African swine fever continues to hit global pig supply and support prices.
The disease has been found 70km from the German border in Poland, with that outbreak 300km from the previous one.
One-quarter of the world’s pigs are expected to be destroyed by the disease, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health, with 100 million animals killed in China alone in the last year.
Prices of up to £700 a pig in the country have been reported.
The UK is now fully licensed to export pigmeat to China and a brisk trade in trotters and whole cuts is being reported.
In September, UK pig exports were at a monthly record of £36.4m, which was nearly 50 per cent more than in September 2018.
For the first time ever, more than half of UK pigmeat exports were to non-EU markets.
In October, 1.024m UK pigs were slaughtered, the highest monthly total since October 2015.
However, annual output is up just 0.9 per cent to 10.986m. Strong export demand and high global prices are supporting UK values, while UK demand remains relatively weak, according to AHDB.
The latest EU Spec price is 158.34p/kg deadweight, 14.8 per cent more than a year ago.
AHDB calculates the average cost of British pig production in the third quarter of 2019 was 147p/kg, down 1p/kg on the previous three months.
An average price of 155p/kg resulted in a 9p/kg positive margin. This compared with a 30p/kg margin in Q3 2017 and 12p/kg loss in Q1 this year.