Fings Ain’t What They Used To Be

The June/July period used to be one of the best months for pig meat prices but this no longer applies with reports of selective demand and although shoulders are selling reasonably well, legs, bellies and loins have been proving slightly more fickle (or the word that sounds like that).

Beef and lamb prices are also under a certain amount of pressure and we need to see more promotion of all red meats to try and recover the bigger share of the consumer market and tempt future generations away from “non-meat” meals.

The SPP continues its steady upward track rising by another .81p and now stands at 149.76p and hopefully by this time next week we will have reached the 150p barrier.

Weekly contribution prices are still lagging well behind the real world with quotes up by around 1p between stand on or up in places and between around 141p-150p. It has been suggested by some producers that we need to find another name for pig reference prices and suggestions received have included the CONtribution Price or the Dick Turpin price!

European pig meat prices have stayed firm with the German producer price quoted at €1.83, which is equivalent to 164p and still well ahead of equivalent UK price levels.

Despite a further fall in the value of the Pound against the euro, which traded on Friday at 89.73p. This was not enough to nudge cull sow export prices up much with most remaining at stand on levels between 103p-106p although those sellers with large loads or good negotiating skills were in some cases able to extract an extra copper or two.

Weaner prices continue to maintain their recent values although the latest AHDB 7kg average is quoted at £36.48 demand for Freedom Food RSPCA assured weaners is generally ahead of this to the tune of £2 or so. Although there is little doubt that global pig prices will continue to rise due to the ASF epidemic in much of the Far East, weaner prices can at best be described as selective mainly due to an ongoing lack of pig rearing and finishing space which is becoming harder and harder to find and the same applies to individual farmers many of whom are now part of bed and breakfast pig rearing schemes rather than buying weaners on their own behalf.

Grain markets have ended a fairly uneventful week with feed wheat traded on the futures market at £153/t for September and barley looking more competitive at £138/t for the same month.

The latest UK average ex-farm spot wheat price averaged £147.10/t. Although western Europe is enjoying the current heatwave, this is not a repeat of the long hot drought which hit crop yields so hard in the EU a year ago.

Hipro soya prices have to the relief of producers, eased back a touch and the latest quotes for August-October have slipped to £305/t and for November to April marginally firmer at £308/t.

And finally, as far the health (or otherwise) of our national herds are concerned, DEFRA are launching a new poster campaign at airports and train stations and other points of entry to warn incoming passengers (and people smugglers) about the risks of African Swine Fever being unintentionally let into the UK via pork products purchased in affected countries.

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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: