Official figures released by the government for show UK pig slaughterings have continued to rise.
Monthly numbers were 3.4% higher for April 2015 than in April 2014 at 969,000 head. Year-on-year pigmeat production was 82,000 tonnes (t), 4.4% higher than in April 2014. Throughputs have now been up year on year for 12 consecutive months, with nearly 300,000 extra pigs processed during that period.
Once again there is little indication that the drop in pig prices is leading to producers reducing or liquidating their herds. Slaughterings in Northern Ireland were up by 4%, slightly more than in England, but figures for Scotland are not yet available. Carcase weights during the month were at their lightest since August, averaging 81.6kg, according to Defra.
Meanwhile, UK prime cattle slaughterings in February 2015 were 2.6% lower than in April 2014 at 184,000 head. Beef and veal production was 81,000t, 2.2% lower than in April 2014.
UK clean sheep slaughterings were 4.2% lower than in April 2014 at 1,058,000 head. This is the first month there has been a drop in throughput year on year since March 2014. Mutton and lamb production was 25,000t, 6.1% lower than in April 2014.