Danger Danger

Although the SPP rose again by 1.41p to stand at 186.39p, there is still a long way to go before these prices catch up with production costs, but at least there have been some small steps in the right direction.

The situation in Europe is also reflecting a slight reduction in numbers of pigs coming forward and a tightening of the whole European supply chain with the latest influential German producer price holding at 1.85 EUR.
UK weekly contribution prices remain in the doldrums, with most of the main players standing on (or levelling sideways) anywhere between 173p/kg at the bottom end and 190p/kg at the top.

Industry sources are also indicating that a European wide pig meat supply black hole is now becoming more of a reality and hopefully this this trend will soon be reflected before too many more producers have to close down as the money runs out. The upcoming shortage of pigs is also reflected by better prices for spot, cutter and bacon weight pigs with regular sellers able to negotiate prices closer to 170p/kg than they have been recently.

A slightly firmer Euro which traded today at 86.30p compared with 85.77p a week ago has helped to redress the pig meat Import/export balance and a weaker Pound in the months ahead should contribute to reaccelerate a price recovery coupled with shrinking pig numbers.

Cull sow prices have yet to recover from rock bottom levels and for the time being most are still being traded between 48p and 52p/kg. Weaner values continue to recover with the latest AHDB RSPCA Assured 7kg average quoted at £46.20/head.

Spot UK feed wheat deals have averaged £261.60/t compared with £270.53/t seven days ago. Grain futures prices are also indicating slightly easier values with feed wheat for September traded at a more reasonable £275/t, which is £10/t down over the past seven days. Feed barley for September delivery has fallen by £10/t to £254/t.

Protein prices however tended to harden with Hipro soya for August – October delivery quoted at £484/t and longer months saw deals agreed for May – October 2023 at £441/t compared with £438/t last week.
Rapemeal prices have eased a tad with August – October delivery at £292/t compared with £283/t seven days earlier.

Reports from Ukraine of the first grain cargo ships soon leaving the Russian sector might also help to keep a lid on feed prices looking ahead.

And finally, the threat of dangerous pig related diseases has returned to haunt the UK with the news of a mystery vesicular virus being identified on a Norfolk 1,000 sow outdoor RSPCA approved breeding unit.

At this stage the APHA have confirmed that this virus is not a notifiable disease and further samples of what has been described as a vesicular virus are taking place.

However, in the meantime APHA vets are advising producers to take extra care to main high levels of biosecurity by using foot dips and excluding visitors to their units, which should help to keep this particular problem what ever it may be at bay until a clear diagnosis has been established.

It remains paramount that any signs of blistered or lame pigs are to be treated with caution and vigilance.

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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