UK pig prices - week ended 22 August 2015
With the summer holidays still limiting demand and supplies picking up slightly, the EU-spec SPP eased back by a third of a penny in week ended 22 August, to 132.22p/kg.
This is the lowest level since mid-June but only a penny below the recent high point as the market remains broadly in balance. The current quote is still over 25p down on a year earlier, although the gap continues to narrow as prices were falling faster this time last year. Some downward pressure was provided by an increase in the number of pigs slaughtered, estimated at 174,200 head, the highest number since early July and 3% more than the equivalent week in 2014. Carcase weights, however, remained relatively low; at 80.2kg, the average for the week was below its level a year earlier for only the second time this year.
The APP also eased back in the week ended 15 August, to stand at 136.65p/kg (EU-spec), down 0.38 on the week. As the SPP was almost unchanged in the same week, the gap between the two series narrowed to just over 4p/kg. This may be partly because of an increase of nearly half a kilo in the average weight in the APP sample, while standard pig weights in the same week averaged slightly lower than the week before.
The weaner market also remained broadly stable, with prices for the two categories of animal moving in opposite directions. The 7kg piglet average fell by 50p to £32.68/head, while 30kg store pigs were 41p more expensive, at an average of £44.02/head. The former was £6 below year earlier levels, while the latter had dropped just over £7 year on year.