Uncertainty regarding the post-Brexit evolution of the market and an increase in pig slaughtering in the UK has put the price down by 9% from the average recorded last year.
Scotland farmers must endure a drop in prices for pigs, as the market seems more nervous about the tensions raised by Brexit and a high number of slaughtering in the kingdom.
Farmgate pig prices are currently 9% lower than this time last year, according to the latest Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) analysis.
According to Stuart Ashworth, QMS Director of Economics Services, as the year draws to a close, however, pig prices normally do dip seasonally.
“Also contributing to the cooling of producer price is a larger availability of pigs for slaughter in the UK,” said Mr Ashworth.
“Notwithstanding the dip in slaughtering caused by reduced supplies of CO2 during June, which caused some increase in availability during July as the backlog was cleared, the UK weekly pig kill in July this year was reported to be 6% higher than last year, more than offsetting the lower kill in June.”
Throughputs at pig price reporting abattoirs, he added, remain ahead of last year’s levels through August but dipped slightly in early September.
“With pig carcase weights higher than last year, this modest increase in production will have constrained prices as will a more competitive export market, particularly in Europe, which led to reduced UK export volumes during July,” said Mr Ashworth.
At the same time, the same effect is reported in countries like the US or Brazil, where export barriers and high production have dipped the pig prices by 20%. "The average European producer price, which had strengthened during July and early August, has declined and is now 12% lower than last year. The North American pig producers are seeing prices more than 20% lower than this time last year, as are the Brazilians," added Stuart Ashworth.