Although the SPP put on a further 0.23p this week to stand at 164.43p, spot quotes were a gnat’s crochet easier than recently, with most quotes in or around the 170p mark and a few more pigs coming forward, but more of a trickle than a flood.
Weekly contribution prices have stayed at similar levels within a fairly wide 160-170p range in the main, with UK pigmeat prices generally tending to reflect high but static EU mainland prices where the influential German Producer Price also stood on at €1.70. In our money, that is 152p/kg and still a handy return for a heavy bacon-weight pigs with fewer bottom line deductions or grading penalties that apply in the UK.
As always, the value of the euro plays a pivotal part in the whole supply/demand chain, trading on Friday afternoon worth 89.64p, which is almost exactly the same as its value seven days earlier.
As a result, sow prices also held at generally similar levels, although larger loads can earn a useful premium at a time when UK cull sow values appear to be lagging behind their German counterparts.
Most cull sow bids were in the 93-96p range according to load size.
30kg weaner prices have also paused for breath, with the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm average down by £1.85/head to £59.49/head, although their 7kg younger brothers and sisters were in better demand, with the latest AHDB average at 44.61, up by £1.12/head. To some extent, the gap between spot and contract weaner prices is starting to narrow as a few more numbers become available, but producer prices are still well ahead of COP levels.
With the wheat harvest now gathering pace, UK cereal prices have been under a certain amount of pressure, with spot new crop feed wheat deals being done around the £136/t mark on an ex-farm basis. Futures prices are well ahead of this, with November feed wheat trading on the LIFFE at £147/t and March next year at £150.90/t.
According to cereal analysts, a two-tier global wheat market is opening up between firm spring wheat prices, but winter wheat values have to face ample global supplies, especially from the Black Sea area, but concerns over hot and dry weather continues to put upward pressure on soyameal futures prices.
UK protein prices reflected this slightly bullish trend, with 48% soyameal traded ex-Liverpool at £300/t and 34% rapemeal ex-Kent at £166/t.
And finally, it is good to note that AHDB pork is stepping up publicity over the disease risks posed by recent African Swine Fever outbreaks in the Czech Republic where more than 60 cases have now been confirmed in the wild boar population.
AHDB are producing ‘ASF: Don’t Bring It Home’ posters for display at UK ports of entry, but we could all learn a thing or two from our American and Australian cousins over the stringent precautions and action taken against any illegal imports of contaminated meat products from countries where ASF is present.
The last thing our industry needs at present is the challenge of an exotic disease outbreak, and those of us with long memories can still remember the havoc and misery caused by the 2000 CSF and 2001 FMD outbreaks.