UK/EU Pig Statistics - March 2007

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.
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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. In 2007, both January and February have seen an increases in pig slaughterings of 2% and 5% respectively compared to the year previous.

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.

In 2007 both January and February have seen a considerable increase in sow and boar 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.

In 2005 all producers, except Germany, saw declines or virtually no change in the number of pigs slaughtered compared to 2004. Up to November 2006 France, Denmark, Netherlands, elgium and the UK saw a decline in throughput while all other producers saw small increases when compared to the same period in 2005.

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.

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. After a weight decrease in January 2007, February has seen an increase of 6%.

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 increase. In January and February 2007 pigmeat production rose by 4% 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 7% compared to the level seen in 2005, with the amount sourced from home killed pigs falling again to 47%.

All pigmeat trade data (except imports of bone in pork from Denmark) are sourced from UK Intrastat data (EU) and Customs and Excise returns (Non-EU). 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 10% higher than the year previous, in particular imports from Denmark rose by around 30 thousand tonnes to 180 thousand tonnes. In 2006 imports are 3% higher than the same period in 2005, with imports from Denmark 9% higher and imports from the Irish Republic 12% lower.

In 2006 exports were 5% higher than the same period in 2005, with exports to Netherlands once again significantly higher than the previous year.

The total new supply for pork in 2006 rose by 1% compared to the year previous. While home fed production remained rose slightly, increased imports contributed to the rise in overall supplies.

In 2006 the total new supply of bacon and ham fell by 7% compared to 2005.

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 11th March 2007. In the latest week the UK reference price was €19.85 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 this 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 2006.

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 - 20pages), please click here

March 2007
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