I think most smallholders prefer raising from spring to autumn, so winter pigs are always very underpriced. But auction markets are never the best place to sell rare breed weaners anyway, most buyers are looking for a commercial breed there
Pig feed prices are rising, straw prices are rising and yet the price folk are prepared to pay for pork, isn't. It's not a sustainable situation
The global pig market, right at the moment, is in a bit of a mess
I get the Pig World magazine (mainly aimed at the commercial operators) and there's lots of information and different stories in it. Here's what I've gleaned so far.....
The EU stalls ban coming in January 2013 is having quite a significant effect on the size of the EU pig herd. Most, if not all countries are culling sows, simply because they can afford to make the welfare changes needed (the same welfare standards we've had in the UK since, I think, 1999) in time for the stall ban.
It should be a good time for British pig producers, but it's not
Processors aren't upping the price, despite a rise of close to £100 per tonne of pig food and many other increasing costs in the last year - commercial famers are losing money on every single pig they put away (and you're probably talking 1000 pigs per week) and when facing the prospect of having to cover these costs for the next 4-6 months many UK farmers are deciding they just can't afford to do it and are culling sows, so the UK herd is decreasing too.
America is in the position where they have a huge surplus of pig meat, so are also culling some of their national breeding herd - pig production seems to be dropping world wide at the moment.
There may come a time, in the not too distant future, where there simply aren't enough farmers to cope with the demand - no bacon butties for breakfast