Latest AHDB/BPEX forecasts for UK pig meat supplies predict that the tight situation on the UK market may ease somewhat in 2014, although availability would still be below the levels recorded in 2012. With data from the June Agricultural Survey showing a 2% year-on-year decline in the UK breeding herd, numbers of finished pigs will remain constrained in the near future.
With producers having lost money for a sustained period, confidence will be slow to return. Therefore, it is unlikely that there will be any significant expansion of the breeding herd in the near future. However, with a more stable position, productivity gains should mean that slaughterings resume their upward trend as 2014 progresses, with throughputs for the year as a whole forecast to be 2% up on 2013.
Unless feed prices rise again, sow slaughterings and carcase weights are expected to be similar to those in 2013, meaning that pig meat production is set to rise at a similar rate to clean pig slaughterings, topping 850,000 tonnes for the first time since 2000.
October 2013/ BPEX/ AHDB - Pig mrket Weekly/ United Kingdom.