GB pig prices pick up

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

By Bethan Wilkins

The EU-spec SPP saw its largest rise this year in the week ending 27 March, increasing by 0.96p to 140.56p/kg. This follows two weeks of relative stability. It seems plausible that we have reached the bottom of the market for now, though it is perhaps a little early to claim this is the beginning of sustained price rises. Nonetheless, this is the largest weekly price rise since December 2019, which is encouraging. Reports indicate that demand has improved while the supply of pigs on farm has tightened.

The average carcase weight fell on the previous week by over half a kilo, to 88.52kg, but this is still a historically high level. The sustained fall in carcase weight in recent weeks supports reports that backlog difficulties have abated. Estimated slaughter was up on the previous week, by 6%, to nearly 210,000 head. This is an exceptionally high kill level for the time of year, however note that this estimate is based on the SPP sample in relation to total Defra slaughter levels in February, when the share of the kill in the SPP sample was a little lower than normal. When actual figures are released for March, it may be revised down somewhat.

The EU-spec APP for week ending 20 March saw a slight increase of 0.24p to 143.93p/kg. This was a slightly larger increase than the SPP in the same week, meaning the gap between the two series widened. 

The sample for both 7kg and 30kg weaners was not statistically robust this week, so no price can be reported.

Bethan Wilkins

Senior Analyst - Red Meat

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