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AHDB Pig Market Weekly

14 May 2012

AHDB UK Market Survey - 11 May 2012AHDB UK Market Survey - 11 May 2012

On the back of high finished cattle returns in 2011, the rearing calf market has remained firm since the turn of the year.


Pig market trends


Finished pig prices continued their seasonal upward trend in week ended 5 May, with the DAPP EU Spec increasing by over a penny to average 148.21p per kg. This comes despite rainy conditions curtailing any barbecue demand. Supplies were also plentiful, with estimated throughputs comfortably above 2011 levels, and carcase weights also heavier than a year ago, although slightly down on the previous week at an average of 78.77kg.

Once again there was little movement in the weaner market, with the average price in week ending 12 May falling by 14 pence to £45.24. This is almost identical to the level a year ago when prices were rising as high feed costs began to ease back. This year, high feed costs are again limiting the willingness of finishers to take increased numbers of weaners.

With sterling continuing to strengthen against the euro, cull sow prices remain under pressure to prevent higher prices on export markets. In week ended 5 May, the average price was 121.01p per kg dw, down another third of a penny on the week but still nearly 15 pence higher than a year earlier.

Retail price spreads

The average farmgate pig price in April was 146.2p per kg, three per cent higher than in the month previous. Over the month, the average retail price increased by less than one per cent. As a result, the gap between producer and retail prices decreased slightly to 61 per cent. This means that producers received an average of 39 per cent of the retail price which is marginally lower than at the same point last year.

Average retail bacon prices in April were nearly five per cent lower than in March. This means that the gap between producer and retail prices for bacon decreased to 65 per cent, which is equivalent to producers receiving 35 per cent of the retail price, significantly higher than in April 2011, when the figure was just over 31 per cent.

Average prices for most pork cuts were virtually unchanged between March and April. The largest increase was for minced pork but even this was only up by just over one per cent. Pork fillet was the only cut which was noticeably cheaper, with the average price three per cent lower than in March. Compared with prices in April 2011 loin chops were less expensive, with prices have fallen by six per cent. Prices for other cuts were higher than a year earlier with the largest rises for minced pork, boneless leg and traditional pork sausages.

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