Germany pushes up its weekly slaughterings by 7% The World Cup has proved a valuable substitute for the barbecue in maintaining demand in the bacon and ham market. On the Continent, as the MLC's latest pig market report notes, rain in Germany hit demand for barbecue cuts, contributing to price weakness there early in the month. However, the more significant message is coming from the supply side of the overall EU market. Pig slaughterings in most main production regions are trending upwards. Germany is now killing about 7% more in an average week than a year ago, and this output shift together with the softer tone of the Danish trade should determine sentiment in the market for the next few months. Yet the industry and market within the UK are in a dilemma. Slaughterings here are still low, the breeding herd is still contracting, and producers claim they need further increases in prices if they are to reverse the decline. If BPEX's Road to Recovery' programme fails to rebuild the UK industry, processors will be stuck with too much capacity. Critic John Strak, editor of internet newsletter The Whole Hog, says: "The Road to Recovery is asking for £13m a year after spending similar amounts annually for the past decade. Despite the expenditure of £50m of producers' money since 1997 the herd has decreased by more than a third and the MLC forecasts it will be down to half the 1997/98 level by the end of this year." {{MEAT }}

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