Are we heading for a spring upturn?

Another relatively quiet day on the pig trading front with prices generally continuing at similar levels, although some spot quotes were back a penny or two in places due to reports of indifferent fresh meat demand but, hopefully, once the green shoots of spring start appearing we will see something of an upturn?

The SPP has remained almost static at 150.56p, but unfortunately German producer prices dropped by 5 Euro Cents to 152 EUR, which converts to 131p in our money.

Most weekly contribution prices have remained at stand on levels and spot bacon was traded within a fairly wide 144p – 148p/kg range in the main.

Despite a firmer Euro, which traded on Friday at 86.19p, up 1% over the previous 7 days, cull sow quotes slipped back 2p/kg due to reports of indifferent demand throughout much of northern Europe.

As a result most cull sow quotes were in the 90p – 93p/kg range according to load size and availability.

Weaner prices have remained bullish and although the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm weaner average dropped by £1/head to £54.85/head, 7kg weaners continue to improve in value averaging £39.28/head, but this is almost entirely due to a shortage of weaners rather than over confidence in finished pig prices in the months ahead.

Cereal values have remained at generally similar levels on the week with UK ex farm feed wheat quoted on a spot basis at around £142/t and LIFFE futures prices of £148.30/t for March, £150.05/t for July but falling to £136.50/t in November.

Perhaps Donald Chump may even have done pig producers a favour due to global concerns over his new trade policies and the size of US stockpiles of maize, soya beans and wheat.

Markets dislike uncertainty, especially surrounding US trade policies at a time when Brazil and Argentina could undercut US export prices.

UK protein prices are also showing easier trends with 48 per cent soya meal ex Liverpool dropping from £354/t to £343/t at the end of January.

And finally, time to stop and reflect on the life of a remarkable man with the sad news of the death of Malcolm Easey on the 29th January 2017, following a brief illness bravely borne.

Malcolm will be known to many as the founder of M J & J A Easey, Easey Pigs Limited and Easey Herds Limited, who operate their large scale pig breeding and finishing business across many parts of the country. Malcolm was one of the pioneers of contract pig rearing arrangements which are now a regular feature throughout much of the industry.

The family are grateful for the large number of letters and messages of condolence they have received, which have been a great comfort during this difficult time.

Malcolm will be remembered for his shrewd business brain and as far as the existing pig operation is concerned, this will continue to flourish in the capable hands of Jon and Chris Easey and their team, which is what Malcolm would have wanted and it is a very much a case of “business as usual”.

The funeral service will be held at Horham Baptist Chapel, Suffolk, IP21 5ER at 12 noon on 18th February.

Reception at the Bull Auberge, Yaxley, IP23 8BZ afterwards.

The family requests that mourners should wear something colourful.

No flowers please. Donations to the RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Support c/o Rackham’s Funeral Services, 43 Stanley Road, Diss, IP22 4BN

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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: