GB pig prices back in decline
Despite stabilising the previous week, the EU-spec SPP returned to decline in week ended 27 January.
At 146.83p/kg, prices dropped 1.42p on the week. This widened the discount to 2017 levels to 3.73p, as prices were declining more modestly at this point last year.
The return to decline comes as EU pig prices too have continued to fall, exerting downward pressure in the UK market. The EU average pig reference price fell over €3/100kg in week ended 21 January, the largest weekly decline since October. As the UK price has been declining less sharply, and has been boosted in euro terms by some recent strengthening of sterling, the gap between the two price series has widened. In fact, for week ended 21 January, the gap reached almost €31/100kg, the largest since January 2016.
The decline in the SPP also came as throughputs remained a substantial 9% above year earlier levels, suggesting ample UK supplies may be pressurising prices as well. Although, at 182,100 head, estimated slaughterings were 2% lower than the previous week. Average carcase weights also gained almost 400g compared to year earlier levels, and 300g week-on-week, to reach 84.77kg. This would have also bolstered production volumes.
For week ended 20 January, the EU-spec APP declined 0.38p on the week to stand at 151.00p/kg. With the SPP for the same week actually recording a modest increase, the gap between the APP and the SPP narrowed by 41p, to 2.75p. This was the smallest difference since November.
Weaner prices also moved downward in week ended 27 January. 7kg weaner prices averaged £36.65/head, £1.23 lower than the previous week. This meant prices were £2.61 below year earlier levels, and the lowest they have been since October 2016. 30kg weaners also followed this trend, declining £1.39 on the week to £51.70/head. This was £3.15 down on a year ago.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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