Piglets in a sty©Tim Scrivener

Rising pig productivity will keep supplies high and prices under pressure over the next year, according to latest forecasts.

AHDB Pork’s July outlook for pigmeat supplies expects 1.61m tonnes to have been available in 2015 – 2% more than a year earlier.

Supplies will rise again to 1.62m tonnes in 2016, as the growth rate drops to 0.9%.

See also: Supply of high welfare pork exceeds demand

The main factor is expected to be productivity growth.

Better health, genetics, nutrition and husbandry could see the average number of pigs per sow rise to 25 this year.

Carcass weights have been running higher than last year, but that is expected to drop back slightly.

Sow slaughterings are forecast to be a little higher than the low levels of recent months.

The strong pound has also had little impact on imports, with less pork coming into the UK in 2015 so far than a year earlier.

“With supplies increasing further, consumer demand will need to rise if the pressure on the pig price is going to be relieved,” AHDB’s report said.

Finished pig prices rose in the week to 25 July.

The EU-spec standard pigs price crept up less than a penny to 133.25p/kg – still less than 28p/kg below 2014 levels.

Both weaner prices also rose.

Pigs at 30kg saw values rise more than £1.60 a head to £45.45, while 7kg weaners also enjoyed a small rise to £33.11.