Malta has seen a decline in meat production and producer value in the third quarter of this year.
According to Malta’s National Statistics Office (NSO) Q3 production reached 2,483t, which was a drop of 15% on the same period last year. NSO analysts said the significant drop was brought about by reductions in the production of beef and pig meat, which declined by 10.1% and 30.4% respectively. However, analysts did point out that broiler meat had increased by 15.4% for the quarter.
An NSO spokesperson told GlobalMeatNews.com that the substantial reduction was caused by expensive meat prices, leading to reduced consumer purchasing and higher meat imports, which are cheaper than domestic meat.
During Q3, the producer value of slaughtered animals at licensed slaughter houses saw a decline of 9%, which equated to a drop of €0.5m.
The value of slaughtered cattle and pigs fell by 7.2% and 21.4% respectively. However, the slaughter value of broilers increased by 14%. The average carcase weight of slaughtered cattle rose by 5.5% and broiler carcase weight also rose by 2%, but the weight of pig carcases decreased 6%.
The spokesperson explained that Malta should expect to see pork prices maintain the current and unstable trend. He said: “Unfortunately we see this staying the same or going up and down. Pigs have been decreasing constantly and, even from the employment point of view, it has always been decreasing. The costs [of production] will also increase to the point where a lot [of producers] will be pulling out.”
The decline of meat production in Malta for Q3 was a reflection of that in Q2, where production as a whole reached 2,640t, a 20.1% drop on the same period last year.
As in Q3, the decline seen in Q2’s figures was brought about by major drops in pig and broiler meat production, which both fell by 27% and 13.7% respectively.