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Fewer British pigs next year

Despite having moved up strongly since the summer, UK pig prices still lagged behind the average cost of production. Higher pig numbers resulted in an increase in UK pig meat production during 2012 but, along with most EU countries, production is expected to decline during 2013. Consumer purchases of bacon and ham performed strongly in the latest quarter.

The rising price of pigs seemed to finally hit a ceiling during November. Although the gap between the average cost of production and the price paid for pigs narrowed during the autumn, the DAPP at 160p per kg compared with an average cost of production around the 165p per kg mark during November.

Pig slaughterings continued to run ahead of last year in the final quarter but are forecast to decline during 2013. It is expected that the breeding herd will show a decline when the results of the December census become available and UK pig production is expected to fall by 2% in 2013 from 10.1 to 9.9m pigs.

Bacon and ham continued to perform well in the latest quarter, and Kantar reported that both categories grew in both value and volume in the 12 weeks ending 28th October. Consumer purchases of fresh pork and sausages declined in volume during the same period.