The way we were

Very much a case of ‘as you were’ as far as pig prices are concerned, with the influential German producer price remaining unchanged for a fifth week running, at 1.45 EUR which is equivalent to 129p in real money and the SPP only drifting a smidgeon, losing 0.35p to stand at 153.66p

Weekly contribution prices have also tended to remain at generally similar levels on the week, although monthly prices are showing an easier tendency.

Spot demand remains generally quiet although there was a little more interest shown earlier in the week with colder weather slowing down growth rates and hopefully stimulating human appetites with ‘one off’ loads of spot pigs generally worth around 140p, but regular sellers will be 2-4p ahead of this in many cases.

The sow market also continues to reflect relatively flat demand across Europe with most prices remaining at similar levels meaning that cull sow quotes are still at very low levels in the 70p/kg region.

The value of the Euro has also ended the week almost where it started trading on Friday worth 89.03p compared with 89.4p a week ago, but it’s a surprise that gloomy growth forecast in the Budget this week did not put more downward pressure on the £.

Weaner values continue to slip, with the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm average dropping £1.33/head to £55.72 and 7kg piglets also losing ground, slipping 0.88p to stand at £41.99.

The gap between spot and contract weaner prices continues to widen and regular sellers were reminded to keep their contracts in a safe place as they could be worth their weight in gold when compared with spot.

Grain prices fell back slightly during the week with demand generally described as ‘quiet’ and UK feed wheat a slow trade during the summer months.

UK grain spot feed wheat prices on an ex farm basis have averaged £135/t this week and futures value also ended a quiet week, with January 2018 trading at £140/t, May 2018 easier at £143/t and November 2018 also showing some weakness at £142.75/t. UK protein prices have also eased a shade with Brazilian 48% soya meal ex Liverpool trading at £290/t.

For the time being at least, there are no major shocks in store on the feed cost front. Let’s hope that this Christmas turns out to be a time for taking as well as giving.

And finally good news on the Chinese export front as thanks to the efforts of the AHDB and some of the larger processors. The bamboo curtain has opened to the export of trotters which are a delicacy in China and will help to add yet more value to the ‘5th quarter’ sector, which is absolutely vital to maintain carcase balance and values for the pig industry as a whole.

Hopefully this new arrangement will turn out to be sweet and not sour!

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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: