Hopes of an EU lift to rock bottom pig prices

Firmer EU values may feed through to the domestic market in the weeks ahead, raising UK pigmeat from their current low levels.

The EU “Big Six” Mainland average price has risen to the equivalent of 96p/kg deadweight and stands at its highest level since September 2005.

Domestic prices have moved in the opposite direction during the first two months of the year with the latest Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price quote of 100.16p/kg compared with 101.89p at the start of 2006.

Although most contract prices are tied to the DAPP, spot quotes have shown a much bigger drop. 

Traders are reporting spot bacon prices in the 99–102p/kg range for supplies w/c 13 March, compared with 108–111p/kg at the same time last year.

With imports now accounting for over 60% of UK pigmeat consumption, any further rises in EU prices would help to lift domestic live pig returns overnight.

Signs of EU consumers switching from poultry due to bird flu concerns and reports of Classical Swine Fever in Germany may benefit UK producers at a time when price rises are needed.

Cull sow quotes are also reflecting firmer EU pigmeat values with export abattoirs quoting base prices around 80p/kg, which represents another 2p rise on the previous week.

Cull sow exporters will also benefit from recent rises in the value of the euro which opened on Monday worth 69.1p – up 1% over the past seven days.