Pigmeat production on the rise
Pigmeat production increased by 7.5% between the end of July and mid-October, as farmgate pig prices returned to a traditional seasonal pattern in 2017.
According to data from Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), carcase weights also rose by 2.5%, while also remaining “well above 2016 levels”.
Consequently, the 9% annual increase in per kilo producer prices was 12.5% on a per carcase basis.
Iain Macdonald, QMS senior economics analyst, commented: “A look at the weekly price reports indicates that the market has responded to a seasonal change in supplies.
“Indeed, the number of pigs processed by abattoirs that report into the GB Standard Pig Price (SPP) rose by 5% between the end of July and mid-October.”
He added that the combination of “firm farmgate prices and relatively stable feed costs have given pig producers favourable market conditions”.
Looking abroad, prices have taken a seasonal downturn, dropping by 8% to 12% across the major producing nations between early September and the first week of October, taking the market below 2016 levels, Macdonald explained.
He stated: “A sharp drop in volumes sold to China has more than offset increased activity in Japan, Korea, the Philippines and the USA.
“Given that EU slaughterings are forecast to have remained lower than in 2016 this autumn, having fallen by 2% in the first seven months of 2017, it appears this fall in overseas demand has been key.”
EU pig production is expected to return to growth next year and rise by 1%.