French pig production in heads decreased by 1.6% in May, after a decline by 3% in the previous month.
Over the first five months of 2015, pig production is just half a percent lower than in the same period in 2014.
In May this year, France slaughtered 1,849,232 pigs, almost 30,000 less than a year earlier. According to the Department of Agriculture, the decline in the slaughter figures is a result of the fall in the number of sows last year. "Over the period since the start of the year, the slaughter figures are more or less stable," the department adds.
The average price paid for pigs was €1,40 per kilo carcass weight. That is 13% less than a year earlier and also 7% under the five year average. This weakness in the pig prices is caused by difficulties with export in the context of a strong European supply and a depressed consumption, the department says. In France itself, consumption of pork and pork products is slowly increasing since the start of the year. In May, consumption was a mere 3% higher than in May 2014.
Because of the low prices for pigs as well as for other livestock and milk, French livestock farmers have over the last few weeks held hundreds of demonstrations, mostly at supermarkets where they set fire to pallets or tyres and also spread manure. A number of large supermarket chains have pledged support for the farmers, offering them a higher price for their animals.
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