RENEWED EXPORT opportunities have given EU pigmeat prices an early boost.

With strong demand from new EU member states and Russia, the EU mainland pig price has risen to 93p/kg helping to stimulate the flagging UK market.

This week the GB AESA rose to 100.3p due to a combination of the rising value of imports and shrinking UK numbers.

The effects of last summer‘s infertility virus are now filtering through to the weaner and finished pig market, which could keep slaughter numbers down at a time when demand normally rises.

Spot baconers were traded within the 103-105p/kg deadweight range with contract base prices tied to the rising DAPP also firming to circa 100p/kh/dw.

High street demand for lighter weight cuts is also slowly improving and, as a result, cutter prices were generally stronger in the 106-110p/kg/dw range.

Despite a falling euro, which on Monday (Feb 7) opened at 68.6p, cull sow prices have made up most of the ground lost in early January, and are up 10p/kg (£15/head) on the year.

Cull sow export abattoirs are quoting in the 76-79p/kg/dw range for deliveries this week (w/e Feb .

Rising EU manufacturing pigmeat prices and strong Russian demand should keep cull sow values strong.

A shortage of weaners has seen a further hardening of demand, with the MLC 30kg average improving to £32.27 ex farm, also reflecting the prospect of better finished pig prices in late spring early summer.