GB pig prices slide again
The EU-spec SPP returned to decline in the week ended 2 February, at 138.15p/kg. This was a week-on-week change of 0.56p/kg. This week’s price is now down 12p from last year’s peak, and nearly 9p lower than the same week in 2018.
The downward trend is typical for this time of year, with pig prices traditionally dipping after Christmas due to some easing in consumer demand. EU pig prices also remain low, with the gap between EU and UK reference prices increasing to 23p/kg in the week ended 27 January, influenced by some strengthening of the pound.
Estimated slaughtering totalled 184,400 head in the week ended 2 February, virtually on par with the previous week but 3% above year earlier levels. Meanwhile, carcase weights edged down to average 85.41kg. Weights remain well above the level at this time last year, as has been the case since early December.
In contrast, at 144.09p/kg, the EU-spec APP actually increased in the week ended 26 January. This was an increase of 0.45p compared to the previous week. As such, the gap between the APP and the SPP widened to 5.38p. The difference between the APP and SPP has been over 5p for much of this year, suggesting demand for “premium” pigs has been holding up better than for “standard” pigs.
The price for 30kg weaners fell to £43.37/head for the week ended 2 February. This was 54p down on the last reported price two weeks ago. Since the start of the year, the 30kg weaner price has noticeably fallen from around £46/head, though there have been some weekly fluctuations. The latest price showed an annual decline of nearly £10/head. Meanwhile, the price for 7kg weaners reached £37.29/head for the same week. This was £2.59 higher than the week before, perhaps indicating some tightening of supply in relation to demand levels.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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