Way Down

Although the SPP has continued on its downward track, losing 0.57p to stand at 160.22p, a much starker picture continues to emerge in the EU where German pig prices in particular have received another heavy hit, dropping by 7 Cents to stand at 1.30EUR.

UK weekly contribution prices are also in retreat with most of the main contributors easing prices back by around 1p within a range of 139p at the bottom end and 151p at the top.

Spot prices remain under pressure from very cheap imports and it is a case of ‘mind the gap’ when comparisons are made between home produced and imported pig meat prices.

With labour availability still being stretched following Brexit and Covid, pigs are still being rolled and going overweight, there is very little positive to report this week.

Subject to finding any room for spot baconers it is difficult to find bids of much more than 135p/kg for one off consignments but regular sellers should be receiving a modest premium above this.

The Euro has improved marginally in value, trading on Friday worth 85.7p, compared with 84.98p a week ago, but a much greater shift in currency levels is needed before this has any real impact on cull sow exports.

With large volumes of pig meat freely available at low prices throughout much of Europe, UK cull sow values continue to follow the same downward path with prices slipping further, but final figures have yet to be confirmed.

The latest AHDB 7kg piglet prices are also starting to reflect the overall fall in values which dropped this week by £2.25/head to £38.93/head.

Added to this, high feed costs and some reports of disease problems hitting fertility levels have continued to put downward pressure on weaner values with slender margins for breeders and finishers with buyers remaining very cautious.

Cereal and protein prices have remained firm during the course of the week with UK feed wheat traded for September delivery at £194/t and September 2022 at a slightly more reasonable £175/t.

Spot wheat averaged £177.30/t ex farm.

Barley prices have also been firm with September traded at £179/t and September next year at £162/t.

Hipro soya prices have firmed with deals agreed for September – October at £370/t and for May – October 2022 at £339/t.

Cereal markets are reported as being volatile in the US and oil seeds are also rising with more Chinese buyers back in the market.

And finally, the lack of rearing and finishing space to accommodate surplus unsold finishers and weaners could soon lead to animal welfare problems as some producers may run out of funds to finance extra pigs on their units, with COP levels soaring above pig meat prices.

At the same time, news of a major ASF outbreak on a 13,000 pig place unit in Bulgaria is casting yet another dark cloud over future of the UK pig industry, which is already suffering from the effects of Brexit, Covid and the tightening level of Red Tractor Farm assurance and pig movement rules, which are soon to be finalised.

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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