The number of pig slaughterings in April was 19.7% lower than the same month last year, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Figures released today (Thursday, May 25) also show that the number of pigs slaughtered between January and April 2023 fell by 11%.

The number of pigs slaughtered in April 2023 decreased by 61,516 head (-19.7%) to 250,551 head when compared with April 2022. 

According to Eva Gocsik, senior analyst for animal protein at Rabobank, Ireland’s sow herd decreased by 13% year-on-year in 2022.

This resulted in a reduced supply of pigs for slaughter in 2023, according to Gocsik.

The CSO figures also show a 16.2% decrease in cattle slaughterings this month compared to this time last year.

The number of cattle slaughtered in April 2023 fell by 26,191 head (-16.2%) to 135,001 head when compared with April 2022.

CSO figures also show the number of sheep slaughtered declined by 5.1% in April 2023 compared with this month last year.

Sheep slaughterings in April 2023 are estimated at 252,294 head, a decrease of 13,502 head (-5.1%) compared with the same period in 2022.

Slaughterings this year

“Further analysis of the data shows that between January and April 2023, sheep slaughterings increased by 4.0% while the number of cattle and pigs slaughtered declined by 4.3% and 11.0% respectively,” Mairead Griffin, statistician in the CSO’s Agriculture Accounts and Production Section said.

Pig slaughterings are estimated at 1.1 million head between January and April 2023. This is a reduction of 136,502 head (-11%) compared with 1.2 million head for the same period in 2022.

Cattle slaughterings in the year to date are estimated at 610,386 head, a decrease of 27,370 head (-4.3%) when compared with the same period in 2022.

Source: CSO

Year-to-date slaughterings for sheep are estimated at more than one million head compared with 979,124 head for the same period in 2022. This represents an increase of 39,039 head (+4.0%).