THE SENSITIVITY of UK pigmeat prices to EU and worldwide values has been seen again on the spot and contract markets.

EU mainland pig prices have continued to move ahead with European pigmeat producer prices averaging over 97p/kg.

At the same time UK numbers have remained tight and buyers of live pigs have been forced to up their bids to secure dwindling supplies.

The GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price (DAPP) has risen to 103.55p for the trading week commencing Mar 14, but spot bacon prices are 8–10p ahead of this.

A strengthening euro which opened on Monday at 69.8p is also helping to lift the cost of imports, at the same time providing a bonus to cull sow sellers.

Most cull sow abattoirs opening bids were in the 87–88p/kg range but have now raised their prices to circa 90p/kg to meet export orders.

An average cull sow is now worth around £125/head compared with £100/head a year ago and provides breeders with an ideal opportunity to restock old herds at little additional cost.

The weaner market continues to rise, with the Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg average quoted at £34.42/head and some farm to farm sales reported at £2–3/head above this.

Although pig prices normally rise in the run up to Easter, there may be some disruption caused by “short weeks” over the holiday period.

Demand is forecast to remain at firm levels after that.