Catch It Like A Fever

Very little change in pig values over the past seven days, although it was disappointing to see the German producer price ease back by three euro cents to stand at €1.85 after its recent rally, but this is still equivalent to 168p/kg in our money.

Unfortunately, the SPP remains in the doldrums only rising by .04p to stand at 153.05p which is still lagging well behind most European mainland values.

Weekly contribution prices have in the main stood on within the 143-150p range and unless these contribution prices move up it is inevitable that the SPP will remain virtually static.

Demand for spot bacon remains selective although a good weather weekend ahead might stimulate some last minute al fresco barbecue demand with spot bacon quotes in or around the 150p mark.

Sow prices have eased a fraction due to a slightly stronger pound despite Barking Boris rampaging around Europe and upsetting our soon to be former partners, trading on Friday worth 90.61p compared with 91.62p a week earlier with the result that cull sow quotes were trimmed by around 1p to allow for the currency fluctuations mainly worth between 108p-112p in the main.

Weaner values have remained at generally similar levels although the latest AHDB 7kg average has eased a little and now stands at £38.90/head whereas the 30kg price has yet to be recalculated from its last quote of £54.46/head.

With harvest and straw carting drawing to a close in the southern part of the country perhaps some finishers may turn their attention to filling up their empty yards with weaners but like most of us, it is unclear what finished pigs are likely to be worth after Brexit – answers on a postcard please!

Feed prices are continuing to ease much to the relief of pig producers (or those who are not also arable farmers) with reports of off the combine feed wheat selling on an ex farm basis for little more than £124/t and futures prices have also eased with September wheat quoted at £136/t and September barley at £129/t.

UK proteins are at generally similar levels with Hipro soya quoted for September/October at £306/t and for November- April at £310/t.

Apart from those parts of the country where there have been heavy rains, reports on yields have generally been positive and with a good weather forecast for the upcoming weekend, hopefully some bumper yields are safely in store.

And finally, let us not forget the potential timebomb that could be ticking fairly close to our shores as far as African Swine Fever is concerned with the news that a major cull has now been carried out in the Ukraine, where 100,000 pigs have been slaughtered on one farm. The Ukraine has had 351 cases of ASF since 2017 – yet one more reason for us to guard these shores against any bio-security challenges that may come along.

Meat products and livestock are two ways in which this deadly virus can be spread and we run the risk of new boundary inspections taking place following our exit from EU at a time when we also need to step up the levels of bio-security inspections and the potential for chaotic situations arising at points of entry continues to increase.

We also need to check that vehicles entering the UK such as livestock trucks and meat wagons have not been anywhere near potential infected sources or we could be witnessing the virtual death of our pig industry.

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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