GB pig prices slide again
Following two weeks of relative stagnation, the EU-spec SPP returned to decline in week ended 17 March. At 145.34p/kg, the price averaged 0.37p lower than the previous week.
Prices had started to pick up this time last year, so the gap compared to year earlier levels has continued to widen, reaching almost 6p in the most recent week.
The downwards price movement comes as supplies continue to run significantly ahead of year earlier levels. Estimated slaughterings for the most recent week totalled 191,100 head, marginally higher than revised figures for the previous week and a substantial 16% above 2017 levels. Carcase weights also recovered after the previous week’s dip, averaging 84.46kg. This is over half a kilo heavier than both the previous week’s average, and the equivalent week last year. These higher weights will have compounded the increasing supply situation. Nonetheless, some industry reports have suggested demand on the fresh meat market has improved. The extent to which this might be able to support prices moving forwards remains uncertain. How throughputs develop both here and on the continent will be key.
At 148.87p/kg, the EU-spec APP in the previous week ended 10 March was up 0.29p on the week. This was the largest weekly increase in either price series since July. With the SPP recording a more modest increase in the same week, the gap between the two prices widened to 3.16p.
For the week ended 17 March, both categories of weaner recorded relatively modest price changes, despite previous disruption to trade reportedly affecting demand. 7kg weaners averaged £37.23/head, 21p lower than the previous week, while 30kg weaners were up 69p to £50.99/head. Nonetheless, compared to year earlier levels, 7kg and 30kg weaner prices were down £1.04 and £4.28 respectively.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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