Free range pigs © Tim Scrivener© Tim Scrivener

GB pig prices continue to rise steadily, with the EU-spec all-pig price (APP) gaining 1.56p/kg in the week to 1 October to 144.65p/kg.

This was the highest price since December 2014 and 28.95p/kg above the lowest levels seen this year, having been supported by significant Chinese demand, along with the strong EU price and weak pound.

See also: More on market prices and trends

However, demand for pigmeat in some of the key EU markets remained under pressure in the first half of 2016, with consumption falling back despite favourable prices, said a report by AHDB Pork.

This contributed to low pig prices in the EU during the earlier part of the year.

In Germany, the largest market in the EU, household purchases of fresh pork fell almost 5% betweenJanuary and June compared with the same time last year.

In France, purchases fell 6% in the same period, while in Italy demand fell 6% in the first quarter of 2016.

The size of the US pig herd reached record highs in September at 70.9 million head, which could deflate prices. As a main competitor of the EU, this could undermine global demand for EU pigmeat.