By Peter Crichton

AT a time of stagnant pig prices – as the latest UK AESA moves just 0.8p to stand at 84.90p/kg – deadweight producers are facing a summer of discontent.

Pig price graphs indicate that if the usual trends are followed, domestic producers can expect lower returns in July and August than they are now.

If this pattern is repeated this year losses of up to £20 per pig will be suffered and more sow herds culled.

Weaner prices continue to reflect a basic lack of confidence to underline the “double whammy” of low EU prices and a strong Pound, which is once again nudging DM3.

They point to current UK sow prices as the best overall indicator of the weakness of the overall EU pigmeat market.

This is reflected by the current UK sow price languishing at about 50p/kg deadweight despite of slaughter numbers slipping back from the high levels seen last autumn.

Although EU pig numbers are also forecast to decline, better retail promotion to stimulate demand for the home produced product is also seen as essential if UK producers are to have any hope of getting back into profit before the next century.