UK pork production boosted by high carcase weights in October

Thursday, 12 November 2020

By Charlie Reeve

UK clean pig throughput increased in October on the previous month, with total slaughter reaching 980,700 head. It was however down by 21,500 head compared to last year. October 2019 did have an extra weekday which would have increased killing capacity. Cumulative clean pig slaughter numbers for the first ten months of 2020 now total 9,065,000 head, an increase of 72,300 head on the same period in 2019.

Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales all had some level of increase on the previous month in the number of pigs coming forward during October. Increases in Northern Ireland’s pig production are still to a degree connected to the reopening of some processing facilities in Northern Ireland which had faced disruption during the summer.

In October, clean pig carcase weights averaged 88.3kg, an increase of 1.2kg on the previous month and 2.7kg on the October 2019. This is the first time on record that that monthly average clean pig weights have broken the 88kg barrier. An increase in the upper weight limits in many contracts is one of the factors behind this overall increase in the carcase weights of pigs coming forward.


UK throughput for sows and boars coming forward during October totalled 23,100 head. Throughput for sows and boars were up on both the previous month and the same month last year’s levels.

Overall pig meat production during October reached 89,900 tonnes, an increase of 7,400 tonnes on September’s volumes. Production is also marginally up on the same month last year by 1,000 tonnes. 

Charlie Reeve

Analyst - Livestock

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