31 March 2000

Strong demand for store pigs

PIG prices have risen again this week to hit a UK adjusted Eurospec average of 91.43p/kg with live markets recording strong demand for store, finished and cull pigs.

The increase in the domestic price mirrors other EU markets where values have also risen with many observers hoping supplies will tighten further over the coming months. Provisional figures from the December census of EU member states suggest that the breeding herd size has fallen in almost all countries, the exceptions being Spain and Italy.

Breeding pigs are down by between 2.4-5% depending on age, although the expansion of the finishing herd shows an overall fall of under 1% to 124m head, according to the MLC.

In UK markets, cull sows are now trading at around 40p/kg liveweight with the weekly kill easing slightly to average 8600 head. Early trade also saw baconers at 72p/kg and strong 10-week-old weaners at about £30 a head.

Contract prices also reflect the change in the AESA and tighter domestic supplies. Glanbia held its contract price at 92p/kg deadweight, but Dalehead Foods increased this weeks contract to 92.5p/kg (up 1.5p/kg) for those carcasses meeting its 12mm backfat limit. &#42