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Fool on the Hill

6th Apr 2018 / By Peter Crichton

Something of a curate’s egg (good in parts) trade today with a little more interest in finished pigs, although sows are still, sadly, remaining at very low stand on levels and weaner space remains under pressure. 

The latest SPP moved up by 0.48p and now stands at 145.85p and weekly contribution prices are anywhere between stand on and +2p in places. 

Spot buyers are showing a little more interest in pigs with bids in the 142p region and the promise of some spring weather around the corner may help to lift barbecue demand and the fresh meat trade in the weeks ahead. 

The influential German producer price also remained at stand on levels for the fourth week running and remains at 1.45 EUR which is equivalent to 126.64p in our money. 

Unfortunately, a slightly weaker Euro, which traded on Friday worth 87.34p as against 87.73p the previous week, did nothing to encourage sow buyers to put more money on the table with quotes in the 68p-70p range compared with 100p a year ago, which still makes replacing sows with gilts an expensive exercise. 

Something of a two-tier trade is continuing to develop in the weaner market with the latest AHDB 7kg average quoted at £38.02 but no quote was available for 30kg weaners this week. 

However, following on from the awful winter which hit outdoor producers particularly hard, followed up by the 'Beast from the East', weaner availability is expected to tighten up in the weeks ahead which could lift prices especially in the Freedom Food sector, where demand is reported to be keener than Red Tractor. 

Grain markets have ended another fairly uneventful week and the latest UK spot ex-farm wheat price remains almost unchanged at £144.30/t. 

On the futures market London, wheat traded firm at £144.70 for May and £145.95 for November, but US soya bean futures prices have plummeted due to the Chinese tariff threat following Donald Chump’s latest antics. 

It will be interesting to see what effect the Chump tariffs have on pig meat prices as far as trade between the US and China is concerned. This could turn out to be a case of global musical chairs with the plus side being that China may be looking for tariff free pig meat from other sources, but at the same time the US product could be searching for new homes at bargain basement prices... we shall see! 

Fool on the hill