Positive picture on prices in AHDB’s March market update

AHDB has issued its March update on the UK pig meat market.

GB pig prices fell for the first time since February 2016 during January. The monthly-average EU-spec APP declined by less than 0.7p on the previous month’s figure, to stand at 153.85p/kg.

A fall in pig prices usually occurs during the first month of the year, as consumer demand is subdued following the Christmas period. However, the fall this year was much more modest than the over 7p decrease that was seen between December 2015 and January 2016.

As such, this year’s monthly average remained over 32p above the equivalent year earlier figure. Tighter supplies have helped keep the market largely in balance.

The EU-spec SPP also showed a fall on the month during January, to average at 150.66p/kg. The price decline of over 1p was ahead of that for the APP, and so the gap between the APP and the SPP widened by 0.35p to average at 3.19p for the month.

This suggests that premium pigs have been affected by the price decline less than standard pigs. Moving into February, the market has now showed signs of positive movement again. During week ended 18 February, the EU-spec SPP increased by 0.15p to stand at 149.81p/kg.

In contrast to finished pig prices, while there was some fluctuation, overall weaner prices rose marginally on the month during January. This reflects the tightness in supply in the market at present. The monthly average 7kg weaner price rose 13p to stand at £38.66 per head, while 30kg weaners saw a rise of 55p to £55.15 per head. Prices have not been at this level since August 2014.

The report and accompanying charts can be found at http://pork.ahdb.org.uk/prices-stats/published-reports/uk-pig-meat-market-update/

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.