Sow prices rise, but finished pigs struggle

Sow prices have improved by 10% since early July, with tight supplies in Germany driving EU markets higher.

German sow slaughterings between July and September were 5% lower than the same period last year, but with steady demand it had increased imports from other member states, said a report by AHDB Meat Services. “One of the main beneficiaries has been Denmark, where sow slaughterings for the first nine months of the year are up by 7%.

“In GB, where most culled sows are destined for export, the price has risen even more rapidly than the Danish price over the last quarter.” In the week ended 2 October it was higher than the German market at 108p/kg deadweight, with slaughterings up by 15% for the year to date.

But finished pig prices were continuing their seasonal downward trend, albeit at a 6p/kg premium to the same time last year. “The supply of clean pigs remains well above year earlier levels but demand from processors is beginning to rise in the run-up to Christmas.”

The weaner market was showing signs of stabilising after a prolonged decline, with falling feed costs improving finishing prospects.