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EU pig price decline putting pressure on UK market

17th Jan 2018 / By Alistair Driver

Falling EU pig prices are continuing to put pressure on the UK market, with the differential currently standing at around 25p/kg.

Mick SloyanThe latest UK EU Reference Price (which differs from the SPP and APP) of 148.4p/kg compares with the EU reference price of 123.3p/kg. Even with the various deductions to the UK price taken into account, the difference is around 19/20p/kg.

Updating the NPA producer group at its latest meeting in London on Tuesday, AHDB Pork strategy director Mick Sloyan said the European market had fallen away a lot more quickly than had been anticipated. This is mainly is due to a weakening of the export market and higher numbers coming through to slaughter.

He said that continues to put downward pressure on our market and is the primary reason for the fall in UK pig prices in recent weeks.

But in terms of the UK market, there was very little evidence that the expected rise in slaughterings in the fourth quarter of 2017 happened. There has been an increase in carcase weights pushing production, but the number of pigs killed does not appear to have risen.

"There are further falls to come, probably. At this time of year, it always happens and we usually see the market tightening up as we move through March, but it very much depends on what happens in Europe," he said.

EU pig prices have been declining for some time. In each of the four weeks to 31 December 2017 EU pig prices dropped, to close the year at €139.67/100kg, a €5.76/100kg fall over the given period.

For more on this story, see Pig World