By Peter Crichton
FINISHED pig prices are expected to rise this autumn in line with a further fall in slaughterings. At the same time, feed costs are unlikely to increase, according to recent Signet reports.
This should provide some relief to the industry but, unless break-even figures of a least 92p/kg are breached before the end of the year, the rate of decline in the UK pig herd will accelerate.
The UK AESA has improved slightly to stand at 86.3p/kg for the week ending 17 July, a rise of 0.6p on the week.
Spot quotes are, however, slipping with most baconers traded between 82p and 85p/kg, and buyers are expected to try and clip a couple of pence off the price at the end of this week.
Cull sow returns have also lost ground due to the release of extra loads of overweight Belgian pigs caught up on farms in the wake of the dioxin crisis.
At the same time, national holidays have started in many EU countries, which tends to disrupt prices.
UK export abattoirs are quoting between 54p and 56p/kg for sows compared with 58p to 60p/kg earlier in the month.
On the back of disappointing finished pig prices, weaners have also seen their values slip, with the latest UK spot 30kg ex-farm average quoted at £25.28.
This is a drop of 30p and some £7/head below quoted production costs.