weights fell by 0.6kg in February to average 89.9kg. This also supports reports that some of the backlog was addressed during February. Nevertheless, weights remain well above the previous year’s levels (+3.1kg).


The combination of heavier carcase weights and higher slaughter meant that February recorded considerable year-on-year growth. UK pig meat production totalled 84,900 tonnes in February, 9.5% more (7,400 tonnes) than in the previous year.

This increase was able to compensate for the lower production level seen in January. As such, production in the first two months of the year was 1.2% higher than in the previous year, at 165,100 tonnes.

Sign up for regular updates

Subscribe to receive pork market news straight to your inbox. Simply complete our online form.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.