EU pigmeat consumption rises in 2015

Pigmeat consumption is on the rise in the European Union, with the average person consuming 40.9kg of pigmeat in 2015, figures from AHDB show.

Per capita consumption increased in 2014 and 2015, after it fell between 2011 and 2013.

Now, AHDB has said that per capita consumption has risen over a kilo in two years.

It attributes the increase to rising EU production only being partly offset by higher exports. These growing export sales meant that the EU’s self-sufficiency rate rose to 112% – meaning the EU produced 12% more pigmeat than it consumed.

However, despite the overall increase, AHDB has said that the latest figures show stagnant or declining consumption in many of the Member States in the north and west of Europe, including Germany, France and the Netherlands.

While consumption was back in the north and west, more pork was eaten last year in most southern and eastern Member States, according to AHDB.

It found that consumption in the UK increased slightly to 24.5kg/head but remained among the lowest per head in the EU and was still below the level recorded up to 2012.

AHDB calculated as the balance of production, imports and exports, giving the total supplies available for consumption on a carcase weight equivalent basis.

The rising trend contrasts with figures showing declining retail pork sales in most major markets, which it suggests means that a higher proportion of pigmeat is being consumed in foodservice or as processed products.

It has also suggested that some of this pigmeat may even be used for purposes other than human consumption.

While consumption is up, AHDB has said that all these channels generally deliver less value to producers than retail sales of pork, contributing to the recent decline in pig prices.