Reasons to be Cheerful

Although the gap between cost of production and pig meat prices is still far too wide, further signs are emerging that a partial recovery might be on the cards but still a long way to go before producers are in the black.

The latest SPP fell by a smaller margin this week down by 0.34p to 139.63p and signs are that most weekly contribution prices are likely to being held at stand on levels rather than suffering any further falls for the time being, with most between 130p – 133p.

The influential German pig producer price has actually risen by a modest 2 Cents and has gone up from €1.19 to €1.21 EUR, but German pig prices are still at their lowest point since 2003. Hopefully this small price rise will also put up the price of cheap imports which are continuing to hit these shores from our former EU “partners”.

Evidence of the surplus numbers of UK pigs still in the system is underlined by the average carcass weight for January reaching a record breaking 90.6kg, but some of the larger processors are now starting to get on top of the surplus numbers but it will be a while before they are fully back in balance with demand.

Hopefully, spot bacon prices will also stop their recent tumble and more will be over rather than under 120p/kg.

EU cull sow values have long been the barometer of the health or otherwise of the pig industry throughout Europe and for the first time for several months they actually went up today, with export buyers sharpening their pencils and prepared to put another 4p/kg or so onto their prices.

Unfortunately, this still leaves the headline price well out of step with where it should be, but this increase will help to some extent as prices travel towards the 40p/kg mark.

However, some of the shine has been taken off cull prices by a further increase in the value of Sterling, with the Euro slipping from 87.75p a week ago to 86.67p today.

No AHDB weaner averages have been published this week, but in line with the SPP these are expected to be slightly easier across the board with buyers still nervous about the cost of straw and feed, and the low level of pig prices.

High feed prices are continuing to put producers’ margins under further financial pressure with UK Feed wheat quoted on the futures market at £210/t for March and £170/t for September.

Feed barley is trading at £169/t for March and spot UK feed wheat deals have agreed between £195 – £200/t.

Demand for proteins remains firm with Hi Pro soya traded on the futures market at £412/t for March and £364/t for November – April 2022.

And finally, it is good to hear that the NPA are intending to re-launch their banner campaign which was so successful a few years ago and hopefully a series of eye catching banners encouraging consumers to buy British pork will soon be springing up near some of the major UK highways drawing attention to the high welfare and other qualities associated with British pig meat,

For those of you who would like to be involved in this innovative scheme, email Andrea at the NPA ([email protected]) to register your interest and help to get this campaign off the ground.

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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