Like the weather, demand for pigs has got slightly chilly after a fairly hot period and although the latest SPP has risen by 0.37p to stand at 165.3p, EU prices are heading south and UK demand is also reported to have come under a certain amount of pressure.
German pig prices have taken a knock with the producer price easing by 6 Cents to stand at 1.60 EUR, which is equivalent to 144p/kg in our money.
Reports that China has banned Dutch pork imports has done nothing to help EU pig prices, which is believed to be due to a significant rise in COVID-19 infections among meat plan workers.
Weekly contribution prices have in the main remained at similar levels between 155p and 166p, although these may come under pressure if prices continue to slip in the EU.
Spot bacon demand is virtually non-existent with very few abattoirs looking for extra pigs, despite the upcoming weekend and lifting of the pub and restaurant ban to the delight of some (but not all) of the Nation and it will be interesting to see if this translates into an improvement in catering demand for pig meat.
Spot pig values which were originally nudging the 170p/kg mark two weeks ago are now closer to 165p/kg in a very thin market.
Cull sows are still a disaster area as far as producers are concerned with the ongoing closure of some large scale German meat plants, which is continuing to put pressure on processing and boning facilities and slowing the trade from a trot to a crawl.
Cull sow prices are easing in what has become a buyers’ market until normal service is resumed, with many sows worth little more than 60p/kg.
The value of the Euro has ended the week little changed worth 90.21p on Friday.
Weaner values have eased, with the latest AHDB 7kg ex farm average down by 14p to £41.43/head but there is still no quote for 30kg weaners, which have generally been traded at around the £60/head mark and some buyers are tending to sit on the side-lines until a clearer pattern for finished pig prices in the autumn has emerged.
Feed ingredients have generally remained firm with feed wheat traded on the UK futures market at £168/t for September with barley for the same month at £136/t. Spot feed wheat averaged £157.20 ex farm.
Protein prices are continuing to creep ahead with Hi-pro soya quoted at £306/t for August – October and the same price for May – October 2021.
Looking further afield, Chicago maize futures have moved ahead due to a reduction in the USDA maize yield statistics and reports of hotter weather ahead may also put up the cost of feed ingredients.
And finally, although the news headlines have been dominated by the COVID virus this has to some extent put the Brexit debate in the shadows with the PM restating his view that if there is no deal there will be no extension to the transition period.
The NPA are continuing to emphasise that barriers must be put up against the importation of pig meat which comes from countries where welfare and production standards are lower than in the UK, which is a challenge that the domestic pig industry could do without at present and a case of take care of what might be around the corner.