UK OUTPUT of poultrymeat has begun to move sharply ahead in response to the higher broiler chick and poult placings this year.

Total production of all poultrymeat was up by nearly 11,000 tonnes in June, a rise of 7.3% on the same month last year.

This was primarily due to a rise in broiler production of a corresponding amount to 144,000t (see chart).

The increase, according to Defra figures, is despite widely reported problems with labour availability on farms and in processing plants.

Also, in June, turkey production was significantly up in percentage terms (37%), by around 3,000t to 11,200t, compared with the same month last year.

Bringing down the June poultrymeat total was a matching drop in old hen production, down 3,300t to 4,000t.

Duck output in June was little changed.

Higher chick placings

The 8.4% increase in chicken production in June reflects the first wave of the confident rise in placings which took place in April (+4%), May (+7%) and June (+6.8%).

The rest of the rise in broiler output came from a 3% increase in average slaughter weight during the month, to 2.31kg.

However, weaker production figures in the first four months of the year mean overall poultrymeat output for the half-year to date was down by 27,700t, or 2.8%, to 957,000t.

Contributing to the year-on-year decline during January-June was a fall in broiler output overall of 1,500t; in turkey output of 13,500t; old hens 10,200t; and ducks 2,500t.