By Peter Crichton

UK producer prices continue to reflect very flat home demand, with the UK AESA managing to hang on at 85.07p/kg.

Spot prices also remain dull, with most baconers traded in the 80-85p/kg range and lighter weights attracting quotes of no more than 90p/kg.

The auction market is still a good indicator of trade patterns, although only about 5% of the UK herd are handled.

This week, most markets reported static prices in the 58-65p/kg range and, although buyers said they were short of pigs, poor demand at the selling end had put a lid on prices.

Weaner returns also continue to slide, with the average ex-farm spot price for a 30kg pig now standing at £25.86, which is £5-£7 below the cost of production.

Sow exporters have indicated that the recent surge in the Pound to stand at DM3 has hit their trade, too, and snuffed out any significant improvement in cull sow returns, although UK sow slaughterings continue to decline.

To summarise, the UK pig industry is still in intensive care and a long way from the recovery ward.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry