A new system for reporting deadweight pig prices is about to be launched in the UK which will bring benefits to the whole industry, according to the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC).
The Deadweight Average Pig Price (DAPP), which has been developed by the MLC's economics section and the British Pig Executive (BPEX), is designed to give a fuller reflection of the different contracts now within the pig marketplace.
BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan said: "Good quality price information is vital for the efficient working of the market and benefits producers and processors alike.
"The existing system (AESA) is very good and has served the industry well but we are always striving to improve and the DAPP works with a larger sample to give even more representative information."
The abattoir sample contributing to the survey now represents more than 60 per cent of weekly slaughterings - some 80,000 pigs - and this is expected to increase further.
With the increased sample size the calculation of the DAPP has been simplified. Weight or grade coefficients, as used in the old AESA system, will no longer be necessary making the DAPP more reactive to changes in production within the industry.
Under the DAPP, country coefficients will remain in place to ensure that proportional weighting will be given to the British and UK regions. These will be based on Defra regional slaughterings data and reviewed on a monthly basis.
The AESA will continue to be produced alongside DAPP for a period of time to allow producers and abattoirs to become familiar with DAPP and assess the exact difference between the prices. Sample data has been tested over the last few weeks and generally the average weight of pigs in DAPP is about 1.5kg heavier and the average probe 0.1mm deeper compared to the AESA sample.
For further information contact the Meat and Livestock Commission.