The EU weaner price has hit its lowest level for almost three years, largely influenced by lower producer returns for finished pigs, despite falling feed prices, according to BPEX.
At £38.96 a head, the EU average weaner price for the week ended September 28 was £8.60 down on the start of the year and the lowest price recorded since November 2011.
“Weaner prices had remained above last year’s levels for most of the first half of the year,” said BPEX. “However, since mid-July, the annual price comparison showed EU weaner prices below year earlier levels. For the latest week, the average marked a difference of £7 below levels for the same week in 2013.
“The weaner price usually mirrors finished pig prices, albeit with a slightly different seasonal pattern. The weakness in the market is, therefore, largely influenced by lower producer returns of late for finished pigs, despite falling feed prices.”
BPEX added that EU weaner prices weakened the most in the third quarter of this year, largely affected by the key weaner markets in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, where prices had come down by around £14 since the start of July.
In other key markets, prices generally held up somewhat better, as Spain and France recorded a decline of just under £8 between July and September. The Danes, in contrast, were in a better position compared to the other main markets, where prices weakened by just £2.35 during the third quarter.