Peter Crichton’s commentary for September 18, 2015

There’s nothing particularly exciting to write about on the trading front today, with the SPP slipping by 0.33p to stand at 131.12p/kg (156.07p a year ago) and spot traders also reporting demand on the quiet side.

As a result, one off loads of spot pigs were generally traded in the 127p to 130p range, and fortunately one of the major players was prepared to take a few extra spot pigs (but only at a price) which has hopefully meant that there were very few rolled pigs in the system. A return to better retail demand at a time when more pigs are coming forward would be good news to the industry as a whole.

European pigmeat prices seem to be holding reasonably firm, with Germany standing on. The euro has also remained virtually static, trading on Friday afternoon worth 72.97p compared with 73.00p a week ago.

Cull sow values generally remained at similar levels, and most cull sow quotes were between 60 to 63p/kg, which is still a very poor reflection when compared with their value 12 months ago of circa 90p/kg.

The latest AHDB 30kg weaner average has moved up to £45.10/head, but 7kg weaners are still in the doldrums and quoted at £32.39 / head. Unfortunately, there still seems to be a significant lack of space for extra weaners that have come on the market as a result of better productivity throughout the summer (remember that?), and with cereal prices at their current relatively low levels, opportunities are still out there for finishers looking to have pigs ready for the Christmas market.

As mentioned, cereal prices are continuing to operate in the producers’ favour, with the latest Farmers Weekly ex-farm spot wheat price quote at £100.30/t and on the futures markets November UK feed wheat is quoted at £110.50/t and May 2016 is showing an easier trend, trading at £118.25/t.

And finally, one small, positive sign is that our lords and masters in Brussels have dictated that individual member countries will have some flexibility in how they spend their targeted aid payments and that a new pigmeat storage scheme will receive a 20% increase in storage rates to encourage more demand from processors for products that are currently in surplus following President Putin’s 2014 ban on EU imports.

Currently no ceiling has been fixed limiting the amount of pigmeat that can be stored, but this will probably be decided on a sudden-death basis. When Brussels feels enough has gone into the scheme, the shutters will come down.

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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: