UK/EU Pig Statistics - March 2006

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.
calendar icon 10 April 2006
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For the purpose of this notice, the 10 newly acceded EU states are still shown as candidate countries due to the lack of available data for the main pig statistical categories. These countries will be transferred and included within the EU data when figures become available.

1. Pig slaughterings

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

UK home killed clean pig slaughterings (th. head)

In 2004 9.1 million clean pigs were slaughtered in the UK, with July 2004 been the first month (other than in one FMD-distorted month) that there was not a decline in slaughtering since 1998.

In 2005 slaughtering of clean pigs were 2% lower when compared to 2004. (But 2004 was a 53-week statistical year, when converted to a 52-week basis, there were 8.951 million pigs slaughtered in 2004. Taking this into account, there was virtually no change). In 2006, both January and February have seen a decline in pig slaughterings compared to the year previous.

UK home killed sow and boar slaughterings (th. head)

There was a significant reduction in sow and boar slaughterings in 2005, seeing a 16% decline compared to 2004, when taking into account that 2004 was a 53 week statistical year. All months in 2005 saw declines, except for April and May which were unchanged on the same period a year previous. December cullings were particularly low. In the first two months of 2006 slaughterings have continued to fall year on year reflecting the reduction in breeding herd size, with February seeing a 22% decline.

EU 15 pig slaughterings

Numbers of EU 15 pig slaughterings are only available in total, as the statistical legislation does not require Member States to differentiate between clean and cull slaughterings.

In 2003 most producing member states (except France, the Netherlands and the UK) showed increases in slaughterings. In 2004 overall slaughterings in the EU 15 remained virtually unchanged, with only Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands showing a rise in slaughterings For the first eleven months of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004, Spain, France, Denmark, Italy and Belgium saw a decline in throughput, while all other producers, except Germany, saw virtually no change or only small increases to the numbers slaughtered.

Total pig slaughterings in the EU

2. Carcase weights

The rise in carcase weights for both clean pigs and sow and boars seen over recent years, confirmed that there was a permanent shift in processors specifications towards higher carcase weights. However this switch appears to be have slowed right down.

In 2003 at 74.2 kilogramme, the average clean pig carcase weight was 2% higher than the weight seen in 2002, and in 2004 at 74.7 kilogramme the weight again increased by 1%, with a weight increase seen in every month except October and December . For 2005 the average clean pig carcase weight rose marginally to 75.1 kilogramme compared to 2004, this halt is thought to be due to housing restrictions and buyer needs.

In 2003 Sow and Boar carcase weights rose by 3% compared to the weights seen in 2002. However, 2004 saw weights start to reduce with the year on year average 3 kilogramme lighter. This decline in weights continued into 2005, with the exception of April, August and December, every month saw lighter weights compared to the same month the year previous, with the average for 2005 being 2% lower than 2004. Both January and February 2006 have seen weights fall once again, at 146.4 kilogramme February’s weight was 7% lower than the weight in February 2005.

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.

Around 80% of the total pigmeat produced in the UK is used for pork and 20% for bacon and ham. In 2004, taking into account the 53-week statistical year, home killed production rose slightly by 1% per cent, with pork production at 597 thousand tonnes increasing by 3%. When the 2004 totals are converted to a 52 week-basis, pigmeat production at 706 thousand tonnes and pork production at 584 thousand tonnes, showed no change on 2003 production levels.

In 2005 pigmeat production and pork production levels are once again virtually unchanged compared to the year previous when 2004 is converted to a 52 week equivalent basis. If January and February 2006 pigmeat production fell by 5% compared to the year previous.

In recent years the amount of home cured production which is sourced from home killed pigs has fallen significantly, in 2004 around 50% of home cured production was sourced from home-killed pigs, with this proportion reducing further to 47% in 2005. This compares to 70% in 2002, 74% in 2001 and 78% in 2000.

Percentage of home cured bacon and ham sourced from home killed pigs

All pigmeat trade data (except imports of bone in pork from Denmark) are sourced from UK Intrastat data (EC) and Customs and Excise returns (Non-EC). 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 2005, imports were around 9% higher than the year previous, in particular imports from Denmark rose by a quarter at 184 thousand tonnes compared to 147 thousand tonnes in 2004.

Exports in 2005 rose by 8% to 91 thousand tonnes, compared to 84 thousand tonnes seen in 2004. Exports to Germany fell by around 12% compared with 2004, whilst exports to the Netherlands rose markedly.

In total bacon and ham imports fell by 8% in 2005 compared to 2004. Exports of bacon and ham fell by around a quarter in 2005 compared to a year previous.

The total pork available for domestic use in 2005 rose by 3% compared to the year previous. While home fed production remained virtually unchanged, the increased imports contributed the rise in overall supplies.

In 2005 domestic usage of bacon and ham fell by 2% compared to 2004. Any rise in home fed production was offset by a drop in imports.

4. Pig Prices and Value of Pigs and Pigmeat Production

Pigmeat reference prices

The reference prices shown here run to the week ending 12th March 2006. In the latest week the UK reference price was €1.90 per 100kg above the EU average.

Note: In 2003 the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC), with the support of the British Pig Executive (BPEX), launched a new deadweight pig price reporting survey - the Deadweight Average Pig Price (DAPP). The DAPP has superseded the Adjusted Euro Spec Average (AESA), the price formally used in the graph. In March 2004 the AESA ceased to be calculated and the DAPP became the official pig price indicator. For the purposes of this graph the AESA is shown up to the date it was last calculated (i.e. March 2004) and the DAPP is shown from May 2003, the month it was first published.

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 November 2005).

Price comparison

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 - 23 pages, 318Kb) Click here

Source: Defra - March 2006

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