Prices have started to harden despite the disruption to slaughtering during Easter.

The DAPP at 100.13p/kg deadweight is languishing around the 100p threshold, but some spot buyers of bacon pigs have offered prices of up to 103p/kg.

Most are still trading in the 100–102p/kg area.

Slightly more demand was noted for lighter cutters – worth between 106–109p/kg – which are following High Street trends of better beef and lamb prices.

Pigmeat imports are posing less of a threat with the EU “Big 6” Producer Price Average of 99.6p/kg within a whisker of the latest GB Euro DAPP quoted at 99.8p.

After allowing for freight costs of between 3-4p/kg some imported pigmeat is now more expensive than the UK equivalent.

Cull sow quotes have lost ground because of the CSF situation in Germany, but most sellers were able to agree prices in the 80–84p/kg range.

The euro recently staged a mini rally, hitting 70p, but has since eased in value opening on Tuesday (18 April) at 69.19p.

Weaner prices continue to improve with spot trades reported in the £34.50-£36 range and the Meat and Livestock Commission ex-farm average has now risen to £34.03/head.

UK pig supplies will continue to drop following the shock 7.2% reduction in the size of the national herd uncovered in the December Census.

Falling output combined with better demand and higher imported pigmeat prices may lead to a UK pig price rally, but a significant recovery will be needed before prices reach the April 2005 average of 109p/kg for spot bacon.