Another positive day for sellers and prices firmer than the current Government is looking at present, with the SPP rising by 0.85p to stand at 161.70p/kg compared with 119.43p/kg 12 months ago.
Most weekly announced contribution prices have remained at similar levels within the 159p-164p/kg bracket and spot buyers were generally operating in the 170p/kg region, but numbers are still tight as most pigs are now sold under contract after the bruising producers received a year ago.
The only slightly negative note was cull sow prices easing by a penny in places, which we are told is due to currency movements earlier in the week, although German pig prices stood on. However, at the time of preparing this report, on Friday afternoon the Euro was trading at 87.44p, which is exactly the same as it was worth a week ago and it is certainly looking a lot healthier than its value this time last year of 78.48p.
As a result, most cull sow bids were in the 102p–105p/kg range, but numbers are still wanted with nothing being rolled.
Weaner prices appear to have paused for breath to some extent with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm average a shade easier at £59.54/head, but 7kg weaner prices are starting to catch up, averaging £43.86/head, with significant premiums available for one off spot loads, especially Freedom Food Farm Assured pigs.
The grain markets have ended another relatively uneventful week and continue to be dominated by currency fluctuations in the wake of the General Election results. On the basis that ‘markets hate change’, it looks as though there could be more fluctuations in store in the weeks and months ahead with the combination or Brexit negotiations to be dealt with as well as a ‘well hung’ Parliament!
UK ex-farm feed wheat traded this week averaging £139.60/t, which is virtually unchanged, and futures markets saw some marginal increases, with July feed wheat quoted at £141/t, November at £143.75/t and May 2018 firmer at £148.75/t.
UK protein prices saw 48% Brazilian soya meal marginally firmer at £297/t and 34% rape feed also dearer at £180/t.
And finally, the NPA have approached the new Defra Secretary, Michael Gove, who now finds himself in the rural sector after yet another game of musical chairs in the Cabinet, underlining the need to have what the NPA describe as ‘frictionless trade’ with the EU following Brexit.
However, looking ahead, concerns still remain over the outcome of Brexit as far as the UK pig industry is concerned, which could be a case of short-term gain and long-term pain… we shall see.