GB pig prices ease again
For the week ended 21 October, the EU-spec SPP dropped by 0.82p to stand at 157.07p/kg.
The series has now been declining for nine consecutive weeks, with this latest price the lowest since April. Nonetheless, the current quote is still over 11p above year earlier levels.
Ample supplies were available again this week, which likely affected prices. At 176.4 thousand head, estimated slaughterings were 4% higher than year earlier levels, although this did represent a 4% decline on the exceptional numbers the previous week. Carcase weights also edged down by half a kilo from the record high the previous week, to 84.73kg. However, this was still a notable 1.6kg higher than equivalent 2016 levels. With weights escalating in recent weeks, likely influenced by rolled pigs as a result of previous factory unreliability, the average probe measurement has been edging upwards. For week ended 21 October it reached 11.5mm, a measurement not recorded since July 2016.
At 161.02p/kg, the EU-spec APP for week ended 14 October dropped a penny on the previous week. This left the quote 14p above year earlier levels, but as for the SPP, was the lowest price since April. The gap between the APP and SPP for this week widened marginally, to 3.13p.
With finished pig prices coming under pressure, weaner prices have also generally trended downwards in recent weeks. This may be due to slow unit turnaround and caution about the market. Over the past four weeks, 30kg weaners have lost almost £4/head, while 7kg weaner prices have dropped by almost £1/head. Both categories of weaner recorded a fall in price in week ended 21 October. 30kg weaner prices declined by £1.93 to £56.30/head, while 7kg weaners declined 38p to £41.80/head. These prices are broadly in line with levels from the spring this year, but both remain over £5/head above year earlier levels.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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