Scottish pig prices have risen as demand grows, according to the latest market report from Quality Meat Scotland.
After cooling slightly at the beginning of 2016, the SPP stabilised in the second half of February before edging higher as March began. Since then the market has gathered pace with prices rising by 1.5p/kg in both the final week of March and first week of April. This lifted the SPP to 154.5p/kg dwt; 5p (3%) above its end of February low point, and around 3p (2%) higher than at the turn of the year. Compared to the beginning of April 2016, this was an increase of 42p (37%). Industry sources point to spot prices rising above contract levels, signalling that demand for home-produced pigs exceeds supply. On the numbers side, the three-week rolling average SPP reporting sample fell back through February and the first half of March, but has since been edging higher again.
Although carcase weights have been sliding seasonally, the rise in price per kilo has been sufficiently strong to raise the average SPP carcase price. At £128.98 in the first week of April, the average carcase was £3.03 (2.5%) dearer than its mid-February low, £1.55 (1%) higher than at the beginning of 2017, and £34.44 (36.5%) above its year earlier level.
After lacking direction for most of Q1 2017 the weaner trade has picked up in line with the finished market since mid-March, reflecting tight supply. As a result, the three-week rolling average for a 30kg store pig began April at £58 per head; around £2.50 above its January to mid-March level. Meanwhile, the 7kg weaner price added £1 over the same period to trade at £39.50. Compared to early April 2016, 30kg weaners traded 57% higher, with the 7kg average running 38% higher. This has pushed the 30kg weaner to 45% of the finished carcase price, up from 39% of it a year ago, and held the 7kg price at 31% of the finished price.
The full report can be found at http://www.qmscotland.co.uk/sites/default/files/market-report-apr-2017.pdf