EUROPEAN PIGMEAT prices have now hit their highest levels since last September.
Producer prices in four of the six major European pig production countries have moved above the 100p/kg threshold.
This compares with mid-April values equivalent to just 85p/kg and represents an overall rise in value of 12%.
European pigmeat traders blame tight supplies and better consumer demand from the ten new EU member states.
The UK market normally comes under pressure from imports at this time of year, but the GB Euro DAPP has remained firm at 106.05p in the w/c June 20.
Although the DAPP was marginally higher a year ago at 108.78p, this price fell to 101.75p by the end of August.
The fall in the value of the euro from 70.5p at the start of the year to 66.9p now remains a negative factor, giving imports a 4p/kg discount.
Rising EU pigmeat prices have also been reflected in the domestic cull sow market, an estimated 90% which is exported to Europe.
Quotes have risen from 68p/kg at the start of the month to 72–74p/kg at a time of year when prices normally start to ease.
Though the strength of sterling is not helping the pigmeat import/export balance, there are benefits on the feed front.
Feed wheat spot quotes of £64/t and off the combine harvest 2005 forward quotes at similar levels underline feed cost savings in the year ahead.