Welcome to Hard Times

Although the SPP took a major 2.24p step to stand at 155.03p, it is worth remembering that 12 months it stood at 164.93p and feed wheat was ‘only’ £155/t compared with over £200/t today – there is still a long way to go before feed and pig prices are on the producers side.

UK weekly contribution prices look to be in ‘stand on’ mode, with most little changed in between 145p-161p. The German producer price is also holding at similar levels on the week and currently stands at 1.57 EUR.

Spot bacon demand remains quiet with the majority of pigs being sold on contract around the 140p/kg mark and a tad more for regular suppliers.

The value of the Euro is also virtually unchanged worth 86p.

Cull sow values remain stuck in no man’s land close to 70p/kg according to load size, but prices are not being done any favours by the ongoing difficulties and restrictions facing cull sow exporters to the EU.

AHDB have finally published price data for 7kg weaners, which last week averaged £37.74/head, most of which relate to RSPCA Assured rather than Red Tractor piglets, but certainly a step in the right direction for breeders, although this is not necessarily the case for finishers.

The main talking point still revolves around the high cost of pig feed with the latest cereal and protein price values continuing to paint a worrying picture for hard pressed pig finishers, with UK spot feed wheat up from £198.30/t to £202/t.

Cereal futures prices are also looking expensive in relation to pig meat values with feed wheat quoted at £211/t for July and £178/t for September.

Barley is trading at a relatively modest discount compared with wheat with June feed barley sold at £189/t and £166/t for August delivery.

Proteins including soya meal and rapeseed remain dear with Hipro soya for July – October changing hands at £355/t with November – April 2022 soya at £360/t.

Rapemeal prices are also continuing in a bullish mode with July traded at £272/t and August – January 2022 at £232/t.

And finally, good to hear that UK feed and food associations, farmers, hauliers and other professional organisations are looking to put pressure on the Government to fast track the whole process for UK exporters supplying to the EU where volumes have crashed, and the viability of this sector has in some cases been destroyed.

A streamlined export system would work wonders as far as UK cull sow prices are concerned and pig producers feel it is time that this sector had some help from the Government rather than being told to go it alone.

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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