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Carcase weights hit new high as SPP decline continues

21st Jan 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Avergage carcase weights continue to rise, reaching a new record in the latest SPP sample, while prices go the other way.

The EU-Spec SPP fell by another 1.69p to average 143.05p/kg in the week ending January 16, nearly 20p down on a year ago.

Pig prices Jan 16

However, it is important to note that GB prices remain among the highest in Europe. The EU reference price stands at just over 115p/kg, with very low prices currently seen in some major pig producing countries, including Germany (111.5p/kg) and the Netherlands (103.8p/kg). 

The low EU prices, along with an oversupply of pork domestically continue to weigh down GB prices, AHDB said in its latest weekly update. 

Pigs continue to be rolled from week to week, and carcase weights broke records again, increasing 270g on last week to 90.69kg. The average probe measurement was 11.5mm.

However, after weeks of lower than average slaughterings for the time of year, estimated slaughter in the week ending January 16 was 1.5% higher than the same week last year and 3,000 head more than the previous week at was 187,400 head, an encouraging sign.

In the week ending January 9, the EU-spec APP fell by 1.90p on the previous week to 149.23p/kg. The difference between the APP and the SPP widened to 4.49p.

To see the weekly price graphs, click here

The pig sector continues to be hit by the dual impact of COVID-19 outbreaks in pork plants and severe disruption to porks export as a result of new checks at borders that came into force at the start of this year, an issue the NPA is raising in the media

As a result demand for cull adults from the abattoirs that process them is hugely reduced and producers are having to make alternative plans. Members can read some important guidance on this in the Members' Area (January 19 entry).