Meat & Livestock News

Current Trends in the UK Pig Market: A Comprehensive Overview

Middle aged farmer cleaning at pig farm.

The UK pig market is experiencing several notable trends, as detailed in the latest industry update. This report provides insights into pig prices, production levels, and trade dynamics, offering a clear picture of the current state of the industry.

Pig Prices

Great Britain’s pig prices are on a steady decline. As of mid-December, the Standard Pig Price (SPP, EU spec) was recorded at 214.65p/kg, marking a slight decrease from the previous week. Although this price is higher than at the start of the year, it represents a drop from the peak in August.

The All Pig Price (APP, EU spec) also shows a steady downward trend, standing at 215.5p/kg in early December. These figures align with similar declines in EU prices, though the EU’s drops have been somewhat steeper.

Production Levels

Pig meat production in November was slightly up from the previous month but still lower than the same period last year. The total production was approximately 85,200 tonnes, a 3% increase from October but a 3.6% decrease from November 2022.

The number of clean pig slaughters in November rose to 910,500, a 2.6% increase from October, with reports suggesting pigs were brought forward ahead of Christmas. However, this figure is lower than the same time last year and behind the five-year average, reflecting a continued decline in the population of fattening pigs.

Trade Dynamics

In terms of trade, pig meat imports for October exceeded 70,000 tonnes, driven by increases in bacon, sausages, and fresh/frozen pork imports. The EU remains a competitive source due to lower prices. While bacon imports saw a slight decline, fresh/frozen pork imports increased to meet domestic demand. On the export front, the UK’s capacity has been limited due to reduced domestic production.

October exports totalled 27,140 tonnes, a decrease from the previous year, with significant falls in offal exports and reduced volumes to key markets like China, Germany, France, and Belgium. However, there was an increase in exports from September, particularly to China.

This comprehensive update offers a clear view of the current trends in the UK pig market, highlighting the interplay between domestic production, pricing, and international trade.