By Peter Crichton

THE domestic pig market has suffered a further drop in deadweight prices with traders predicting a further decline throughout the summer.

The Adjusted UK Spec Average price slipped to 90.59p for the week ended 13 June and weaner prices have also taken a big hit.

Current quotes on the spot market show 30kg weaners are worth £19-£23 per head compared with a production cost of around £32 per head, according to the latest Signet data. That represents a loss of £9-£13 per weaner.

Sow slaughterings are currently at record levels but prices are on the floor due to poor Continental demand and a strong Pound. More producers are expected to go out of business in the next six months.

If the same supply and demand pattern is followed in Europe, leading pig market analysts say that the earliest any significant upturn can be expected is spring next year.

That could be too late for many producers burdened with big borrowings. UK banks are already reportedly asking for updated asset valuations from some of their more heavily extended customers before making any extra funds available.

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