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Martin Doherty

Senior Analyst - Data & Analysis

AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Pig Prices (UK Spec)

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The downward trend in GB pig prices continued for another week. In the week ended 16 February the UK-spec SPP fell 0.23p to 135.05p/kg. Nonetheless, there are continued industry expectations that tightening supplies, following difficulties with fertility levels last summer, might ultimately stem the ongoing price decline. EU pig prices also moved up slightly in the week ended 10 February.

Estimated slaughterings in the week stood at almost 171,000 head, down 3% on the previous week and back just over 11% on the same week of 2018. AHDB slaughtering estimates have been revised following the Defra statistics release last week. Average carcase weights slipped again to average 86.51kg, and continue to be above year earlier levels.

The UK-spec APP slipped 0.67p on the week, to 140.66p/kg, in the week ended 9 February. The gap between the SPP and APP had been widening recently, but during this week it actually narrowed slightly to 5.61p.

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In the week ended 8 December, despite stable throughputs the UK-spec SPP fell by 0.71p compared to the previous week, to 140.01p/kg. This represents the largest weekly price decline for five weeks, with the current quote almost 9p behind the same week in 2017. While the gap between the two years had been narrowing since the autumn, in this latest week the SPP actually fell at a faster rate than last year.

Estimated slaughtering for the week totalled 190,800 head, virtually on par with the previous week but still 4,500 head higher than a year earlier. This is the second consecutive week in which slaughter has been above 2017 levels. The average SPP carcase weight was 85.43kg, the lowest level since mid-October, suggesting fewer pigs are now being rolled back. Nonetheless, average weights continue to be over a kilo heavier than the corresponding week in 2017, suggesting lower numbers have been pulled forward than last year. This may well push up supplies in the New Year. The average probe measurement remained unchanged at 11.3mm.

Conversely, the UK-spec APP was broadly stable, at 145.07p/kg during the week ended 1 December (+0.01p week-on-week). This leaves the current quote over 7.5p behind the same week in 2017. The gap between the APP and SPP in the same week rose to 4.35p, as the SPP recorded a decline