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Pig prices continue to rise but soaring costs hit profit prospects

20th May 2021 / By Alistair Driver

Pig prices continue to rise at a healthy rate, although high input prices mean most producers are still operating at a loss, according to AHDB. 

Despite some recent price stability in European markets, and even a little softness, the EU-spec SPP rose by 1.76p, to average 150.51p/kg in the week ending May 15. This is the ninth consecutive weekly increase and takes the SPP above 150p for the first time this year, from below 140p in late-March.

Although this brings the measure to within 14p of where it was a year ago, and more than 4p above the five-year average, feed prices continue to make profitability near impossible for many, AHDB said. Wheat prices remain around the £200/tonne mark, alongside high soya prices, while straw prices remain high. 

AHDB estimated producers were typically losing £25/pig during the first quarter and there appears to be a long way still to go before the industry can move back into the black. 

Carcase weights continue to come down, averaging 86.76kg last week, 240g lighter than the previous week, but still 1.85kg heavier than this time last year.

Estimated throughput totalled 192,500 head, up 3,600 head week-on-week. Reports suggest abattoirs are struggling with labour availability, although this does not yet appear to bring problems moving pigs, AHDB added. 

In the week ending May 8, the EU-spec APP averaged 152.20p/kg, up by 1.62p on the previous week. The gap between the SPP and the APP widened to 3.45p.

To see the weekly price graphs, click here