Weekly pig prices hit plateau

Pig prices have hit something of a plateau reflecting recent falls in EU mainland producer prices, writes FW commentator Peter Crichton.

Although the GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price has continued to improve and put on a further 1.7p/kg for the week ending the 14 May, weekly prices issued by Tulip, Cranswick, Vion and Woodheads have all remained unchanged within 149.5–154p/kg range.

The recent drought affecting much of eastern England and cereal growing areas in mainland Europe is continuing to put upwards pressure on feed prices and with feed costs at their current levels most pig producers will now require a minimum deadweight price of 165p/kg to breakeven.

Higher feed costs are also having a major effect on weaner prices and although a year ago slaughter pig values were very similar to their current levels, the impact of soaring feed costs is immediately evident in the weaner market. Twelve months ago the Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board 30kg weaner average stood at £54.54/head compared with £45.71/head today.

Cull sow values have also taken a downward step due to lower EU mainland pigmeat prices with delivered quotes falling by 4–6p on the week to between 96–100p/kg deadweight.

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