Pig prices down
EXPANSION of the UK pig herd is pushing prices down.
Clean pig slaughterings in the first six months of 1997, at 7.33m, were up almost 10% on the first half of 1996.
And forecasts for the third and final quarter of the year suggest the kill then will be 3.61m and 3.85m head. Thats between 3% and 4% up on 12 months earlier.
Herd expansion, together with improved sow productivity and reduced disease levels are behind the figures, according to the Meat and Livestock Commission.
On Monday, the all-pigs average spot price was 82.5p/kg lw. A year earlier it had been more than 106p/kg.
And while supplies are tight on Continental markets in the wake of classical swine fever outbreaks, the UK remains an attractive export destination due to the strong £.
With MAFFs April census showing a 5.8% rise in the number of in-pig sows and gilts, higher slaughter levels are expected to continue until the end of 1998.n