Get Ready for It

No particular daylight is yet showing at the end of the pig price tunnel, with the SPP marginally dropping by .18p to stand at 159.62p.

A little more stability seems to have returned to the EU pig meat market with the German producer price standing on at 1.27 EUR, equivalent to a meagre 122p in our currency, but at least prices are holding rather than falling for the time being.

Weekly contribution prices have in the main remained at similar levels, between 147p and 153p, but buyers are reporting significant numbers of pigs are still being rolled and the situation has not been helped by ongoing plant breakdowns.

Looking further ahead, only 12 weeks to go until Christmas, but in the meantime the message to all producers is to keep on top of their numbers and weights because if there are ASF/Covid linked restrictions ahead, it may be very hard to shift all the pigs in the system with two short Christmas/New Year weeks to face.

UK spot market bacon demand has remained very dull with little if any space available hence it is hard to source much price information but most regular spot sellers have sold in the 150p region but non-Farm Assured one off lots will be well below this.

Cull sow prices have remained at their current very disappointing levels with very little variation on the week and most traded between 40-45p according to load size with the Euro also moving in the wrong direction and traded today worth 90.72p compared with 91.35p 7 days earlier.

The AHDB weaner average prices are back in the system this week with the 7kg average easing to £40.92/head but the 30kg average is firmer with ex-farm prices averaging £62.91/head.

If the SPP continues to decline this will gradually pull-down weaner values as most of the current weaner contracts include an SPP element in their make-up.

The bull run in commodity cereal and soya prices is levelling, with the latest UK feed wheat futures price for November up by £1 compared with yesterday, to £187/t and barley futures were also rising and quoted at £144/t for November.

UK soya prices have surged in recent weeks with the latest published Hipro average of £352/t up for November-April 2021 and for longer months, June-October 2021 Hipro soya to £328/t.

Straw prices are also following this upward pattern and reports are now being received of ex-farm straw being sold in some cases for up to £100/t with most between £70-£80/t, which is putting more red ink on Freedom Food producers’ inputs.

And finally, more challenges on the disease front with initial reports (not yet confirmed) of a wild boar ASF outbreak 60km away from the first infected area in Germany in the vicinity of the German/Polish border.

In addition to this, in the last 10 days and to date, 38 wild boars have been found with the virus leading to pig meat restrictions for exports to Japan, South Korea, The Philippines and China.

Closer to home, recent reports of a dysentery outbreak in Suffolk provide another challenge to be faced with this outbreak identified on a farm near Norton, Bury St Edmunds.

Good to hear however that the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) will be involved in face-to-face meetings to discuss the whole ASF outbreak and ways in which this challenge can be handled to avoid further spreading, especially in this direction and gives added urgency to the need for the UK to have their own rigid ASF biosecurity approach.

Be prepared – we could all learn a great deal from the US President Donald Trump over what can happen if disease warnings are not heeded………..

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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: