Europe-wide low prices and disease hit pigs

By Peter Crichton

PIG prices throughout the whole of the EU remain under pressure and this reflected by the latest AEX Dutch futures quotes.

December closed at 51p/kg liveweight and the next three months reflect little optimism with January at 51.5p, February 54.75p and March, normally a more bullish month at only 55.5p/kg.

If these quotes are repeated in the physical market they point to a rise of only 10% by March, for example if the UK AESA would move to 82.5p/kg, still up to 10p below average production costs.

UK weaner prices are starting to reflect a slight tightening in numbers rather than any real confidence in finished pig prices in 12 weeks time.

The Farmers Weekly 30kg price remains static at about £19/head.

A new killer virus is reported to be hitting weaner and growing pigs in the Midlands and East Anglia and if it spreads unchecked could have an impact on numbers in the spring and summer period.

Known as Post Weaning Multi Systemic wasting Disease (PWMSWD) it leads to high mortality especially in pigs between nine and 14 weeks old.

At this stage it remains hard to treat and is thought to be linked to Blue ear Disease.

Mortality on some units has been reported as high as 5%.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry

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