UK pig herd grows, but ‘has yet to feed through to slaughter numbers’

The UK pig herd has grown.

The UK pig herd has grown. - Credit: Archant

The UK pig herd may have grown but this has yet to feed through to slaughter pig numbers, according to an East Anglian pig expert.

Bury St Edmunds pig consultant Peter Crichton said things were looking more optimistic than a year ago, with UK pig prices helped by rising European values.

“We all know that pig industry fortunes (or otherwise) depend upon the delicate balance between supply and demand and, according to the latest Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) survey figures, the UK pig herd grew by 3% in 2016,” he said.

“This has yet to feed through to slaughter pig numbers in early 2017 but, if the figures are correct, this indicates growing confidence due to sustained higher prices which are now filtering through and filling something of the financial ‘black hole’ that we were in a year ago.”

A positive week for sellers saw prices rise, he said.