By Peter Crichton

ONGOING procedural difficulties for exports from the UK mean the German pork market remains undersupplied.

This, is turn, has pushed up cull-sow prices in Denmark, and traders hope that this price reversal will soon feed through to the UK market.

Most export abattoirs are paying 50p/kg for UK cull sows, with boars worth up to 25p/kg.

With more progress being made in eradicating foot-and-mouth, and Northumberland becoming a “non-infected area”, there are hopes that export procedures will be streamlined to allow this market to move ahead faster.

Providing no further outbreaks are detected, the whole of the country should be classified as technically disease-free by the end of this year.

But Defra is warning that bio-security and other precautions need to be maintained.

Defra is also reported to be looking at a self-certification licensing system that might be introduced next year.

Although the finished pig market has improved, weaner prices remain depressed due to movement restrictions and ongoing PDNS/PMWS problems.

This has left a number of finishers reluctant to commit themselves to further supplies.

The latest Meat and Livestock Commission weaner quote puts the ex-farm 30kg average price at no more than 28.

According to the latest Signet figures, this is 3 per head below the cost of production.

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