Weak pig prices prompt producer worries

By Peter Crichton

THE continued weakness of the UK pigmeat market was well illustrated by this weeks prices at livestock markets. And, although few pigs were traded, there are fears that poor liveweight prices will filter through to the deadweight sector.

Bacon pigs sold through the auction ring this week struggled to rise much above 62p/kg liveweight, equivalent to a deadweight price of 82p/kg. This values the average 90kg pig at just £53.50 after deductions.

Such a low price currently underlines the value of a bacon contract based on the All-Average Pig Price, where the typical producer registered under a farm-assured scheme will receive about £64 for the same pig.

With many contracts up for re-negotiation in the next few weeks, the trend towards contract rather than spot selling is expected to accelerate in the wake of poor spot prices.

Contract prices will be based on the latest Adjusted UK Spec GB price for the week ended 25 April. That stands at a more reasonable 95.08p/kg, compared with 95.43p/kg a week earlier.

Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry

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