Trade Talk - November 2014

11th November 2014

I think that I would rather be writing about the exciting prospects of next year's rugby World Cup than the current difficult pig trade. But at least this will bring some welcome extra demand next autumn.

This is traditionally a time of year when pig producers look forward to a good and buoyant trade leading up to Christmas but sadly it is quite the opposite this year. The Russian import embargos, coupled with a strong pound, cheap imports and increased home production, have all had a serious affect on the trade this autumn.

At the beginning of September demand was strong and trade was flying, with our market averages reaching the dizzy heights of 140p/kg. The best gilts were highly sought after, achieving anywhere between 150p and 160p/kg. Here we are only two months later and the market average is down at 105p/kg after a freefall period and a flood of imports from across Europe. At least the trade now seems to have levelled, and indeed last week saw the first lift in averages for some time - but sadly it turned out to be a November 5th lift and soon went up in smoke.

The best live market demand continues to be the lighter, cutter weights as more and more pigs are finished on contract to heavy bacon weights; cutter weight gilts this week making up to 130p/kg with good retail and farmshop demand.

This same week last year saw an average of 136p/kg which is over 30p/kg higher than it is now. Hopefully trade will now remain firm through to Christmas but a lift of the Russian import embargos is much needed to restore the situation going forward into the new year.