By Peter Crichton

ATER almost two years of negative returns UK pig prices have at last breached break even levels on the spot marks.

Although the UK AESA only managed to put on 2.23p to stand at 80.82p for the week ending 27 February, spot buyers have been far more bullish with recent quotes.

Last Friday saw baconers hit 90p/kg deadweight, with lighter weights up to 1/kg. Further rises are anticipated for deliveries next week.

Weaner prices have also surged on the back of dwindling supplies and better finished pig prices.

This weeks Farmers Weekly average for 30kg pigs has hit the 28.61 mark – although buyers have commented that it is almost impossible to find any spare weaners at less than 33.

Sow prices continue to flag up better all-round pigmeat prices in the EU, although recent reports of a listeria outbreak in Germany may put a lid on further rises if this turns into a widespread food scare.

Currently exporters are paying around 60p/kg deadweight for cull sows, which puts the average sow into the 70-80 price bracket.

Dutch pigmeat futures prices are also reflecting a change in the supply and demand climate in Europe.

Their May/June quotes are now in the 80p-84p range, although September quotes are tending weaker perhaps signalling trade concern over better supplies towards the tail end of the year.