The Sun Has Got His Hat On…

The SPP continues to improve, rising by 0.21p to 161.91p, as some weekly contribution prices stood on, with others up by a penny in places.

Spot bacon remains in extremely short supply with prices holding firm and most one-off spot bacon loads traded in the 170-173p region – to some extent, the prices will depend on who blinks first!

A slight improvement in the value of the Euro, which traded on Friday afternoon worth 87.86p compared with 87.44p a week ago, helped cull prices to move up by a penny in places, but the German pig market is remaining at similar levels, with their producer pig price standing on.

As a result, UK cull sow prices tended to be within a fairly narrow 102-105p band but more numbers are still wanted.

Weaner prices continue to reflect ongoing optimism as far as finished pig values in the autumn are concerned, with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm average rising by over £1 to £60.86/head and 7kg weaners also nudging up a touch to £43.96/head. One-off spot trades of full loads of weaners continue to earn a premium ahead of contract values with, in some cases, prices between £2 and £4/head of contract being achieved.

As with finished pigs, however, the spot market is not for the faint hearted, especially looking back 18 months or so, and those renegotiating weaner contracts now should still not lose sight of the fact that minimum price contracts provide a valuable safety net when the next price tumble comes along (which it will one day).

Spot wheat prices

UK ex-farm spot feed wheat prices have moved ahead, with the latest average reported at £141.50/t and UK wheat futures closed higher on the week, up £2.30 on the previous Friday.

On the LIFFE market, UK feed wheat traded firmer for July at £143/t, with January 2018 at £147.70 and March 2018 at £150.10/t.

This is partly due to hot, dry weather in Europe and US concerns over their spring wheat crops, which has pushed up futures prices and pig producers would be well advised to keep a close eye on the grain markets in the run up to harvest.

UK protein prices have, however, stayed at generally similar levels, with 48% Brazilian soyameal traded at £292/t and 34% rapemeal at £178/t.

And finally, spare a thought for outdoor sows in particular in this hot weather, and if possible, provide some shade and avoid putting too many on cull wagons because sometimes, ‘more = less’.

And finally, finally, for those of you looking to reinvest in your pig facilities and needing to borrow some money, the advice is to take out a loan from a pessimist as he won’t expect to be repaid!

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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: