Pigmeat prices and supplies have remained in balance during the last two clear trading weeks before the Christmas period.

The GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price rose marginally to 101.81p this week.

Spot and contract prices also reflected generally firm processor and retail demand with no reports of any backlog of pigs in the system.

Lighter weight pigs continue to earn a significant premium reflecting better fresh meat demand.

Spot bacon was traded in the 103–105p/kg range with porkers/cutters worth up to 116p from specialist outlets.

Cull sow prices have also maintained recent values with export abattoirs were quoting base prices of circa 77p/kg.

That is in spite of a recent easing in the value of the euro, which opened on 5 December at 67.5p, compared with 68.4p a week ago.

Any recovery in the currency would have immediate benefits on the cull sow market and also put up the price of imported pigmeat.

Current mainland average EU finished pig prices of 91p/kg are still between 8-10p/kg below UK levels after allowing for heavier carcass weights and transport costs.

Weaner prices continue at very similar levels with the Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg ex farm average quoted at £33.53/head.

With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, pigmeat traders are hoping that, there will be less disruption to slaughtering and less of a backlog in the system than normally occurs at this time of year.