Pigmeat production set to be higher than 2012

Clean pig throughputs this year are likely to reach just over 10 million head, according to the latest forecast from BPEX – slightly more than previously expected.

Although that is still marginally below last year, it is higher than originally forecast due to better than expected sow productivity. “Sow slaughterings are likely to be back more significantly, particularly in the second half of the year, as they were inflated last year due to high feed prices,” said the report. “However, these declines will be offset by higher clean pig carcass weights, so pigmeat production is set to be fractionally higher than last year at 828,000t.”

Tight EU supplies and increased retailer preference for UK pork meant imports to date were below last year, it added. “This trend is expected to continue for the remainder of the year, with volumes stabilising next year.”

With the national herd likely to recover slightly, slaughterings and production should resume their upward trend in 2014. However, strong demand to China should continue to boost exports, limiting domestic availability.

Costs of production in July fell to their lowest level since June 2012, at an estimated 159p/kg, said the report.

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