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Pig price latest - 'I look forward to the day the boot is on the other foot'

7th Jun 2019 / By Alistair Driver

The EU-spec SPP increased by just over a penny last week, reaching 146.47p/kg, but the recent rises are too little, too late.

AHDB's weekly report said retail demand remains relatively quiet, although warmer weather last weekend should help. Supply was up on the previous week, with slaughter estimated at 163,800 head, similar to last year’s levels. The average carcase weight was up as well, averaging 83.60kg, half a kilo above last year.

The SPP has been rising steadily over the past few weeks, but the rate of increase remains well below the dramatic price hikes seen across the EU in the back of increased demand from China and tight supply.

EU Ref June 7

The EU reference price increased by another 3p in the week ended May 27, following a 4p rise the previous week. It means the average EU price has increased from 117p/kg at the start of February to 153.26 during the week ended May 27, a 32% increase.

In the same period, the UK price has risen by around 6p, a 4% increase.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “UK pig prices continue to rise at a snail’s pace, compared with the rapid increases seen across Europe. We have heard the processors’ excuses about Brexit stockpiling and weak demand, but in our view they don’t stack up – and they don’t explain the poor returns our producers are getting compared with what they should be getting.

"I’m tired of writing the same thing every week… one thing is for sure however, producers will not forget this. I look forward to the day the boot is on the other foot and let’s see how they like it.”

“Our analysis has shown that producers have been losing millions of pounds over the past few months as a result of the failure of our prices to keep pace with EU prices. Processors cannot hold off any longer – we now expect, as processors have been promising, a sustained period of price increases.”

Zoe and NPA chairman Richard Lister feature prominently in a analysis feature in the latest issue of Pig World asking whether UK producers are getting a rough deal on prices. You can read it here

They also explain why they are keen to see changes made to the SPP to deliver a more accurate and transparent reference price. You can read that article here

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