Double Double Toil and Trouble

Sadly still nothing positive to report and although the SPP only fell by 0.02p to 156.37p following last week’s dramatic price drop, more of the same could be on the cards in the weeks ahead.

UK weekly contribution prices are also continuing on a downward track between 135p – 147p easing by a further penny or so in most cases and the same is expected in the weeks ahead during the run up to Christmas, which is
certainly unlikely to be a time of good cheer for the pig industry.

While regular spot bacon sellers should be able to achieve prices in the 132p – 136p/kg region for their pigs, overweight or one off loads of spot pigs are virtually unsaleable and space almost non-existent in many cases, as
well as further downward pressure from imported EU pig meat heading this way.

Cull sow prices are generally in the 36p – 40p/kg range, but Covid problems in processing plants in Germany may lead to further congestion in this area and put more downward pressure on throughputs from the UK.

The only slight consolation is that the value of the Euro has remained at similar levels worth 85.36p, but a weaker
Pound would certainly work wonders as far as the import/export pig meat equation is concerned.

Weaner prices continue to be influenced by concerns over high feed costs and falling finished pig prices which is
hardly surprising and although once again no AHDB averages have been published, RSPCA assured 7kg piglets
are in some cases changing hands in the £35 – £37.50/head range, but Red Tractor 7kg and 30kg pigs are proving harder than ever to shift on a spot basis.

Feed ingredients remain eye wateringly expensive with UK spot feed wheat traded on an ex farm basis at an
average of £177.40/t.

Futures prices are also indicating more pain in this sector with October wheat traded at £190/t and for September
2022 at £179/t. Barley values are also on the up with October feed barley quoted at £180/t and September 2022 at £167/t.

Protein prices are also continuing to put producers margins under pressure with Hipro soya for October delivery
at £376/t and longer months for May – October 2022 at £340/t. Rapemeal was recently quoted for October at £252/t.

Reports of crop losses in the US and Russia and indifferent quality has kept prices high and US maize values are
also competing with Ethanol markets.

And finally, although at some stage pig prices should start to recover following high herd culls, it appears unlikely
that any significant turn around can be achieved until spring next year unless any outside factors come to our
rescue.

There are unfortunately also reports of a number of welfare situations arising and some very difficult decisions are going to have to be made by producers and their ability to carry on adding costs to losses as yet more overweight pigs remain unsold, with an estimated 25,000 UK sows awaiting culling.

As yet, there appear to be no signs from the Government that they are prepared to make any financial contributions towards welfare slaughter costs and as hard pressed herd owners have in some cases run out of cash, they will not be able to pay them either…………so what next?

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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