Producers are walking with a slight ‘spring’ in their step with the SPP up a shade to 149.81p/kg and further signs of a shortage of UK pigs in the system, despite the Euro dropping from 85.78p a week ago and worth 84.55p today.
However, German producer prices stood on at 1.52 EUR for the third week running. Although spot demand is reported to be quiet with most pigs taking the contract route where there was any trade spot bacon bids were in or around the 150p/kg mark with more available in places.
Weekly contribution prices also firmed by a penny in some cases providing further evidence of firm demand for bacon, although some of the fresh meat wholesalers are still commenting on lower volumes, but perhaps with spring around the corner demand might improve in this sector soon?
Cull sow prices have generally eased by around 1p/kg due to the lower value of the Euro, but is hoped that European demand can be maintained or better still improve in the run up to the Easter period when prices normally rise.
Although the latest AHDB weaner prices have eased, this is seen as more of a statistical quirk than a trend with the latest 30kg ex farm average at £55.12/head and 7kg ex farm average at £38.23/head, but spot weaners prices continue to march well ahead of this level, especially for big numbers.
UK protein prices have improved marginally with Brazilian 48% soya meal traded ex Liverpool at £346/t, up by £4/t on the week.
World wheat markets, however, look to be well supplied for the fifth year in succession and preliminary global forecasts for harvest this year are not far off the record highs seen in 2016 with heavy stocks in the system, but currency fluctuations can have more effect on prices than the weather, so producers are advised to keep a close eye on this sector too.
Grain futures markets ended another fairly quiet week with LIFFE wheat quoted at £143.90/t for March, £148/t for July, but November is painting a slightly easier picture at £136.75/t.
Further signs of consolidation within the breeding pig sector have emerged with the recent announcement that PIC have agreed the purchase of the intellectual property and genetic rights of Dublin based Hermitage in a deal that will see the two companies work in a strategic partnership covering genetics in several markets.
And finally, Malcolm Easey had a wonderful send off at his funeral last Saturday and close to 800 family, friends and neighbours came together to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of a remarkable man.
Unfortunately, yet another funeral is on the horizon following the death of Ronnie Hume at 80 years old. Ronnie was widely known and respected by the livestock community throughout East Anglia with his fleet of fourteen F W Hume & Son livestock lorries resplendent in their brown and gold lettered livery and the funeral takes place at St Mary’s Church, Brome (IP23 8AH) on Friday 3rd March at 11.30am followed by refreshments at the Brome Grange Hotel (IP23 8AP) and the chance to reflect on his long and busy life.