Slip Slidin’ Away

Although the EU average price of 133p/kg in Sterling terms has held at similar levels, the SPP took a significant downward turn shedding 5p and now stands at 164.68p with the likelihood of more falls to come.

This sinking feeling is provided by a combination of factors including selective demand for pig meat throughout the EU, a wide gap between UK and EU values allowing foreign pork imports to hit these shores at a significant discount and reports that UK retail demand for pig meat has been patchy despite the hot weather creating ideal barbecue conditions.

With contract numbers full across the board there were very few homes for spare pigs and those who were able to move extras, spot prices were mainly in the 150-155p range although regular sellers were getting a copper or two more than this.

Weekly contribution prices are also continuing on a downward slide with most quotes down by up to 2p with the result that weekly contribution prices are now mainly between 150-158p and with more UK pig numbers available and very little spare abattoir space, meat salesmen have been having a tough time recently.

Cull sow prices have remained at basement levels and although the Covid-19 processing bottleneck in Europe is gradually being eased, supply is still exceeding demand with the result that UK cull sow export quotes have remain either side of 48p making the average cull sow worth only £70/head, which is half what a baconer is worth and a “Bog Off” situation in reverse!

The euro is virtually unchanged over the past seven days, trading on Friday worth 90.38p.

Unfortunately, at the time of preparing this report, the latest AHDB 7kg average was not available and perhaps AHDB are having a siesta somewhere? The last available 7kg average a week earlier was £42.95/head but the latest 30kg average is available and was down by 65p to £59.43/head.

With weaner buyers pre-occupied with harvest and straw carting, very little spot weaner trading has been carried out with buyers also continuing to keep a watchful eye on finished pig values in the autumn when we will also have Brexit to contend with!

Feed prices have ended a relatively quiet week at similar levels, with UK futures deals for September wheat at £167/t and barley at £135/t. Old crop spot wheat has been quoted on an ex-farm basis at around £160/t.

Proteins have eased slightly in value with Hipro soya traded at £301/t for September-October and £299/t for May-October 2021.

And finally, worrying reports of new ASF outbreaks in Poland are a potent reminder of the threat to the global pig industry caused by this virus at a time when people are concentrating on avoiding the human version, with Covid-19 still very much out of control in many parts of the globe and fears that a second wave could materialise.

One of the Polish outbreaks is less than 30 miles from the German border and there have been 13 new outbreaks of the disease in the past couple of weeks with Poland accounting for 48 outbreaks this year, involving around 35,000 pigs.

It is difficult to see how the whole pig industry can ever be clear of this scourge if outbreaks continue to occur at this rate.

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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: