Consumers spent 4% more on pork in the 12 weeks to 14 April, compared with the same time last year, according to analyst Kantar Worldpanel.
However, higher prices meant volumes declined by 2%, as purchasers switched to fresh lamb on promotion. “In the latest four weeks, the picture looked more positive, with purchases up 1% year-on-year and spending up 4%,” said a report by BPEX.
Cold weather was subduing EU demand for pork, with prices easing to €170.21/100kg in the week to 28 April. However, since mid-March UK prices had risen steadily in euro terms, suggesting an increasing preference for British pigs, while the strengthening pound had also benefited domestic prices. “As a result, the gap between UK and EU reference prices opened to over €14 by the end of April.”
UK markets remained strong, with the EU-spec deadweight average pig price increasing to 162.8p/kg in the week to 11 May – 0.33p up on the week and 12.2p more than the same time last year. Throughputs dropped back to 102,792 head, with the average carcass weight at 79.13kg. Weaner values improved slightly, to £49.63 in the week to 18 May.