UK pig prices have recovered their premium over EU levels, having dipped almost 1p/kg below the EU average in the week to 1 May.

Latest values put UK prices 10p/kg above the EU average. That is half the premium reached at the end of January, before the dioxin crisis in Germany led to a drop in demand. EU values then fell sharply, but Private Storage Aid quickly boosted prices back up to a peak of almost 145p/kg in early May.

Rising import costs have led to stronger domestic demand, helping UK markets to recover their premium, says a report by AHDB Meat Services. “The release of stocks in the PSA scheme, unseasonal weather and reduced export demand saw a decline in the EU average price, while the UK price continued to rise. It is expected that the EU price will rise seasonally over the summer, which may lead to further upward pressure on the UK price.”

EU weaner prices have weakened, but remain stable in the UK due to improving finished pig markets. “Pig finishers continue to be under pressure from high feed costs; weaner prices could remain under pressure in the coming months.”