Pig price rise runs out of steam

By Peter Crichton

THE rise in the UK AESA from 75p/kg at the start of the year to 93.55p now appears to have been halted and has temporarily reached a plateau.

This is reflected by returns in other EU countries, with reports of supply matching demand in Germany and Holland.

The Dutch AEX futures market is also holding steady with forward quotes all in the 84-87p/kg range through to Christmas.

The UK live auction market saw averages decline this week with most baconers traded in the 65-70p/kg range, equivalent to between 88-94p/kg deadweight.

Spot bids from deadweight buyers for next week are expected to be “stand on” at best, with others looking to chop 2-4p/kg off last weeks prices.

Cull sow prices are also slipping back due to the strength of the Pound and better supplies of manufacturing pigmeat in Europe.

Deadweight quotes are falling into the 65-68p/kg bracket compared with 5p more than this two weeks ago.

However, most trade sources believe that the current dip in the market is a “blip”.

The feeliong is that ssupplies will continue to contract because of the reduction in the size of the UK herd and the devastating effects of the twin killer viruses of PDNS (Porcine Dermatitis and Nephropathy Syndrome) and PMWS (Post-weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome).

Most affected herds have seen mortality of between 10-20% on grower and finishing units and the same problem is hitting many EU countries.

East Anglian producers seem to be the worst affected and some are calling for MAFF to intervene to draw up a disease action plan.

This could include the possibility of statutory controls of pig movements from affected herds and add PDNS and PMWS to the list of Notifiable Diseases.

Hard-hit breeders have pointed out the effects of PDNS and PMWS are far worse than Aujeskeys Disease, which became subject to compulsory slaughter and an industry-funded compensation scheme in the early 1980s.

Aujeskeys Disease has now been eradicated in the UK.

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