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U.K. Annual Pig Slaughter Seen by AHDB Topping 10 Million

U.K. pig slaughter this year may top 10 million head for the first time since 2002, in part as high feed costs spurred producers to liquidate sows, Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said today in an online report.

Pig slaughter may rise to 10.068 million head, up from 9.8 million in 2011, according to the report from AHDB’s pig unit BPEX. About 14,000 more sows were slaughtered between mid-June and mid-October than in the same period last year. Downsizing may continue through the end of this year, so the U.K. pig breeding herd may total about 405,000 by December, AHDB said. Next year, the total pig slaughter may drop to 9.9 million head, it said.

“Looking ahead to 2013, the expected reductions in the breeding herd should outweigh productivity improvements,” AHDB said. “The decline will accelerate as the year progresses when the full impact of the fall in the breeding herd will be apparent.”

U.K. pork production may total 827,000 metric tons this year, up from 806,000 tons in 2011, AHDB said. In 2013, output may drop to 809,000 tons. Pork imports may total 975,000 tons in 2012, up from 960,000 tons in 2011. Next year, imports may drop to 940,000 tons. Consumer demand may fall “particularly if retail prices increase in response to higher pig prices,” AHDB said.

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