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UK pig meat production set to exceed one million tonnes

Herds are getting larger and pigs themselves are getting heavier.
Herds are getting larger and pigs themselves are getting heavier.

UK pig meat production is projected to exceed one million tonnes for the first time, according to a new report.

The latest agri-market outlook by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) predicts a 4% rise in UK pig meat production, bringing it over the one million tonnes mark for the first time.

The report said this boost in production would be driven by an increase in the size of the national pig herd and heavier carcase weights.

Speaking ahead of the report’s launch, AHDB lead analyst for red meat, Duncan Wyatt, said farmgate prices were expected to remain under pressure and imports could be down by 8% due to large domestic supplies and a forecasted decline in consumption.

Exports are also projected to be down 7% due to weaker Chinese demand and disruption to trade with the EU.

The report also predicted a 5% decrease in beef production due to tighter cattle numbers and a 3% drop in domestic consumption due to easing retail sales.

Mr Wyatt said sheep meat production is predicted to fall by 4% to 285,000 tonnes and domestic demand is likely to maintain the growth experienced in 2020.

He said limited global supplies may offer some price support to farmers.

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