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UK/EU Pig Statistics - June 2007

by 5m Editor
5 July 2007, at 12:00am

This article provides an overview of the latest statistics relating to pigs in the UK and Europe and includes Slaughter figures, Carcase weights, Pigmeat production, trade and supplies and UK and EU Prices and value of pigs. Extracted from the quarterly pig bulletin published by Defra.

1. Pig slaughterings

The graph below illustrates the trends in the monthly results and the average weekly slaughter:

In 2006 slaughtering of clean pigs were 1% lower when compared to 2005. For the first five months of 2007 the overall clean pig slaughterings are up 5% on the previous year.

There was a significant reduction in sow and boar slaughterings in 2005, with almost 40 thousand head less slaughtered than in the previous year. This decline continued through to August 2006, however the final months of 2006 saw a marked increase in the numbers slaughtered, reflected by the reduction in the breeding herd in December 2006.

For the first five months of 2007 overall sow and boar slaughterings have seen a 13% increase compared to the same period in 2006, with every month showing a rise in slaughterings compared to the year previous.

EU pig slaughterings

Numbers of EU pig slaughterings are only available in total, as the statistical legislation does not require Member States to differentiate between clean and cull slaughterings. At the time of publication only EU 25 slaughter data available.

In 2006 although some countries showed moderate increases and some declined the overall slaughterings showed a small increase when compared to 2005. In the first three months of 2007 the Netherlands is showing a small decrease whilst all other countries are showing increases.

2. Carcase weights

In 2006 there was a small decline in the average clean pig carcase weight compared to the average of 75.2 kilogramme seen in 2005, this suggests that the rise in weights seen in recent years has now halted due to housing restrictions and buyer needs being met. So far in 2007 weights have been just slightly higher than the previous year with the exception of April which showed a slight decrease.

Since 2003 sow and boar average carcase weights have fallen year on year. The average weight in 2006 was around 8 kilogrammes lower than that of 2003. The average weight so far for 2007 shows a 1% increase when compared to the same period in 2006.

3. Pigmeat production, trade and supplies

Pigmeat production is calculated from information on slaughterings and average carcase weights. A separate quarterly survey of bacon and ham production provides data on the amount of pigmeat that is cured. The quantity of pork produced is calculated as the difference between total pigmeat production and the quantity cured.

There are several measures of production used within this section. They are defined as follows:

  • Home killed production: Meat produced from all pigs slaughtered in the UK.
  • Home fed production: Meat produced from all pigs fattened in the UK. This measure includes the carcase meat equivalent of live (non-breeding) pig exports but excludes the carcase meat equivalent of pigs imported for immediate slaughter.
  • Home cured production: This relates only to bacon and ham production and is a measure of the quantity of bacon and ham cured in the UK wherever the origin of the pigmeat.

In 2006 pigmeat production fell by 1% compared to the year previous, with pork production showing a slight decrease. For the first five months of 2007 pigmeat production has risen by 6% compared to the previous year.

In 2006 around 85% of the total pigmeat produced in the UK was used for pork and 15% for bacon and ham.

In 2006 home cured production fell by 3% compared to the level seen in 2005, with the amount sourced from home killed pigs remaining steady at 48%. In the first quarter of 2007 home cured production fell by 8% compared to quarter one of 2006.

All pigmeat trade data (except imports of bone in pork from Denmark) are sourced from UK Intrastat data (EU) and Revenue and Customs (Non-EU). Bulgaria and Romania are shown as EU-27 in 2006 for comparability. The UK Intrastat data is thought to under record the level of bone in pork imported from Denmark so Danish Intrastat data on exports to the UK for the same commodity codes have been used instead. The import and export data exclude meat offals and preserved or manufactured products.

In 2006, imports were 3% higher than the previous year, with imports from Denmark 5% higher and imports from the Irish republic 11% lower. In the first quarter of 2007 imports rose by 12% compared to 2006, in particular imports from Denmark in March were at a very high level. In 2006 exports were 4% higher than the previous year. In the first quarter of 2007 exports rose by 4% compared to a year earlier, with exports to the Netherlands continuing to rise, over 40% higher than the same period in 2006.


In total bacon and ham imports fell by 7% in 2006 compared to 2005. Much of this decline was due to a reduction in imports of Dutch bacon. In the first quarter of 2007 bacon and ham imports rose by 5% compared to quarter one of 2006. Exports of bacon and ham fell by 2% in 2006. In the first quarter of 2007 exports are showing a 9% increase compared to the same period in 2006.

In the first quarter of 2007 total new supply for pork rose by 12% compared to the same period in 2006.

In the first quarter of 2007 the total new supply of bacon and ham fell by 1% compared to quarter one of 2006, with a 8% drop in home production and a 5% increase in imports.

4. Pig Prices and Value of Pigs and Pigmeat Production

Source: Meat and Livestock Commission

The reference prices shown here run to the week ending 10th June 2007. In the latest week the UK reference price was €21.26 per 100kg above the EU average.

The following graph compares the average finished pig price with the average compound pig feed prices (GB). Compound feed prices are published retrospectively, three months after the end of the period concerned, to protect the commercial confidentiality of respondents. The latest published figures are for February 2007.

5. UK/EU Pig populations

For information on UK and EU Pig Populations which forms Chapter 5 of this report click here

Further Information

To read the full report, including tables (PDF - 18 pages), please click here

June 2007