Weaner prices have recovered after dropping sharply over the new year period.

Average prices for a 30kg weaner fell by more than £4 in the week to 4 January, but have since bounced back up by £2.60, to £56.86/head – considerably more than the same time last year.

“The fluctuations in price probably reflect low volumes traded over the past couple of weeks rather than any fundamental change in the market,” said a report by BPEX. Cull sow prices had also firmed in the week to 14 January, to average 67.3p/kg liveweight – 1.5p up on the previous week and 6.1p more than the same time last year. The EU-spec deadweight average pig price improved slightly, to 169p/kg deadweight.

According to the latest figures from Kantar, retail pork sales increased by 5% in the 12 weeks to 8 December, compared to the same period in 2012, while expenditure rose by 6%. “Shoppers have been switching in from beef and lamb, are buying pork more frequently and buying more per trip,” said the BPEX report. “Shoulder roasting joints have performed particularly well, making volume gains of 19%, and boosting spending by 26%.”