Pig prices remain unchanged as slaughter plants return to full operation this week after Christmas. They are likely to concentrate on fat pigs this week, which will avoid any spacing issues on finishing units and they will slaughter more sows next week.

IFA pigs chair Roy Gallie said it was critical that slaughter plants keep operating as normal despite the surge in coronavirus cases.

“Pig producers need this continuity. The factories, the Department of Agriculture and farmers are doing a good job of implementing COVID-19 precautions.”

The national pig kill was under 40,000 head in each of the final two weeks of 2020 but could approach 70,000 head this week.