9 October 1998

Weaner pigs cheap, but spot price low

FILLING empty sheds with weaner pigs bought for as little as £8 a head and availability of low-cost cereals for finishing may tempt some producers into pigs.

But poor performance in barn systems and appalling spot prices for finished pigs could result in a loss.

Signet pig consultant Malcolm Black warns that low weaner and cereal prices rarely offset poor spot prices for finished pigs, currently 46p/kg liveweight. Also, feed conversion for barn systems is typically 10% poorer than conventional systems ehich reduces potential margins, he adds.

Fellow Signet pig consultant, Dan Morgan, says prospective finishers wont have contracts or be FABPigs registered. "For that the market will offer the lowest price of all. Do your sums carefully before you commit" he warns.

But Mr Black says weaner producers are looking to rent empty specialist pig building to carry stock through to finishing, which could provide a lifeline for weaner producers. &#42