EU weaner prices have begun to recover seasonally, boosted by firming finished pig prices, according to BPEX.
The latest European Commission (EC) data shows the EU average weaner price for the week ending February 22 at 40.52 (£29.48) a head. This follows week-on-week increases since the end of 2014, putting prices back to where they were in September 2014.
BPEX warn, however, that any optimism, drawn from this, must be “balanced with caution” as the latest price remains the equivalent of £8 below the same week last year.
“Weaner prices are intrinsically linked to finished pig prices,” said BPEX, adding that while finished values were still low in most key producing countries, they have shown some seasonal improvement in the last couple of weeks.
While agreeing that the weaner improvement could filter through to all stages of the pig supply chain, BPEX also commented that a spring upturn in breeding productivity is “soon to be expected”.
“This could contribute to supply running ahead of demand, resulting in pressure on prices,” said BPEX. “Weaner prices typically peak in the early spring before falling back through the summer.”
The organisation also acknowledged, however, that the recent announcement of the opening of Private Storage Aid for pigmeat could go some way to “alleviating” the possible summer pressure on prices.