UK pig prices - week ended 26 March 2016
The EU-spec SPP saw its second rise this year in the week ending 26 March, up 0.74p to 112.81p/kg.
This follows a modest decline a week earlier. These fluctuations infer that the bottom of the market may have been reached for now, although it is too early to state if we may start to see prices increase further. However, this is, encouragingly, the largest recorded weekly price increase since the SPP price series was introduced in April 2014. This also suggests that the short working week before Easter had little downward pressure on price, although it was reported that some processors were still accepting pigs on Good Friday.
Although the average carcase weight fell slightly from the previous week, by 0.4kg to 83.34kg, they still remain at historically high levels. This, again, gives no real indication that pigs were pulled forward early. Estimated slaughterings were down on the previous week, by 9% to 158,000 head. This was largely due to the shorter working week. Similarly, they were down 11% on the same period a year earlier, due to the early Easter holiday this year.
Despite a small fall in last week’s SPP, the EU-spec APP for week ending 19 March saw a slight increase of 0.30p to 116.24p/kg. This infers that more premium pigs may have been coming forward to market, maybe in preparation for the Easter celebrations.
Both the 7kg and 30kg weaners recorded price increases in the week ending 26 March. 30kg weaner prices increased marginally to £36.96 per head, while 7kg weaner prices increased by £1.03 to £28.82. While these prices still remain under pressure, and are significantly lower than a year earlier, is it too early to be hopeful that this may be an indication of the first glimmers of confidence returning to the finisher market? Perhaps, but it has been a long time since we’ve been able to report a clean sweep of rising prices.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741