29 September 2000

Static pigmeat & little change

LITTLE movement in the pig price could indicate processors unwillingness to push values harder when supplies are low. Although domestic supplies are down, imports of cheaper EU pigmeat are up helping meet demand.

Meat and Livestock Commission figures show that imports for the first half of this year were up on 1999 levels from almost all major suppliers, notably Denmark, Holland and Germany. Compounding the effect on trade has been the sharp fall in UK exports to the continent leaving the domestic market as a big net importer.

UK supplies are to remain tight with weekly slaughterings down at about 240,000 head compared with 280,000 head a year ago. That situation is not helped by the renewal of Classical Swine Fever controls in the prime pig producing eastern regions.

Contract prices have remained almost unchanged for several weeks from leading players such as Malton, Glanbia and Dalehead. In the auction ring – accounting for just 5% of trade – spot prices have followed suit. In the last two weeks these have started to edge back marginally with the current AESA still hovering at about 100p/kg deadweight. A year ago the AESA was 82.3p/kg, reports the MLC. &#42