Pig prices remain firm

SPOT AND contract pig prices have remained at remarkably firm levels during the normally volatile August trading period.

Although the GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price for trades in the week commencing Aug 15 has moved a touch lower from 106.01p to 105.74p/kg, most spot and contract quotes have held previous values.

Spot bacon traded in the 107-109p/kg range, with one or two buyers particularly short of stock towards the end of the day throwing in an extra 1-2p.

Lighter cutter weights continued to maintain a modest 2-4p/kg premium, but recent unsettled weather has put a damper on barbeque demand.

A clear pattern of a general shortage of spot pigs is continuing to emerge and although numbers normally build up as the autumn approaches there is no real evidence to support this yet.

The relative strength of pigmeat prices throughout Europe is reflected by the latest EU mainland average producer price of 96.84p/kg.

This compares with an EU mainland average of just 85p/kg at the start of May and indicates firm producer prices as we enter the autumn trading period.

A marginal easing in the value of the euro, which closed on 15 Aug at 68.3p, has had little effect on the demand for cull sows.

Export buyers held their quotes in a fairly wide 74-78p/kg range according to specification and load size.

An oncoming shortage of pigs is also reflected in the weaner market. The Meat and Livestock Comission 30kg ex-farm average improved slightly on last week’s level at £35.06/head.

But EP-vaccinated, known-source quality lots are still worth £2 – £3 above this.