By Peter Crichton
SPOT markets and live auctions have underlined the weakness of the non-contract end of the pig trade.
Most bacon pigs this week were quoted at 53-55p/kg deadweight and 36-42p/kg liveweight. This translates to a banked figure of around 35 per pig, virtually the same as the cost of a 30kg weaner twelve months ago.
The price crash has dropped spot prices for 30kg weaners to 12-15 each, and it is hard to find takers at all for 7kg pigs.
It seems unlikely that many pig producers will be able to stay in business over the next 12 months unless UK prices can rise above 100p/kg deadweight
The All Euro-Spec Average price stands at 74.74p for the week ending 8 August, and this continuing downward trend is likely to be repeated in the weeks ahead.
Meat and Livestock Commission officials are sticking by their latest forecast of 86-92p for September-March 1999. But producers remain to be convinced that this will prove an accurate forecast.