UK pig prices - week ended 27 February 2016
The EU-spec SPP largely stood-on in the week ending 27 February 2016, falling by only -0.15p to 112.17p/kg the smallest week on week decline since mid-November when prices actually rose by a small amount.
However, it was still down 21p on a year earlier. This was the third consecutive week of only a very modest decline, so inferences may be made that the bottom of the market may now be close helped by demand kicking in for the Easter period. Coupled with this, spot prices have also stood-on for another week, providing further indications of a price stabilisation.
The average carcase weight fell by 0.15kg in the week ending 27 February 2016 to 83.90kg, only the third time this year it has fallen below 84kg. The average probe measurement again declined, to 11.2mm, the lowest figure since last September suggesting that pigs are getting leaner. With a return to more normal growing conditions for the time of year, this may have helped to provide a slight brake after the mild and favourable conditions recorded in the first few weeks of 2016. Estimated slaughterings fell just over 1% to 177,000 head, although were up just under 5% on the same period a year earlier. This, again, may be some evidence that supplies are beginning to tighten, and there are reports that processors are accepting both contract numbers and even pulling pigs forward which in turn is contributing to the fall in carcase weights.
The EU-spec APP fell by -0.86p to 116.31p/kg for the week ending 20 February 2016, reducing the gap between the APP and SPP to just under 4p. This suggests that fewer premium pigs may have come forward to slaughter during this week.
Prices in the weaner market showed a dichotomy in their movement for week ending 27 February 2016. For 30kg weaners prices increased £2.29 to £37.76. This was the largest single week increase since August 2014. Conversely, 7kg weaners saw a price fall of £0.26 to £28.79, keeping prices under £30 for the fourth consecutive week. Throughputs of 30 kg weaners were well down on the previous week while for 7 kg weaners they were up but it is also possible that there may be some increase in confidence in the price outlook for the finishing market in the shorter term.
Vikki Campbell, Senior Analyst
vikki.Campbell@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8741