Beast from the East freezes GB pig prices
The EU-spec SPP remained stable in the week ended 3 March, at 145.66p/kg.
As prices were rising this time last year, the latest price is over 4p behind 2017 levels. The lack of price movement was likely due to the extreme weather conditions causing significant disruption to trade.
Estimated slaughterings confirm this, with throughputs back 8% on the week at 163,100 head. This was also 3% below the equivalent week last year. Average carcase weights remained virtually stable on the week, edging up by just 30g to 84.28kg, although this was 160g above year earlier levels. With production slowing, supplies have likely moved closer in line with demand, at least in the short term. Nonetheless, with pigs being rolled, a spike in throughputs could be expected next week, although growth rates may have been limited by the colder weather.
For week ended 24 February, the EU-spec APP dropped 0.27p to 148.75p/kg. This was a difference of 3.09p compared with the SPP in the same week, slightly wider than the previous week due to a larger fall in the SPP.
The weaner markets were also disrupted by the weather in week ended 3 March, with some trade reportedly rolled into the following week. No 30kg weaner price is available due to insufficient trade to produce a statistically robust sample. Meanwhile, the 7kg weaner price declined £1.10 to £35.75/head. This was the lowest price since September 2016, and £2.75 below year earlier levels.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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