Two Steps Behind

The SPP continues to improve and went up this week by 1.18p to stand at 141.74p, but this makes less good reading when compared with its value a year ago when the SPP was 163.89p.

Weekly contribution prices are signalling a reasonably positive stand on and a copper up in places with most between 135p and 136p, but little chance of catching vertigo at these levels.

Spot bacon supplies remain relatively light, but signs are emerging of slightly better demand for non-Farm Assured baconers selling at a touch more than 130p/kg and Farm Assured bacon in the 135p/kg region, almost matching weekly contribution prices.

Although the Euro traded today at a slightly firmer level of 86.8p compared with 85.19p week ago this was not enough to encourage sow buyers to lift their bids, most of which have been in and around 70p/kg, but still some way behind their equivalent value in Germany.

Demand for weaners remains fickle with space still at a premium, but some buyers have been slightly encouraged by modest reductions in feed prices coupled with the possibility of finished pig values continuing their slow recovery. As a result, 7kg RSPCA assured piglets have generally been in the £34 – £37/head bracket and 30kg weaners nudging up towards £50/head.

Feed prices are still comparatively high with new crop cereals easing back from previous levels to some extent with feed wheat traded on the futures market at £201/t for May but easing to £168/t for September.

Feed barley looks reasonably good value with May traded at £162/t but September looks better value at £151/t.

Spot ex-farm wheat averages for last week work out at £185.2/t but this is still significantly higher than equivalent spot feed wheat values twelve months earlier of £163.89/t.

In the proteins department, Hipro soya deals have been struck at £365/t for May – October and November – April 2022 at £370/t.

And finally, although it is good to see pig prices move ahead and a significant decline in the gap between EU and UK prices, reports are being received that Covid continues to challenge some of the larger EU abattoirs. There are concerns that unless nationwide vaccination levels can be stepped up, Covid will continue to be the elephant in the room when compared with UK vaccination levels, which have been several steps ahead of the rest and hopefully signalling a return to catering sales picking up in the UK in the next few weeks.

The worst case scenario would be if there was a slow down in the uptake of cull sow meat sent to the EU from the UK because of further Covid problems.

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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: www.petercrichton.co.uk