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AHDB Pig Market Weekly

25 May 2012

AHDB UK Market Survey - 25 May 2012AHDB UK Market Survey - 25 May 2012

HMRC data shows that in the first quarter of 2012 the UK exported a fifth more red meat offal than it did in the corresponding period of 2011, with volumes totalling 13,700 tonnes.


UK offal exports grow

With higher prices being paid the value of this trade increased 37 per cent to £12.2 million. This increase in trade was against a drop in production of five per cent.

The bulk of this offal was from pigmeat production with this product representing well over half of red meat offal exports. Shipments of this totalled 9,100 tonnes, an increase of 22 per cent on 2011 levels. The main destination was the Netherlands which accounted for over a quarter of shipments. Overall EU-27 Member States took two thirds of pigmeat offal exports from the UK with a number of Asian countries also taking a significant proportion. There was a considerable increase in the unit values of these exports with the total value increasing by 56 per cent to £7.0 million.

Exports of sheep offal almost doubled to 1,300 tonnes. The vast majority of these shipments were destined for the EU. However the importance of the non-EU market grew, accounting for over a fifth of shipments compared with only nine per cent a year before. The value of these exports also nearly doubled to £1.6 million as unit values increased slightly.

Beef offal volumes went against the trend and recorded a marginal decrease, to 3,300 tonnes, as production was eight per cent lower due to fewer cattle being slaughtered. The majority of shipments went to non-EU trading partners, accounting for 53 per cent of volumes. Within these markets the main trend was large increases to various African countries generally at the expense of far eastern markets. The value of these exports increased by almost one per cent to £3.6 million as a result of slightly increased unit values.

Exports of poultry offal were also higher than 2011 levels, recording an increase 57 per cent to total 9,000 tonnes. Non-EU markets accounted for almost three quarters of all poultry offal exports with a number of Asian and African countries recording considerable increases on 2011 levels. Unit values were also higher with the total value of these exports up almost two thirds at £5.6 million.

Pig market trends


Deadweight pig prices continued their seasonal upward trend during week ended 19 May, with the EU-spec DAPP rising by 0.63p to average 149.02p per kg. In recent weeks, the rate of increase has been lower than during the spring of 2011 as poor weather reduced consumer demand and the weaker euro reduced the competitiveness of British pig meat. Estimated slaughterings remain comfortably above 2011 levels, another reason why the price rise is less rapid than a year ago.

The weaner market remains difficult, with finishers reluctant to take on higher numbers while feed prices remain high. The average 30kg weaner price eased back by a few more pennies to £44.21 per head for week ending 26 May, its lowest level since before Christmas.

The weakening of the euro has led to some easing back of the cull sow price since late March as the GB price tends to be close to the price in Germany, the main market for sow meat. The fall in prices continued during week ended 19 May with the average price dropping just over a penny to 116.42p per kg dw.

Regional Slaughterings

UK clean pig slaughterings in April 2012 totalled 934,000 head, five per cent higher than in April 2011. Both England & Wales and Northern Ireland recorded increased clean pig slaughterings, up six and seven per cent respectively. Scottish throughputs were down four per cent, reflecting the reduction in the Scottish herd recorded in the December census. Nevertheless, Scottish clean pig throughputs in the first four months of 2012 were still seven per cent higher than a year earlier. Across the UK, total clean pig slaughterings in the year to date were three per cent up year on year at 3.41 million head.

Slaughterings of cull sows and boars during April totalled 24,500 head, almost all in England. This was four per cent higher than AHDB’s estimate for April 2011. Throughputs for the January to April period were two per cent above year earlier levels.

The average clean pig carcase weight during April was marginally higher than a year earlier at 77.8kg, as was the average carcase weight for cull sows and boars at 152kg. The net result was that total pig meat production in April was six per cent higher than a year earlier at 76,000 tonnes. Total production for the year to date was up three per cent at 282,000 tonnes.

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