Smaller decline for GB pig prices
The EU-spec SPP recorded a more modest decline in week ended 18 November, falling just 0.38p on the previous week to 153.66p/kg.
Nonetheless, the gap between prices this year and last continued to narrow, with the latest figure standing just 3.5p above the same week in 2016. This is the smallest premium over year earlier levels since August 2016.
An improvement in the supply demand balance, partly aided by the reopening of a key Scottish processing plant, has likely helped quell the declining price trend. The additional slaughter capacity, and absence of significant plant breakdowns, enabled estimated slaughterings to reach 191.7 thousand head in week ended 18 November. This was 13% up on the previous week and 4% higher than 2016 levels. Higher throughputs may also be related to pigs being pulled forwards for Christmas. As such, average carcase weights recorded a decline of nearly 600g on the week to 84.28kg, which is only 500g heavier than year earlier levels, much less than in previous weeks.
In week ended 11 November, the EU-spec APP also declined, dropping 0.86p on the week to 156.98p/kg, which is just over 5.5p higher than year earlier levels. Meanwhile, the gap between the APP and the SPP widened slightly to 2.94p/kg, following a sharper decline in the SPP.
Weaner prices came under downward pressure in week ended 18 November. 30kg weaners recorded a decline of £1.33 on the week to average £55.72/head, while 7kg weaners posted a more modest decline of 88p to £41.11/head. Prices for both categories of weaner remain above year earlier levels, though as for finished pig prices the gap has been dwindling. In the most recent week, 7kg weaner prices were just over £3 above 2016 levels and for 30kg weaners the premium was just £2.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
email@example.com, 024 7647 8757