- news, features, articles and disease information for the swine industry

AHDB Pig Market Weekly

22 June 2012

AHDB UK Market Survey - 22 June 2012AHDB UK Market Survey - 22 June 2012

Weather issues have been the key driver of new crop grain prices this spring.


Feed update

UK November 2012 feed wheat prices have recently been trading above £155 per tonne as markets become more anxious over 2012/13 supply levels. Weather in the US Eastern Corn Belt has been hot and dry as maize crops enter into key development stages. This is casting further doubt over the USDA’s current yield forecast, which until August, is based upon historical trend rather than crop condition.

Anxiety in the maize market, transfers directly into the wheat market as these grains are substitutable with one another in global feed rations. It is expected that wheat availability will be lower in 2012/13 due to a number of weather issues. In Continental Europe, winter kill and poor growing conditions in early spring look set to put a check on production. In Russia, dry conditions in mid-May fuelled speculation over crop losses, but rain has arrived since. In Ukraine, winter kill has slashed production forecasts for wheat, diverting land toward maize. This may result in a record Ukrainian maize crop with exports targeted at Mediterranean Europe.

For the UK, crops were seen to have good potential as at the end of May. However, much of June has so far provided poor weather conditions for crops. High disease pressure, lack of sunshine and risk of lodging are all important factors as crops start to build yield.

Protein meal prices remain well supported with UK soyameal prices at record levels and in excess of £350 per tonne. Following the drought impacted South American soyabean crop earlier in 2012, US crops may also be suffering from the extreme heat in the Corn Belt. Import demand from China remains robust.

With so much variation in weather, markets await the clarity of harvest as well as US plantings and stocks data on 29 June.

Pig market trends


Deadweight pig prices continued their seasonal upward trend during May. However, this slowed in early June and in week ended 16 June the EUspec DAPP levelled on the week to average 149.37p per kg. In recent weeks, the rate of increase has been lower than during the spring of 2011 as poor weather reduced consumer demand and the weaker euro reduced the competitiveness of British pig meat.

The weaner market has been difficult during May and early June, with finishers still reluctant to take on higher numbers while feed prices remain high, especially as these weaners will be finished in the autumn, when slaughter pig prices tend to fall. The average 30kg weaner price eased back by a few pennies in week ended 23 June to £43.07 per head, its lowest level since early December last year. At this price weaners are over two pounds per head cheaper than they were in the corresponding week in 2011.

Regional slaughterings

UK clean pig slaughterings in May were almost six per cent higher than year earlier levels at 753,000 head. This increase was the result of a seven per cent increase in English and Welsh slaughterings and an eight per cent increase in Scottish throughputs. In addition, slaughterings in Northern Ireland were almost one per cent higher on the year. This takes the year to date UK figure to 4.16 million head an increase of four per cent on the corresponding period in 2011.

Cull sow and boar throughputs at UK abattoirs during May totalled almost 19,000 head. This represented a marginal increase on AHDB estimates for May 2011. In the first five months of the year adult pig slaughterings are four per cent ahead of 2011 levels at 109,000 head.

UK clean pig carcase weights in May were marginally higher than in the corresponding period of 2011 at 77.9kg while adult carcase weights were two per cent lower on the year at 151.3kg. As a result of the increased throughputs pigmeat production in May was six per cent higher year on year at 61,500 tonnes and in the year to date totalled 344,000 tonnes, up almost four per cent on the year.

DOWNLOAD REPORT:- Download this report here

Our Sponsors


Seasonal Picks

Animal Welfare Science, Husbandry and Ethics: The Evolving Story of Our Relationship with Farm Animals - 5m Books