Keep Holding On

More of the same when it comes to pig prices, with the SPP continuing on its downward trek losing another 1.03p to stand at 156.61p.

However, German prices are in the main reported to have held at similar levels and for 7 weeks in succession have remained at €1.27, which is equivalent to a mere 114p in our money and why pig meat imports are able to cut a swathe through the UK market where producer prices are in some cases, 40p/kg higher.

Weekly contribution prices are also continuing to head south, with some of the major players clipping another penny off their prices, which are between 145p – 150p at a time when average slaughter weights are at or near record levels and the average weight included in the SPP sample has risen to 86.78kg, which will also pull down prices because a heavier and fatter pig is worth less per kg.

Spot bacon prices continue to be in the 140p area except for one-off prices well below this figure.

Pig processors are also faced with the problem of trying to maintain throughputs without breaching Covid space allowances, with some of the major players having to either shut down for a temporary period or process reduced volumes.

Earlier signs of a settlement of the Brexit stand-off have encouraged the £ to get stronger at the expense of the Euro which traded on Friday worth 90p compared with 90.67p a week earlier, which effectively puts down the price of the already very cheap imports penetrating the domestic market and reduces the value of our exports which consist a significant proportion of sow meat.

As a result, cull sow values have remained at similar bargain basement levels in the main, traded in and around 45p/kg.

With two months to go until our exit from the EU is concluded, it is difficult to forecast the future value of pig meat imports and exports which could be subject to further disruption of the supply chain as the end of the year approaches.

Weaner prices are continuing to reflect the shortage of grower/finisher space and worries over pig meat values in the months ahead, with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm average quoted £2.73 down at £54.23 compared with £61.67/head at the start of June. Still no data available for 7kg values but recent contract prices have generally been between £38 and £42/head, space permitting.

Feed ingredient prices in many cases seem to have paused for breath after their meteoric rises, with the UK futures feed wheat price easing by £2/t to £192 for December and £5 easier for September ’21 which is quoted at £157/t.

Futures prices for feed barley have also held at similar levels on the week worth £148/t for December delivery.

Hipro soya prices have paused after several weeks of significant increases with the latest Hipro soya futures price recorded at £390/t for December-January ‘21 and June-October ’21 a touch easier at £344/t

And finally, like Brexit, the ASF virus has yet to go away. The only consolation is that the German commercial indoor pig herd has so far remained free of ASF but there are reported to be over 300 pig farms within the area where ASF has been detected in the wild boar population.

ASF has already put a stop to German pig meat exports into China and perhaps now is the time to make Mr Trump an offer for the Mexican fence he has yet to build and may no longer need, and for this to be installed along the Polish/German border instead?

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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: