Hope for pigmen as EU prices keep rising

EU pig meat prices are continuing to rise, but very little upward movement has yet reached the domestic market.

Importers note that foreign pigmeat carcass prices have almost caught up with those in the UK, potentially putting a bottom into our market.

The Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price remains static at 100.08p/kg, but some traders were reporting a better uptake of lighter pigs, with very few being rolled over into next week.

Spot bacon was traded on Friday in the 99p–102p/kg range with cutters realising a slightly firmer demand from 104p–108p/kg.

Pig meat prices normally rise in the run up to Easter, but the threat of five days of industrial action between 3 and 7 April could disrupt the already fragile UK pigmeat market and suck in yet more imports.

Processors have expressed alarm that meat hygiene inspectors will be caught up in the five days of industrial action planned by UNISON in pursuit of a pay claim.

The cull sow market remains one of the most reliable barometers of the EU pig meat prices and base quotes continue to improve in the 84p–86p/kg range.

The euro has also remained relatively firm opening this week at 69p, which will help to maintain cull sow values and keep up the cost of imports.

Weaner prices have remained almost static due to indifferent finished pig returns.

The Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg ex. farm average quoted at £33.95/head and premiums of £1.50-£3 available in some regions.