Spot and EU mainland pig prices are rising sharply on tighter supply, so Tulip’s decision to hold its weekly shout price at 151p/kg was a shock to producers, although Gills and Woodheads moved up by a penny.

This puts contract base prices at:

  • Woodheads 155p
  • Gills 154p
  • Tulip 151p
  • Vion 149p
  • Cranswick 149p

Spot bacon prices however enjoyed a significant 4-5p rise with most pigs in this category traded between 156-158p/kg, which may tempt contract sellers to move their pigs onto the spot market to obtain a more realistic return.

Cull sows were traded within a fairly tight range between 114p/kg and 116p/kg, despite larger numbers being slaughtered. A slight improvement in the value of the euro which closed on Friday worth 79.8p also helped to underpin this sector.

Weaner prices remain under pressure due to high feed costs with the latest Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) 30kg ex farm weaner average quoted at £38.98/head – this sector remains very much a buyers’ market.

On the commodities front, ex-farm feed wheat traded at £193.80/t at the end of last week and forward quotes on the LIFFE futures market saw November wheat traded at £205/t and July 2013 at £209.65/t.

Unless there is a rapid recovery in pig prices or reduction in feed costs, which seems unlikely looking at forward prices, further herds will be culled and the size of the UK pig industry will continue to decline.

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Feed prices dominate pig industry challenges.