By Peter Crichton
THE recent improvement in UK pig prices has been snuffed out by the strength of Sterling.
Home producers are unable to stem what has become a flood of competitive pigmeat imports from Europe. And the strong Pound is also having a devastating effect on UK exporters who must contend with a lack of any competitive edge when selling to Continental buyers.
The latest published statistics show that the Reference price for major EU pig-producing countries has fallen. Denmark is now the most competitive producer at a mere 84p/kg deadweight. The equivalent UK figure of is 12p higher at 96p/kg.
Holland and Ireland are also in a position to undercut the UK market. Dutch prices are poised at just 85p/kg deadweight and the Irish are a touch above this at 87p/ kg.
Pressure from cheaper imports is likely to lead to lower deadweight spot quotes at the end of the week, according to abattoir sources. This shift is already reflected in the live auction ring where prices fell by 6-8p/kg to produce an all-weights average of 72.48p/kg, yesterday (Wednesday, 25 March). That figure is equivalent to 95p per kg deadweight.
The adjusted UK Spec GB price for the week ending 31 March has been announced at 96.97/ kg and this is likely to drop in a weeks time.
Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry