You’ve Got Your Troubles

A bit of a ‘glass half empty’ day with very little in the way of positive news to report although we should be thankful for small mercies, as European values have generally stayed at similar levels for the third week running.

The latest SPP has slipped by 0.2p to 146.17p which is its lowest value since April 7th, but hopefully its rate of descent is levelling out and the influential German producer price has remained at 1.36 EUR which translates to 119.5p in our money but is certainly far too low when compared with domestic prices making imports a very competitive alternative to the consumer.

Weekly contribution prices have generally slipped by around 1p with most in the 131-137p range and significantly lower than comparable SPP values (tut tut).

The spot bacon market remains very quiet with little demand for any extra pigs and reports of one off loads of spot bacon trading in and around 138-140p which is well below their current COP.

Despite German pig prices standing on, UK cull sow values have eased by around 1p due to a weaker Euro which traded today worth 87.92p compared with 88.69p a week ago and most bids from cull sow exporters have been in the 60-64p range compared with German cull sow quotes of 83p at equivalent sterling values.

Weaner markets continue to reflect the uncertainty of finished pig prices in the weeks ahead, with the latest AHDB 7kg average remaining unchanged at £36.92/head, but no quotation is available for 30kg weaners which the previous week traded at an average of £47.54/head.

Still very little space in the system and as a result, one off Red Tractor spot weaners have been at a significant discount and proving very hard to shift, except at rock bottom prices.

However, one slightly more positive sign has been the continuing modest reduction in cereal prices with London feed wheat traded on the futures market at £171/t for November a shade easier with May quoted at £174.50/t and November 2019 looking better value at £156/t.

On a global basis, some falls in Chicago wheat futures have impacted on the UK feed wheat market along with upward revisions of global wheat production figures this week as well as competitive Black Sea wheat and an improvement in the value of the US dollar.

Soya bean prices have also continued to ease for currency reasons and a slightly more bearish outlook in the US.

And finally, the NPA are urging producers to prepare for the possibility of African Swine Fever hitting the UK pig herd with news that the spread of ASF across China has been detected in many parts of the country and there have been more than 100 cases in wild boar tested in Belgium.

Although some countries have banned Belgian pork exports, global pig prices have generally dropped with additional supplies of Belgian pork undercutting UK pig meat values.

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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: