Still rising…

Another positive day for pig sellers with the SPP up by 0.37p to 156.53p and spot bacon also tending firmer with prices around 164p/kg mark, and more in places, although German prices have hit something of a plateau and stood on this week.

Weekly contribution prices were generally up by 1p, within the 157p – 161p/kg range and once again, UK pig numbers remain tight at a time when more of the major retailers are looking for additional supplies of Freedom Food pigs in particular to back up their ‘Buy British’ pledge, thanks to all the hard promotional work and input from the AHDB and NPA over the years.

The currency markets ended a relatively quiet week, with the Euro trading on Friday worth 84.78p compared with 84.47p seven days ago, and as a result, cull sow prices remained at stand on levels with export sows trading in the 104p – 107p range according to load size.

Weaner prices continued to improve, although the AHDB have been unable to publish a 30kg average this week due to an ‘inadequate sample’, ie not enough numbers to calculate an average price, further underlining just how scarce weaner numbers have become.

The latest 7kg weaner average has also continued to break new ground to average £41.01/head, but in some cases, Freedom Food 7kg lots are being traded £2 – £4 ahead of this, with still plenty of empty spaces in the finishing system and pens to be filled.

Feed prices ended the week on a slightly firmer note, with May feed wheat quoted on the LIFFE market at £149.25/t and July at similar money, but November easier at £140/t, although UK spot wheat quotes have remained at similar levels, averaging £143.40/t.

UK protein prices remained at similar levels, with 48% soya meal ex Liverpool traded at £298/t and 34% rapemeal easier ex Kent at £173/t.

And finally, the AHDB are warning of potential post-Brexit problems as far as exports to China are concerned, because the day we leave the EU, what is known as the Great Repeal Bill will be triggered and export health certificates to China will have to comply with all the regulations which are currently embodied in EU law.

Apparently, it took Mick Sloyan of AHDB seven years to get port exports into China and was what he described as a ‘tortuous process’, so now is the time to start conversations on how links with China can be maintained post-Brexit, so unless we get all our paperwork in order well in advance, it could be a case of ‘sweet and sour pork’.

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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: