… Numbers are already considerably back on the year – Defra’s June survey showed an 18% contraction in the breeding herd – following two years of ruinous prices and herd liquidation… “very clear” across data sets that the industry was “slipping away”, and at least one week’s kill would be missing by the second week of December… 

 

 

One week’s supply of pigs missing by Christmas

 

Michael Priestley, Farmers Weekly (UK) 

21 September 2022

 

At least a week’s worth of pigs will be missing from the UK’s December kill, say data analysts reviewing the beleaguered sector’s latest production figures.

 

Numbers are already considerably back on the year – Defra’s June survey showed an 18% contraction in the breeding herd – following two years of ruinous prices and herd liquidation.

 

Analysts say the industry may go from having had to welfare-kill pigs in August to being short of pork just four months later.

 

Unknowns

 

Dom Charman, data analyst and independent business consultant at CharmanAg, said lots of numbers were being thrown around in the industry.

 

“Numbers don’t always exactly align and indeed are being quoted, rehashed, and various assumptions made without full possession of the facts,” said Mr Charman.

 

However, he stressed it was “very clear” across data sets that the industry was “slipping away”, and at least one week’s kill would be missing by the second week of December.

 

Consultant and valuer Peter Crichton said slack demand had been reported by the trade and cautioned that the cost of living crisis might mean that tight supplies do not result in higher prices.

 

Mr Crichton said the only chink of light would come from a further rally in European pig prices, which had lifted to 183p/kg, 195p/kg and 214p/kg in Germany, Spain, and France, respectively.

 

He questioned whether the French mantra of “live to eat” and European passion and pride for local salamis, hams and sausages would see EU consumers prioritise pork in their shopping basket.

 

He said declining demand for pork was already being reported in the UK, adding: “There are issues with carcass balancing, and Brexit has proven to be a messy divorce, with pork flowing into this country easily, but much more paperwork and checks on pork exports like sow meat.”

 

EU supply ...

 

The numbers ... 

 

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https://www.fwi.co.uk/livestock/taking-stock/one-weeks-supply-of-pigs-missing-by-christmas