Eye of the Tiger

The SPP has continued on its upward track rising by 1.19p to stand at 194.28p, although demand for finished pigs remained selective with budget conscious consumers tending to look at the price, rather than higher provenance. As a result, demand for RSPCA Assured and high spec welfare pigs was reported to have eased from previous levels.

EU pig meat prices have generally held at last week’s levels, with the influential German producer price remaining at €1.85, which is equivalent to 155p/kg in real money.

Average UK carcass weights continue to fall and now stand at 87.54kg, indicating that UK pig meat numbers are continuing to dwindle, but this has yet to filter through to higher prices.

Most UK weekly contribution prices have remained at stand on levels between 173p/kg and 190p/kg. Spot bacon demand has been fickle with most abattoirs looking at, rather than for, extra pigs with deals that have been agreed tending to be in the 180p – 185p/kg region, although lighter weights are now above 200p/kg in some cases.

Cull Sows

An increase in the value of the Pound has really upset the apple cart as far as the cull sow market is concerned, knocking another penny off already very low prices, with most cull sow quotes in the 47p – 51p/kg bracket. Unfortunately this also opens the door to allow even cheaper pig meat imports to undercut the domestic market.
The value of the Euro has slipped from 85.1p to 83.9p.

Weaners

Weaner values continue to underline the ever widening difference between contract and spot prices and although 7kg ex farm piglets have increased in value, this is not the case for spot or non-farm assured weaners for which demand is almost bottomless.

Due to the uncertainty over feed costs and pig values some buyers have chosen to spectate rather than participate in restocking their finishing units, which has also had an adverse effect on weaner values and this sector of the market remains extremely volatile.

Feed Market Trends

Feed wheat traded on the futures market for September delivery at £272/t compared with £265/t seven days ago with feed barley for September delivery at £254/t up from £249/t a week ago.

Protein values are also continuing to push up production costs with Hipro soya for September – October at £507/t compared with £479/t seven days ago. Longer months saw Hipro soya for May – October 2023 at £447/t and rapemeal for September – October 2022 at £292/t.

And finally, after reports a week ago that a truce with Russia had been brokered by Turkey to unblock exports of grain through the Black Sea, unfortunately two major missile strikes occurred within 24 hours which has had a severe impact on export plans.

Since then, however, tentative efforts have been made to re-open these discussions and the first vessel is due to sail from Ukraine today.

Unfortunately there are unsurprisingly no guarantees that the discussions will be successful and until the grain and protein markets are allowed to re-open, pig production costs will remain far too high.

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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