In the words of the song, the pig industry as a whole will be glad to wave goodbye to 2021 as it draws to a close and perhaps look forward to a slightly more helpful hello in relation to the year ahead… we shall see.
The latest published SPP is 141.82p compared with 147.34p at the start of the year and European prices remain
in the doldrums with the latest German producer price at 1.23EUR, which is equivalent to approximately 103p/kg,
although this does not take account of the fact that German pig producers generally have the haulage paid for and there are much more lenient grading specs as well as fewer slaughter deductions.
UK weekly contribution prices have in the main remained at last week’s levels, although one of the major players
dropped by 1p, with a fairly wide spread between the best and the worst ranging from 138p down to 130p.
Although the weather has got milder, a chill wind is still blowing through the spot market with yet more heavy pigs
looking for homes and growing quicker than ever, with processors also having to face the challenge of increasing
absenteeism on production lines due to Omicron which is spreading like the plague.
Spot pig prices paid to regular sellers remain at little more than 120p/kg and in some cases as low as 114p/kg as
space remains scarce with supply continuing to exceed demand.
Cull sow prices have remained at rock bottom levels with most in the 24p – 26p/kg range, but signs are emerging
of slightly more interest from Europe and with the holiday break finally over hopefully we could soon see the start
of a recovery in pig prices at home and throughout the EU.
Unfortunately, the value of the Euro has continued to slip due to a stronger Pound and traded at 83.8p on Friday,
compared with 85.2p two weeks ago.
Weaner prices continue to paint a fairly gloomy picture with the black cloud of soaring feed costs continuing to
haunt this sector.
There has however been slightly more interest in weaner availability with some of the more forward thinking buyers realising that unsustainable weaner prices will soon start hit numbers coming through the system, but until this trend has been confirmed it remains difficult to move non-contract weaners at almost any price.
Feed ingredient values are marginally easier, with UK feed wheat traded for January at £224/t and September at
£198/t. UK spot wheat deals are indicating an overall weekly average of £223.10t.
Feed barley values have also slipped slightly quoted at £211/t for January and £183/t for September.
Protein costs have continued their skyrocketing journey with Hipro soya up from £412/t to £445/t in seven days for January delivery and May – October is also looking extremely expensive at £398/t, compared with £377/ week on week.
Rapemeal values also continue to climb and deals have been done for January in and around £327/t, up £25/t
since last Friday.
And finally, if the gap between UK and EU pig prices could be narrowed this would come as something of a relief
for the domestic market, especially once the shortage of pigs filters through the whole supply chain.
In the meantime, a big ‘thank you’ to all concerned including livestock and abattoir workers, hauliers, pig producers and their families, without whom we would all be out of a job, but until then life will be tough. Hopefully, by spring we might be looking at light at the end of the tunnel rather than an oncoming train!