Like A Rolling Stone

Although the latest SPP has nudged up by a further 0.25p to stand at 165.61p, this is probably the only plus point of the day with reports that some but not all of the big players have been rolling pigs.

This, in turn, has changed a sellers’ market into a buyers’ one at the drop of a hat and also added to the weights of pigs being rolled in subsequent weeks, putting more downward pressure on prices.

This sinking feeling has also been reflected in weekly contribution prices which, after holding firm until 2 weeks ago, now seem to be in decline and following last week’s falls, a further 1-2p has been taken out and most contribution prices are generally between 153-162p.

Monthly contribution prices are also forecast to come down and some fairly significant drops are predicted.

The spot market remains very quiet with most pigs either on contract (or waiting to be sold on contract) and it is hard to see any spot pig bids of much more than 160p.

Cull sow prices have at least held their ground with reports of slightly better throughputs being handled in Germany following recent Covid-19 related shutdowns with some prices as low as 45p but more than this for those with larger loads to sell.

Although the slightly firmer Euro which traded today worth 91.94p compared with 90.75p a week ago has helped slightly on the import/export front, cull sow prices have a long way to go before they can get back to last March when prices were up to 125p. Those were the days my friend!

Weaner prices are generally holding steady, although at the time of preparing this report, the AHDB 7kg and 30kg average was not available but last week’s figures are likely to be repeated with the 7kg ex farm average was £42.72 and the 30kg ex farm average was £60.84.

Although feed values have held at similar levels, they are still on the high side and coupled with the fall in finished pig prices, spot weaner buyers remain cautious and they are also factoring in the rising price of straw with winter barley straw yields reported to be much lower than normal.

Feed ingredient values are at slightly firmer levels, with feed wheat traded at £171 for September and barley at £139 for the same month.

Protein values are rising a touch with Hipro soya deals done for £306/t for August—October and £303/t for November-April 2021.

And finally, recent reports have indicated that global pork production levels have fallen by around 8% for this year, which is not helping at a time when some herds particularly in the US are actually producing more.

The largest decline in pig meat consumption is estimated to be in China at around 17% and the same pattern is being repeated in other parts of the Far East including Vietnam and the Philippines.

Although these countries and others are also coping with African Swine Fever, at the same time the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are putting downward pressure on some of the larger global pig meat producers but if ASF outbreaks continue this could lead to a recovery in domestic consumption and help to lift prices……we shall see.

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About The Author

Based in Suffolk, Peter Crichton provides a wide range of valuation, auction and livestock marketing services, as well as supplying the UK pig industry with a wide range of consultancy services covering tenancy, contract advice, pig equipment and herd valuations as well as dispute resolution. For more information visit: www.petercrichton.co.uk