16 February 1996

Flying trade lifts pigs again

EARLY markets this week show pig prices increasing again, with an all-weights average on Monday of 114.18p/kg.

This represents a rise of over 4.5p/kg on the previous week. It partly reflects the flying trade seen at York, where cutters averaged 122.2p/kg.

"The pigs just arent there, locally or nationally," says auctioneer Nigel Stephenson.

Any decent pigs under 80kg were topping the 120p/kg-mark, he says, with the overall entry of 1212 head averaging 120.07p/kg.

Elsewhere, on Monday, cutters were selling in the 111p to 114p/kg range. Auctioneer Peter Crichton at Wickham agrees pigs up to 85kg are selling particularly well. "They are less vulnerable from imports," he says.

When the trade is strong, producers will tend to take pigs on to heavier weights; and a shortage of lighter pigs will be seen, comments auctioneer Peter Woodall at Malton.

And at Banbury, as elsewhere, auctioneer Mike Carter has seen prices recover after the post-Christmas dip.

MLC sample markets put the low-point as the week to Jan 17, when prices averaged 102p/kg.

Even with buyers keen to pull prices down, supplies are now tight enough to prevent any dramatic fall, says Mr Carter. And demand for pork has benefitted from buoyant lamb prices, he suggests. &#42