Rising weaner prices boosts hope of tightening finished supplies

Further evidence that finished pig supplies in Europe could “tighten” later in the year has emerged from the latest EU figures for weaner prices, according to AHDB Pork.

“Weaner prices across the EU have firmed significantly since early December, with the EU average reference price rising from below €32 (£25) per head to over €40 (£31.50) during that time,” said AHDB Pork, noting that while rising prices are usual during the spring, this year’s increase seems to have started “earlier than normal”.

“This may be an indication of lower numbers of weaners being marketed, which could mean tighter finished pig supplies later in the year.”

Such evidence remains sketchy, however, given that prices have also stayed close to year earlier levels.

“This does not suggest that there is much confidence for a marked recovery in finished pig prices before the summer, at least,” said AHDB Pork.

There are also some differing weaner price trends taking place across Europe with strongly rising prices being seen in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain while other member states, including Denmark, Poland and the UK, experiencing stable or falling prices.

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