The hottest are the coldest

Although the SPP rose by 0.13p to 164.66p and the influential German producer price stood on at 1.70EUR, EU prices may come under pressure in the weeks ahead.

Spot prices are also pointing the way towards an end to the remarkable 2016/2017 price rally, which has seen the SPP move up from 123.46p at the beginning of January 2016 to its current leve. Only a few weeks ago sellers were receiving bids of up to 176p/kg, but most ‘one off’ spot deals for next week have been in the 160p – 162p/kg region, although regular weekly spot suppliers were in some cases a copper or two ahead of this.

Weekly announced contribution prices have also fallen with most now between 157p and 165p/kg.

However, the good news for producers centres around the Euro which, in the face of a weakening Pound, has continued to rally and stands at 92p, compared with 91.14p seven days ago.

As a result, despite static German prices, UK cull quotes moved up by around 1p/kg with most culls traded in the 96p – 98p/kg region, but space remains tight due to the short week ahead.

Weaner prices have generally levelled, or in some cases eased, due to better availability and the prospect of some fluctuations in finished pig prices, with the latest AHDB ex farm 30kg average quoted at £58.59/head, compared with £61.17/head last week. The 7kg price is £44.25/head, down by 30p from £44.55/head seven days earlier.

The gap between spot and contract weaner values is continuing to narrow, which reflects the relationship with finished pig prices.

With much of the UK wheat harvest safely gathered south of Watford and generally good yields reported, cereal prices are under a certain amount of pressure with feed wheat traded on the LIFFE market at £139/t for November and £142.50/t for March 2018.

UK soya was trading in mid August at £290/t and rape meal at £164/t ex dock.

And finally, more Brexit based fears are emerging on the employment front with the news that a third of the UK food and drink business would be unable to operate if access to EU workers was adversely affected.

Without key (and willing) staff, the effects on UK farms and abattoirs could be dire and lead to yet more challenges from cheaper imports.

So, in the words of the song “Oh won’t you stay, just a little bit longer?” (Frankie Valli)

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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: