Little by Little

The SPP continues to nudge its way forward putting on another 1.11p to stand at 155.32p, but in racehorse terms it is still several lengths behind the leading runners with the European mainland average price quoted at 160.92p for a generally heavier pig with lower deductions, so still some further progress to be made before we reach a photo finish.

Weekly contribution prices have been anywhere between stand on and 157p/kg within a fairly wide 147p – 157p/kg range, but further improvements in weekly contribution prices would feed through to the SPP which may be why some processors seem reluctant to put up their weekly contribution prices?

Spot pigs remain fairly thin on the ground with most quotes in the 158p – 160p/kg region and a few coppers more for those producers prepared to haggle.

Although the ASF epidemic in the Far East and closer to home is continuing to put upward pressure on pig prices, it is difficult for UK abattoirs to step up the numbers being exported to China due to a significant lack of additional freezer space, which are already working to capacity.

The cull sow market is continuing to reflect firm but static pigmeat prices in mainland Germany with UK cull sow export quotes generally at stand on levels, with most cull prices between 108p and 112p/kg and a fairly volatile Euro trading at noon on Friday worth 87.84p.

However, with only just over three weeks to go before we hit the so called Brexit deadline date on the 31st October, producers with cull sows are advised to keep on top of them and not to let their numbers build up in case UK sow exports become subject to tariffs on the 1st November 2019 and if they are, reports are indicating that these could be as high as half the value of the sow in the first place.

Weaner prices are continuing to improve with the AHDB 7kg ex farm average up by 36p to £40.18/head and the 30kg average putting on £1.65 to £50.99/head.

However, weaner and finishing space remains short and despite a good outlook for finished pig prices in the months ahead it is still in some cases difficult to find weaner buyers except at relatively low prices.

Feed prices are continuing at generally similar levels with spot feed wheat averaging £128.90/t, while on the futures markets November feed wheat is quoted at £140/t and September 2020 at £148/t.

Barley prices remain better value with November feed barley quoted at £126/t and September 2020 at £136/t.

Proteins have moved marginally dearer with Hipro soya quoted for November 2019 – April 2020 at £311/t and for May to October 2020 at £316/t.

Paris wheat futures are quoted at a two month high and pig producers are advised to keep a close eye on the commodity and currency markets and to take advantage of any buying opportunities that may be available.

And finally, not much evidence of a “special relationship” with our American counterparts with the news that UK pork exports to the US will now have to face a 25% tariff with effect from October 18.

Closer to home, it is good to note that a significant recovery in Scottish pig numbers has taken place with the Scottish breeding herd 19% higher as at the 1st June this year, coupled with the expansion of the Brechin abattoir to cut down travelling distances for pigs and also for sows, who otherwise face a long journey before they get to the Sassenach border.

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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: