Pig price rise runs out of steam - Farmers Weekly

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Pig price rise runs out of steam

By Peter Crichton

THE rise in the UK AESA from 75p/kg at the start of the year to 93.55p now appears to have been halted and has temporarily reached a plateau.

This is reflected by returns in other EU countries, with reports of supply matching demand in Germany and Holland.

The Dutch AEX futures market is also holding steady with forward quotes all in the 84-87p/kg range through to Christmas.

The UK live auction market saw averages decline this week with most baconers traded in the 65-70p/kg range, equivalent to between 88-94p/kg deadweight.

Spot bids from deadweight buyers for next week are expected to be “stand on” at best, with others looking to chop 2-4p/kg off last weeks prices.

Cull sow prices are also slipping back due to the strength of the Pound and better supplies of manufacturing pigmeat in Europe.

Deadweight quotes are falling into the 65-68p/kg bracket compared with 5p more than this two weeks ago.

However, most trade sources believe that the current dip in the market is a “blip”.

The feeliong is that ssupplies will continue to contract because of the reduction in the size of the UK herd and the devastating effects of the twin killer viruses of PDNS (Porcine Dermatitis and Nephropathy Syndrome) and PMWS (Post-weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome).

Most affected herds have seen mortality of between 10-20% on grower and finishing units and the same problem is hitting many EU countries.

East Anglian producers seem to be the worst affected and some are calling for MAFF to intervene to draw up a disease action plan.

This could include the possibility of statutory controls of pig movements from affected herds and add PDNS and PMWS to the list of Notifiable Diseases.

Hard-hit breeders have pointed out the effects of PDNS and PMWS are far worse than Aujeskeys Disease, which became subject to compulsory slaughter and an industry-funded compensation scheme in the early 1980s.

Aujeskeys Disease has now been eradicated in the UK.

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Pig price rise runs out of steam

By Peter Crichton

THE recent improvement in UK pig prices has been snuffed out by the strength of Sterling.

Home producers are unable to stem what has become a flood of competitive pigmeat imports from Europe. And the strong Pound is also having a devastating effect on UK exporters who must contend with a lack of any competitive edge when selling to Continental buyers.

The latest published statistics show that the Reference price for major EU pig-producing countries has fallen. Denmark is now the most competitive producer at a mere 84p/kg deadweight. The equivalent UK figure of is 12p higher at 96p/kg.

Holland and Ireland are also in a position to undercut the UK market. Dutch prices are poised at just 85p/kg deadweight and the Irish are a touch above this at 87p/ kg.

Pressure from cheaper imports is likely to lead to lower deadweight spot quotes at the end of the week, according to abattoir sources. This shift is already reflected in the live auction ring where prices fell by 6-8p/kg to produce an all-weights average of 72.48p/kg, yesterday (Wednesday, 25 March). That figure is equivalent to 95p per kg deadweight.

The adjusted UK Spec GB price for the week ending 31 March has been announced at 96.97/ kg and this is likely to drop in a weeks time.

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

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