EU pig slaughterings data for October from Eurostat indicate an increase on the year of two per cent, to 22.7 million head.
This is the highest monthly kill recorded since 2008, although there were 23 working days in October 2014, more than in most months.
With both increasing carcase weights and higher throughputs, EU pig meat production in October reached over two million tonnes for the first time since January 2013.
This relatively high supply level undoubtedly contributed to the falling pig prices during the autumn.
For the first 10 months of 2014, EU production totalled 18.3 million tonnes, which was just 30,000 tonnes more than the same period in 2013. Further seasonal increases are expected as Christmas procurement developed; despite one fewer working day this year, slaughterings in those countries which have already reported data for November were down just one per cent.
Poland continued to be a driver in the overall increase in EU slaughterings; its October kill was over 11 per cent up on the year as it continues to import and finish more weaners.
Ireland too increased its slaughterings on the year by 10 per cent.
Feed and pig prices remained favourable in the first half of last year, encouraging major producing countries to continue finishing more pigs on the year, including Spain, up by six per cent, and Germany and the Netherlands by three and two per cent respectively.
The Danish kill, however, fell on the year, as more weaners are exported for finishing elsewhere. In line with increasing production, overall European slaughterings for the year to date were up only fractionally, at 205.7 million head.
TheMeatSite News desk