Mixed messages from the market place with UK prices generally improving but unfortunately this week the influential German price headed south to the tune of 6 Euro cents.
But it is still 19 cents higher than it was 5 weeks ago, so the German stein remains half full rather than empty. Weekly contribution prices were between stand on and plus 2p within the 136p–139p range in the main.
The spot market ended another week on a fairly quiet note with indications of a copper or two more being available in places, with spot values in and around the 140p mark which is still some 5p-6p adrift of the SPP which stood on at 145.66p.
Wholesale prices have slipped slightly in line with the German pig quotation, with UK cull sows now worth in the 72p-76p range according to load size, not helped by a slightly easier Euro which traded today worth 88.95p compared with 89.26p a week ago.
Although contract weaners are still making good money as far as producers are concerned, one-off loads of spot weaners are proving quite hard to sell as there seems to be something of a ‘bulge’ in the system, despite the recent cold weather and slower growth rates.
The latest AHDB 7kg ex farm average has eased to £35.75/head but unfortunately the AHDB seems to have mislaid their abacus again because no price data is available for 30kg weaners which were worth £50.18 a week ago.
Feed prices have remained at generally similar levels although some weather related concerns may push these up in the weeks ahead with LIFFE feed wheat quoted at £143/t for March, £146/t for November and £151.75 for May next year.
However, protein prices have continued to harden with 48% soya meal ex-Liverpool quoted at the end of February in the £355/t region.
And finally those of you who like a gamble (which is what pig farming is all about), Peter Crichton is sponsoring the Ampton Conditions race near Bury St Edmunds which starts at 1.30pm on Sunday and (for those of you who back the slower horses) finishes the next day!
However, a rare opportunity to scrounge a free drink from Peter and more convenient and cheaper for Eastern Counties farmers than Cheltenham!