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Keep Holding On

30th Jun 2018 / By Peter Crichton

Very much a case of 'as you were' with pig prices generally holding and the SPP only marginally easier losing 0.04p to stand at 150.03p and the influential German producer price was unchanged at €1.44, which in our currency is 127.68p/kg underlining the wide gap which still exists between the EU mainland and UK pig meat prices.

Most weekly contribution prices have stayed at similar levels, within the 140-148p range and spot trade was reported to be “patchy” with shoulders and bellies selling well, loins in reasonable demand but the leg trade remains under pressure. As a result, spot bacon quotes tended to be in or around 150p/kg level pegging with the SPP.

Cull sow prices have improved due to a firmer Euro which traded today worth 88.67p compared with 87.58p a week ago with quotes generally in the 65-68p range but UK cull sow quotes still have a good deal of catching up to do when compared with EU mainland values.

The latest AHDB 30kg weaner value was not available although the previous week stood at £54.06, but the 7kg average has dropped by 0.87p to £37.25p.

With worries about the cost of straw and feed, finishers are remaining careful in their buying decisions and weaner prices look as though they are going to remain under pressure especially as far as Red Tractor are concerned.

Feed prices are continuing to put producers’ margins under pressure with the latest UK spot wheat average quoted at £161.20/t up another £2 on last week’s figure with the market continuing to display bullish trends, not helped by the lack of rain in many parts of Europe which is hitting yields hard.

Futures prices saw London wheat traded at £160.30/t for November with the EU Commission announcing output cuts in their forecasts for 2018 crops as far as wheat, barley and oilseed rape are concerned due to lower yield predictions.

This pattern is also repeated in Romania and Bulgaria and with forecasts from the US showing above average temperatures in early July this could also have an upward influence on feed prices as a whole so once again, now is the time for producers to look at covering their forward positions.

And finally, it has been good to hear that despite the shortage of CO2 most of our major processers have managed to keep the wheels turning one way or another although the Tulip Brechin plant was forced to halt production but most of the other processors have been able to keep on top of supplies despite the overall disruption caused to the UK pig meat supply chain.

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