Christmas keeps pig prices up

By Peter Crichton

PIG prices have remained reasonably firm in spite of the recent Malton decision to cut back the number of pigs it slaughters.

This is due to strong retail demand, with supermarkets reporting strong sales of UK-sourced legs and loins in the run-up to Christmas.

The UK AESA declined by 0.24p to stand at 104.58, and most spot baconer quotes have been in the 103p-107p range.

Live market prices remain steady but unspectacular, to return overall averages equivalent to 81p/kg liveweight, which works out to 106p/kg deadweight.

The price gap between light and heavy pigs continues to widen, with porkers traded at up to 118p/kg, showing a 12-14p premium over baconers.

Weaner prices are also continuing to rise especially in the north.

The FARMERS WEEKLY 30kg ex-farm average for this week is 37.29, with northern pigs valued at 39.46 and several cases of premium-quality bunches of 30kg pigs trading in that region between 40-44 per head.

Cull sow demand has remained at similar levels, with most traded in the 75-78p/kg deadweight range which is close to 50p/kg liveweight.

However, sow exporters are expected to pull prices back to between 70-75p/kg, reflecting better availability in Europe and the falling value of the Euro to 60.0p.

In Europe, prices rose in most countries, with Danish, Dutch and German quotes mainly between 90-95p/kg deadweight for a heavy carcass.

On the AEX futures market, the strong physical trade was reflected by higher quotes all round, with December to April closing prices of between 92-93p/kg.

Imports into the UK of Dutch pigmeat remain high. Last week over 3100 tonnes were imported, equivalent to 44,000 UK pigs.

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