Positivity for the pig industry

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

In Pork Talk last month, we looked at whether there were signs that tougher times might be about to ease. In the latest update, Bethan Wilkins discusses how the situation has developed.

Bethan says: "The SPP has now moved up very slightly for two consecutive weeks, the first positive movement since July last year. However, there is still a way to go until prices move back above average production costs." 

There have been some positive signs coming from retail sales, with recent reports from Kantar Worldpanel indicating fresh pork sales increased in the latest 12-week period ending 24 February. The continuing poor performance from bacon does somewhat mitigate the positive impact of this; look out for detailed analysis on this subject.

From an export perspective, sales were also good in the early part of the year. Bethan tells us that during January, UK pig meat exports increased 11% compared to last year and average prices were higher. Exports to China, in particular, increased over 50% and there remains significant potential for growth in this market as the year progresses.

"Overall there remain some positive signs for the British pork market over the coming months, though much depends on developments with African Swine Fever, and, of course, Brexit."