Like A Straw In The Wind

Another fairly positive day for pig sellers and although there were no significant price rises, numbers remain fairly tight and no pigs were rolled. The latest SPP continues its steady climb and put on a further 0.23p to stand at 148.17p.

Most weekly contribution prices have remained at similar levels between 141p-150p and spot trades were reported to be around the 150p/kg mark but with numbers on the tight side, there were no pigs looking for homes and supply and demand seemed to be fairly well in balance at present.

The influential German producer price also reflected recent trends by standing on and the value of the Euro improved by a gnat’s whisker, trading on Friday worth 87.81p.

Cull sow prices have also held steady although UK values have a lot of catching up to do to match the German values, with most culls traded in or around the 60-65p mark according to spec, but the impression was that sow prices could tend to improve in the weeks ahead.

The weaner market is still however, suffering from a lack of good quality finishing space and the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm average slipped by £1.01/head to £52.30 whereas the 7kg price went up by a similar amount and now stands at £38.07.

However, a shortage of good quality finishing space is still putting a lid on any significant weaner price rises and spot Red Tractor weaners are proving quite hard to find homes for at present despite fairly encouraging finish pig prices in the weeks ahead.

On the feed price front, UK protein prices have fallen slightly in producers favour with 48% soya meal ex Liverpool traded at £363/t and 34% rapemeal ex Kent also displaying easier trends at £208/t.

As far as grain prices are concerned these seem to have followed something of a roller coaster pattern this week and although reports of drought conditions are likely to have an impact on the Black Sea regions, better weather in the US and Canada took some of the steam out of the global wheat market.

However, mid-week UK feed wheat average ex farm prices have continued to move ahead averaging £157.90/t and London wheat traded on the futures markets at £156.50 for July and £159.05 for November.

And finally although the outlook for UK pig producers appears reasonably firm at present, a combination of rising feed and straw prices will be putting margins under pressure especially on RSPCA approved units and some B&B contractors are already knocking at the door for higher payment rates to meet the increase in straw costs.

With straw prices in or around £100/t (where available) unit margins are also being hit hard by this extra expense and for some, harvest cannot come soon enough.


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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: