By Peter Crichton

A GROUP of East Anglian pig producers has seen its plans for a nationwide “guide price” come to fruition.

With support from the National Pig Association, these innovative producers have set up the Price Intelligence Group (PIG).

The group provides producer groups and abattoirs with a published guide price, below which stock is unlikely to be released for sale.

The idea of the scheme is to allow producers more input to the pricing system and for meat traders to appreciate that, unless all levels of the trade earn a margin, pig numbers will continue to decline.

The PIG base price for next week was set at 100p/kg for a typical baconer sold on a Euro Spec basis.

The price was published on the NPA website for the first time on Friday morning (2 November), and is also sent by text message to all interested parties.

The organisers maintain that all producers will be free to sell their pigs to any outlets, either direct or via marketing groups, but are advised not to trade at significantly less than the base price.

Meat traders have been quick to point out that this system will only work if the base price is realistic and have warned that the UK market continues to be dominated by European pig prices and currency fluctuations.

Deadweight trades for next week have seen virtually all spot quotes at or slightly above the 100p/kg benchmark, with reports of light baconers touching 104p/kg.

Contract quotes have been pegged slightly behind spot prices due to the very slow upward movement of the UK AESA, which rose by 0.68p/kg this week to 94.46p/kg.

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