By Peter Crichton

Although UK contract pig prices fell again this week with the UKAESA dropping 0.65p/kg to 95.16p/kg there are signs that the trade may soon “bottom out”.

The latest UK slaughtering figures show an average of 197,000 head over the past four weeks compared with a 239,000 weekly average last year.

Most spot quotes for baconers have dropped to the 92p – 96p/kg range but traders believe this could rise to 100p/kg as we move into September.

Demand for legs from UK supermarkets has improved and although imports will continue, European prices have hardened slightly.

Weaner prices have remained weak, due in part to movement restrictions and a flush of pigs from producers clearing stock under the Outgoers Scheme.

The latest MLC average for 30kg weaners ex-farm has slipped to 27.60 per pig compared with 34.50 for the corresponding week last year.

Although sow slaughterings have risen slightly, with the weekly average for the last month estimated at 3,750 head compared with 5,000 a year ago, prices remain depressed at around 25p/kg deadweight.

Traders do not believe there will be any significant recovery in sow prices until export activity resumes.

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

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