Pig demand remains subdued despite people getting back to work

The first week of September resulted in another downward step for GB SPP, which slipped to 156.91p per kg, according to BPEX.

Although this was 10th consecutive downward week for SPP, the 0.26p per kg week-on-week change was the “smallest fall during this period of decline”.

“Despite schools re-opening in the previous week, demand remained somewhat subdued and lower pig prices across the EU added further pressure to the soft UK prices of late,” said BPEX.

“The EU-spec DAPP also fell marginally, by 0.41p to 157.06p per kg. As the finished pig price reached the lowest point of the year so far, the annual gap widened, falling 12p below year earlier levels for the same week.”

Following the late August bank holiday disruptions, AHDB/BPEX estimated weekly slaughterings rose to 169,100 head, up 11% from the previous week and 2% up from a year earlier.

“Carcase weights continued to rise,” BPEX added, “reaching above 80kg for the first time since May, at 80.55kg. As has been the case recently, pig weights remained above last year’s levels, by 900g in the latest week.

“The APP for the week ended August 30, edged down by 0.54 to 159.66p per kg.  The SPP for the same week stood at 157.17p per kg, a gap of 2.49p.”

Reporting that the 30kg weaner price fell by £1.19 to £52.56 per head for the week ended September 7, BPEX commented that the weaner market mirrored the finished pig prices and remained around £1 below the previous year’s level.

“This indicated some weakening in demand for weaners,” they said, “with reports suggesting a shortage of finishing places available. The annual gap in the most recent weeks has shown negative price differentials, suggesting a noticeable shift in the price level for the first time in more than 12 months. Similarly, the 7kg weaner market edged down by 78p to £38.46 per head. This was nearly £2 down compared with the same week in 2013.”

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