SPP drops back as weights continue to break records

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

By Felicity Rusk

GB finished pig prices have recorded another week of decline in the week ending 14 November. The EU-spec SPP fell by 1.29p on the week to average 154.05p/kg. This puts the measure almost 4.3p below the same week in the previous year.

The price for carcases 70.0-104.9kg also fell noticeably, by 1.13p on the week to average 155.62p/kg. Unfortunately, the sample data for the “up to 59.9kg” and the “105.0kg and over” weight bands was not robust and so a price for these bands alone was not split out this week.

Estimated slaughter was much higher than the previous week, with some difficulties at abattoirs easing. Throughputs were estimated at 185,800 head, 9,500 more than in the previous week. Nevertheless, this remains 3,700 head (2%) below the same week in the previous year. Though the situation may have improved a little, reports indicate COVID-19 is still limiting available staff numbers at some processors. There is growing concern over the number of pigs backed up in the system, particularly in the run up to Christmas. Kill levels normally peak at this time of year.

Carcase weights once again increased on the week. Finished carcases were on average 600g heavier than in the previous week, averaging at 88.24kg. This is the heaviest weight recorded since the SPP series began in 2014. This puts weights 3.87kg above the same week in the previous year.

The average probe depth was 11.6mm. Probe measurements have increased by 0.1mm each week for the last three weeks consecutively. The escalating carcase weights and increasing fat depth will have been influenced by any delays to pig slaughter.

In the week ending 7 November, the EU-spec APP recorded a decline of 1.45p on the week to average 159.08p/kg. This is the largest week-on-week decline the measure has seen since October 2017. This puts the measure just under a penny below the same week in the previous year. While the SPP also declined in the same week, the extent of the drop was not as large as that seen in the APP. As such, the gap between the two series narrowed to 3.74p.

Prices for 7kg weaners increased marginally on the week, rising by 17p to average £39.57/head. Unfortunately, the sample data for the 30kg weaner price was not robust and so there is no available price this week.



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