UK pig prices - week ended 23 January
Last week proved once again to be a difficult one for the finished pig market, with further declines experienced in the EU-spec SPP. The EU-spec price for the week ending 23 January 2016 fell 2.52p to 115.17p/kg – its tenth consecutive week of decline.
This infers that there is still a surplus of pigs coming forward to market, with supply levels exceeding demand. This comes against a climate where the EU average price is beginning to firm, aided in part by the Private Storage Aid initiative allowing some tightening of supplies. However, the EU Commission has now announced its intention to close the scheme, so we wait to see whether any positive effect it has had on the EU price is sustained.
Slaughterings continued to rise to an estimated 186,000, a weekly increase of just under 1% and a 12% increase on the same period last year. This indicates that there is still a supply quantity coming forwards after the festive period. The average carcase weight fell 0.3kg after an historic high the week before, perhaps partially attributed to the recent cold spell slightly dampening growing conditions. The average probe measurement fell to 11.3mm, a level which has not been noted since October 2015.
The EU-spec APP declined 1.60p to 121.59p/kg for the week ending 16 January 2016. This was over 22p behind the same week last year. The gap between the APP and SPP reduced to just under 4p, following a slightly smaller fall in the latter during the same week.
Prices in the weaner market decreased again for both the 30kg and 7kg categories in the week ending 23 January, as the difficulties in the finished market are plainly reducing demand from finishers. For 30kg weaners, the price decreased by £1.83, bringing the average to £36.10 per head – the lowest price since May 2008. This is nearly £5 lower than in Christmas week. 7kg weaners decreased £1.19 to £28.87, falling below £30 for the first time since this price series reporting began in 2013.