It was good to see the SPP rising by 0.34p which was just enough to nudge it over the 200p mark, and it now stands at 200.09p.
EU pig meat prices remain firm with the influential German producer price quoted at 2.00 EUR and at the same time reports are that very few of the large UK processors were rolling any pigs.
The Christmas period can often be a nightmare as far as supply and demand are concerned but, on this occasion, chillers are not bulging with unsold finished pigs.
This trend was reflected by UK weekly contribution prices which have in the main remained at last week’s levels with Woodheads at 180p/kg, Cranswick at 178p/kg and Karro at 165p/kg, which is an average of 25p/kg below the SPP and still a country mile below current market prices.
The black hole in live weight pigs is beginning to make itself felt and as a result very few spot pigs were looking for homes and where they were prices were on the whole at last week’s levels and over 205p/kg in the main.
Cull sow prices were also given a boost by a much firmer Euro which traded at 87.73p compared with 85.95p a week ago and as a result prices were up by another 1p/kg with most between 86p – 91p/kg, despite the challenges of exporting pig meat at this time of year.
Weaner buyers were in some cases having to dig deeper to secure any spot pigs that were available and contract weaner prices generally remained firm covering a wide range, with 7kg RSPCA Assured weaners exceeding £50/head in some cases.
From the producers’ point of view it was good to see something of a price recovery in this sector.
Feed Market Trends
The latest UK ex farm weekly average for spot feed wheat is down to to £229/t and futures prices have been easing as far as grains are concerned, with feed wheat for January delivery at £239/t and September 2023 at £229/t.
Feed barley futures quotes are also painting a slightly rosier picture as far as pig farmers are concerned with January delivery quoted at £219/t and September next year at £213/t.
Protein prices on the other hand are still going up with Hipro soya quoted at £522/t for March – April next year and May – October less expensive at £478/t. Rapemeal for January – April and May – July 2023 is looking more sustainable at £311/t.
News that the new Danish Crown £100 million Rochdale bacon and gammon plant which is due to begin production in mid 2023 is to be solely supplied with products from Denmark.
Industry sources are suggesting this will add yet another level of competition to the whole UK pork processing sector and is unfortunately a vote of no confidence in the ability of the UK to improve its share of this valuable market.
It certainly seems to be another challenge for the UK pig industry at a time when many producers are still in the red.