Best demand for pigs is up north

IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Tom Hogan said this week quotes for pigs were unchanged.

But up to 4c/kg over the quotes have been paid for spot loads, with the greatest demand again seen in northern counties and in Northern Ireland (where up to 163c is quoted). Mr Hogan called on processors to increase prices by at least 2c, to ensure pig farmers have a chance of profitability in 2017.

The UK is an important pigmeat market for Ireland, and new data for the last 12 weeks of 2016 showed rising sales of bacon and added value products, such as sausages, but subdued pork sales (down 7%).

However, imported pigmeat is increasing its share of the supermarket trade, with the latest AHDB Porkwatch survey, covering November 2016, showing the proportion of British pork products on shelves fell between 3% and 5% since September, and by 2% to 4% year-on-year.

The survey didn’t reveal where imports come from. But Asda has reduced British pork by 35%, and now imports the vast majority of its pigmeat.

The overall percentages of British pigmeat on retail shelves were estimated at 79% pork, 46% bacon, 62% ham, and 82% sausage.

Waitrose and Marks & Spencer scored about 100% for British pigmeat.

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