EU PIG MARKETS have staged a further recovery, with the “big six” mainland average rising by 4% in the week ending June 5, to almost 91p/kg.

The European pig meat average price has now risen by 15% since mid-February, with the greatest gains being recorded in the Spanish, French and Belgium markets due to falling pig numbers.

However, a recent dispute with Russia over health certificates on imported meat could affect the EU market for manufacturing pig meat during the summer trading period. 

The May 1 ban on meat imports into Russia has now been extended into June following Russian insistence on a new EU veterinary certificate to cover supplies of imported pork and beef.

The Russian market remains a vital outlet for pig meat exports and absorbs over 200,000t of pork each year, including 10% of all Danish supplies.

In contrast to rising EU mainland prices UK pig meat values have remained relatively static since early April.

The GB Deadweight Average Pig Price (DAPP) now stands at 109.49p for the week ending May 29, compared with at 108.87p in early April.

Pig traders claim that rising levels of imports are continuing to undermine the domestic market and the comparatively lacklustre performance of the Euro, at 66.8p, is not helping.

GB spot bacon prices on Fri, June 4 fell into the 105-109p/kg range with lighter cutter weight pigs continuing to earn a 4-6p/kg premium.

Cull sow prices continue to improve due to higher EU manufacturing pig meat values, with most export abattoirs quoting 65-67p/kg.

Falling feed prices are starting to filter through to the weaner market, with the Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg average rising slightly, to £34.49/head ex-farm.

Further gains are expected if pig meat values continue to rise.

Despite falling feed costs the MLC‘s economics department is still reporting production costs above 100p/kg deadweight.

Further rises in pig prices and drops in production costs are therefore needed to restore significant profitability to the pig sector.