Peter Crichton’s commentary for December 11, 2015

Spot bacon prices have generally remained at reluctant stand-on levels, but only where buyers had space. Contract prices have continued to ease, following the downward track of the SPP, losing another 0.39p to stand at 125.61p. Unfortunately, more salt was added to the wound with that news that some weekly contribution prices have also eased by between 1p to 3p/kg.

Spot bacon generally traded in or around 117p, although regular sellers would have been 2p to 4p ahead of this.

The euro traded on Friday very slightly firmer at 72.22p compared with 72.09p a week ago, but there’s very little space for cull sow meat in Europe, and although bids from the two main UK export abattoirs remained at similar levels, space is short throughout the system with only restricted numbers being taken. This situation is unlikely to change until after the New Year. Most cull sows traded at about 50p/kg mark.

Weaner prices are continuing to reflect uncertainty about finished pig values in the months ahead, with the latest AHDB 30kg average slipping to £39.87/head and 7kg piglets have dropped to £31.09/head.

Feed prices are, however, a possible light at the end of a dark tunnel (or perhaps an oncoming train), with reports of sliding soya values and higher global wheat stocks, and US maize supplies are also on the increase.

UK spot feed wheat is reported to be available at about £103/t, although it’s hard to find many sellers at this level, and futures prices on the LIFFE exchange are reflecting slightly weaker trends, with January 2016 quoted at £112/t and March at £115/t.

And finally, some good news; the NPA reports that a recent survey indicates that more than 70% of UK consumers who eat out at least once a month are attaching greater importance to the animal welfare standards of the meat on their plate. They’re also prepared to pay more for locally sourced pigmeat and they’re more likely to buy a pork meal if this is accompanied with details of its provenance and the welfare benefits attached to UK produced pigmeat.

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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: