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.
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.
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