Cull sow prices have dropped sharply in recent weeks, following weaker markets on the Continent.

In the week to 15 January, UK prices averaged 61.2p/kg liveweight – 0.1p firmer than the previous week, but 8.8p down on the previous fortnight. Deadweight values were similarly bearish, averaging 105.08p/kg in December – 6.5% down on the month and 7.6% below the same time last year. “This reflects the steady fall in sow prices leading up to Christmas on the Continent, followed immediately after Christmas by lower demand from processors associated with the holidays,” said a report by BPEX.

Deadweight pig values remained stable at an average of 160.4p/kg in the week to 12 January, with weaners firming slightly to £46.34 a head.

In a boost to GB markets, trade had now been opened up for exports to Australia, said the report. “In the first 10 months of 2012, Australia imported 122,000t of pork, 11% more than the previous year.” Current suppliers included the USA, Denmark, Canada and more recently the Netherlands. “With no other countries sending significant volumes, there appears to be sufficient demand in the market to accommodate sizeable shipments of British pork.”

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