Reports of bird flu in France and falling chicken consumption in many EU countries have not lead to an increase in demand for pigmeat.
As a result, British spot and contract prices have remained flat with the Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price falling slightly to 100.69p/kg and spot bacon prices in the 100–102p/kg range.
Most processors are reporting demand for pigmeat to be dull at a time of year when uptake and prices normally rise.
Spot bacon prices in late February 2005 were running at 108p/kg and unless demand improves in the run up to Easter, there is little likelihood of the DAPP moving from its present low base.
EU prices have also followed a similar static trend with the mainland ‘big six’ producer average equivalent to 92.5p/kg.
Cull sow quotes have firmed marginally with exporters quoting base prices in the 76–78p/kg range.
The euro traded on Monday 27 Feb at 68p compared with 69p a year ago.
An improvement in the value of the euro would help both the cull sow market and push up the cost of imports.
Weaner prices continue to reflect indifferent finished pig returns with the Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg average quoted at £33.85/head ex-farm.
After allowing for depreciation many bacon producers are faced with cost of production figures as high as 108p/kg deadweight.
Unless spot and contract prices rise to this level soon, they will be unable to update worn out units and keep pace with rising levels of legislation and costs.
This includes the upcoming Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations which will apply to larger intensive pig farms in less than eleven months time.