Pig prices languish, but sows rally

Domestic pig prices continue to reflect the lack of any real market confidence throughout the EU as a whole.

The GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price has slipped again to 102.09p and has now lost 3.5% in value since May.

As a result, contract base prices and spot quotes eased marginally in some areas, although other buyers were prepared to operate at “stand on” levels.

Spot bacon was traded in the 102–104p/kg range for supplies in the week commencing 17 October, and cutters were quoted between 105–109p/kg.

Pigmeat prices as a whole are still higher than a year ago, when the DAPP stood at 100.04p and spot bacon was traded in the 98–102p/kg range.

Cull sow prices have staged a slight recovery after several weeks of heavy falls, with export abattoirs quoting 69-72p/kg as key German and Dutch markets firmed.

The relative stability of the euro continued, opening virtually unchanged on Monday (17 Oct) at 68.4p. A year ago it stood at 68.9p.

Weaner prices have also remained static as we approach the last quarter of 2005.

The Meat and Livestock Commission ex farm 30kg average is £34.49/head, 9% higher than in October 2004.

Pig producers are advised to keep a close eye on the feed market where ex farm feed wheat and barley quotes edged up by £1/t on the week. 

Ex farm feed wheat is being traded at £63.30/t compared with £59/t a year ago, and soya is also up.

If UK cereal plantings continue to decline, feed grain prices may rise in the future. Pig producers are advised to look at long term fixed price feed contracts.