12 May 1995

Pig prices up is MLC prediction

PIG prices during the second half of this year will be 10p to 14p/kg above 1994 levels, says the MLC in its quarterly market outlook.

Lower slaughterings have contributed to the increase in prices since the end of January. By mid-April the AAPP stood at 116.48p/kg dw. The lower marketings are expected to continue, totalling 14.22m head this year (3% down on 1994).

Average carcass weight is expected to increase to 67.3kg. The effect of this, when considered with the lower marketings, will be a fall in pork and bacon production by 2% on last year.

Higher Continental prices, and increased exports, have exerted an upward pressure on values. Exchange rate movements and the emergence of new markets – such as South Korea – have contributed to this.

Despite a fall in April in Continental pig values (to about 110p/kg), they are expected to rise again seasonally in May and June.

Producer margins between January and June are expected to show a marked recovery compared with the previous six months. But prices and margins are expected to fall back slightly in the second half of 1995.

Improved returns are likely to lead to an expansion in the breeding herd towards the end of the year. This could lead to 1% higher clean pig slaughterings during 1996. It will also encourage reduced sow cullings as herd rebuilding takes place. Lower availability and exchange rate movements have pushed cull sow prices upwards. And, despite an easing in recent weeks, the MLC puts them at £40 over last years levels. &#42