Bring Me Sunshine

Another challenging day for pig sellers as prices at home and abroad continue to slide across the board.

The SPP is down by 0.55p to stand at 158.70p with the influential German producer price back another 5 cents, giving a drop of 3.8% on the week to stand at €1.25, which is equivalent to little more than 107p/kg in our money and underlines how imported pig meat is able to reach these shores at such a massive discount, which is continuing to undercut domestic prices to a significant extent.

UK weekly contribution prices are also in decline albeit in fairly small steps with most between 136p at the bottom end and 149p at the top.

The spot market remains chock-a-block full and although some regular sellers have been able to agree prices in the 135p – 140p/kg range, producers with one off loads of finishers may have to be content with prices of not much more than 120p/kg, assuming they can find a buyer with any space in their chillers.

The cull sow market has always provided a useful barometer over which way pig prices are going and reflects stormy weather ahead, on this occasion culls have dropped back by around 4p/kg trading in the 34p – 40p/kg bracket, according to load size.

As previously, very little movement in the value of the Euro which traded on Friday worth 85.78p but a weaker GBP would be manna from heaven as far as the trading value of UK pig meat imports and exports are concerned.

With weaner space at a premium, finishers are becoming extremely selective which is continuing to put downward pressure on weaner values and both breeders and finishers have the same problems to face as far as soaring feed costs are concerned.

With harvest now in full swing, cereal yields in the UK have been reasonably firm with some better than average straw tonnages which will deliver some modest financial benefit to RSPCA assured straw based systems.

However, soaring feed prices continue to be the bane of the industry with futures deals for October feed wheat at £192/t and for September 2022 a slightly easier £178/t.

UK ex-farm spot feed wheat has averaged £183.70/t and feed barley has traded on the futures market for October delivery at £181/t.

Protein values have eased a touch with Hipro soya positions agreed for October delivery at £360/t and for May-October 2022 at £331/t. Rapemeal values are in the £252/t region for October and £240/t for November – April 2022.

And finally, some signs are emerging that with the high numbers of sows now being culled mainly for financial reasons, pigs might go up in value next spring for those who have the financial resources to wait that long.

This is coupled with some better news from further afield with the announcement that terms have been agreed for high welfare British pork to be exported to Mexico where there is a strong demand for high quality pig meat.

Four processing facilities and associated cold stores have been approved for this export trade which in many cases cannot come soon enough!

Forecasts of sunny weather over the weekend could also stimulate some end of season BBQ demand.

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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: