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Prices dip as carcase weights and slaughterings point to growing backlog

19th Aug 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Pig prices fell again last week, as lower slaughterings and higher carcase weights pointed to further backlogs on pig farms as a result of the ongoing staffing crisis hitting processors.

The EU-spec SPP fell to 160.22p/kg in the week ended August 14, down by 0.57p. Relatively low prices on the continent, as well as reports of difficulties processing pigs through the supply chain, will have contributed to this change, according to AHDB.

Pig prices are now back to around mid-July levels, and remain more than 3p below a year earlier. They are still more than 7p above the five-year average, however. 

Pig prices aug 14
Estimated slaughter was relatively low at 163,400 head, reinforcing the reports of a backlog of pigs developing on some farms. In a further sign, the average carcase weight was also up nearly 1kg from last week at 87.20kg.

7kg weaner prices have fallen in the latest week, losing £2.25 to stand at £38.93/head. "Downward pressure is not unexpected, given that any backlog of slaughter pigs is likely to disrupt weaner movements and ultimately limit demand. The recent downward movement in finished pig prices would also be expected to dampen the weaner market," AHDB said. 

The NPA is continuing to raise awareness of the problems the staff shortages are causing industry-wide - and members can help. 

NPA senior policy adviser Charlie Dewhirst said: "Thank you to all members who have written to their MPs explaining how the situation is affecting their businesses. 

"We encourage those who have not yet been able to do so to contact their via the template circulated with this week's issue of Piggy Points. 

"The more noise we can raise politically on this issue the more likely we are to get our voice heard and see some action."