Good to see the SPP taking another forward step and rising by 0.96p to 140.56p, but before getting too carried away it is probably worth remembering that this time last year the SPP stood at 163.39p.
And German prices were equivalent to 160p/kg before adding in the benefit received by German producers of no deductions for haulage, grading and meat inspection costs, which can be worth up to another 20p/kg.
Unfortunately on this side of the Channel, these deductions come off the producers’ bottom line rather than being paid by the processors and can cost in the region of £5 per pig.
It will be interesting to see if weekly contribution prices, which have yet to be announced today, are following the upward track of the SPP rather than standing on within the 130p – 134p range, but we could see an extra copper or two put on the table.
With most of the major abattoirs working through the Easter holiday period there has been no significant rollover of pigs and with demand looking reasonably firm and abattoirs taking full contract numbers, spot pigs have proved to be a little thinner on the ground than they were, with values in and around 130p’kg and a touch more in places.
Although the value of the Euro has slipped a touch to 85.1p, UK cull sow exporters are generally standing on with bids approaching 70p/kg in the main, but supplies are on the short side.
Weaner buyers are also showing a little more interest than they were with prospects of lower feed prices and better pig values putting a little bit of cautious optimism back into the equation, but with COP levels where they are it is difficult for 7kg piglet producers to earn any sort of margin selling at prices below £35 per head.
Feed prices are thankfully beginning to look more favourable as far as producers are concerned with May feed wheat quoted on the UK futures market at £199/t compared with £204/t a week ago and September an almost bearable £164/t.
On a comparative basis barley also looks better value trading for May at £161/t and for September at £147/t.
Protein values are also heading south to some extent with Hipro soya traded for June to October at £377/t.
Rape meal remains expensive however at £236/t for May – June.
And finally, the global nature of the UK pig industry has been underlined with the news of the sale of pork processor Karro to one of Canada’s largest food processors, who trade as Sofina Foods Inc.
Sofina Foods supply processed products on a worldwide basis employing over 5,000 people and are major players in the international protein products retail and food service systems.
Sofina Foods are reported to have ambitious future plans which could also lead to additional reinvestment in the UK pig processing industry, with potential for further growth in the future.