SPP still falling, but some uplift for the APP
At 143.57p/kg, the EU-spec SPP fell by 0.35p, compared to a week earlier, in the week ended 17 November. This latest quote continues to run below last year’s price, down by just over 10p.
Estimated slaughterings were up by as much as 8,200 head on the previous week. However, compared with a year earlier, throughputs were over 11,000 head lower. In total, estimated slaughterings reached 187,800 head during the week, which was the highest level recorded since February this year.
With prices continuing to fall only modestly, despite the higher throughput level this week, it seems there are signs demand has improved somewhat. However, as EU pig prices are running well below UK levels, competition from low priced imports likely puts a dampener on the potential for price support.
Having been broadly stable last week, the average carcase weight rose 150g in the latest week, to 84.88kg. The average probe measurement did fall slightly though, by 0.1mm to 11.3mm. This is the highest weekly carcase weight since October last year, suggesting pigs are being marketed later at the moment. Carcase weights had started to fall towards the end of November last year, as pigs were pulled forward for Christmas, and so weights this week are up by just over half a kilo year-on-year.
The EU-spec APP bucked the trend and rose in the week ended 10 November, by 0.53p, to 148.70p/kg. The quote nonetheless continues to run more than 8p below last year’s level. Due to the fall in the SPP over the same period, the gap between the two price quotes for the same week rose to 4.78p, the largest margin recorded since January 2016. This perhaps supports industry reports of stronger demand for Freedom Food pigs recently.
In the week ended 21 November, insufficient numbers of 30kg weaners were traded for a statistically robust price to be generated for the third time in four consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, the 7kg weaner category recorded a decline of £1.75, taking the price to £35.31/head. This quote remains behind the corresponding week in 2017, by £5.80.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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