Pig prices at the bottom of the trough?

By Peter Crichton

UK producers are hoping that with the end of the holiday season , and the recent announcement by the MLC of a £3 million promotion package, they could see something of a revival in home demand.

More supermarket promotions of the UK product, with its welfare advantages, are also being pressed for to try and kick-start demand.

With the AAPP continuing its relentless slide and the UK AESA slipping a further 2p to 68.5p/kg, those weaner and finished-pig producers still tied to the index price face mounting losses. Although the major UK banks are supporting many of their customers as far as they dare, there are reports of huge financial problems facing many large-scale producers in particular.

For those who remain there will still be a mountain of debt to service, presenting a further challenge to the industry.

The only other positive factor to perhaps indicate that UK prices are at the bottom of the trough is this weeks auction market returns which indicate slight gains with most weights traded mid week between 38 and 42p/kg liveweight.

However, in the run up to the Bank Holiday prices are normally fragile and, according to abattoir buyers, rolling back extra contract-pig numbers in a “short” week can soon snuff out any gains on the spot market.

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