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Little by Little

23rd Feb 2018 / By Peter Crichton

As the song title suggests, prices are starting to show slightly firmer price trends with the SPP actually going up for once by a modest 0.15p to stand at 146.07p, although most weekly contribution prices stood on in the 137p/kg region. 

Fresh meat wholesalers are still reporting demand as 'patchy' and UK pigmeat supplies are still being undercut by foreign imports of cuts and joints, which remain competitive despite the influential German producer price going up a further 4 Cents, which represents a 20 Cent increase over the past 4 weeks. It currently stands at 1.50 EUR, which is equivalent to 132p/kg in our money. 

UK spot bacon prices have remained at generally positive stand on levels with the chance of an extra copper or two in places, but perhaps, with spring around the corner we will see some further upward movement in the weeks ahead and in the run up to Easter? 

Cull sow prices are also continuing to head north, albeit by a fairly modest 2p/kg, with quotes mainly between 70p – 75p/kg according to load size and spec. 

However, a stronger Pound saw the Euro traded worth 88p this week compared with 88.8p seven days ago, which unfortunately does no favours as far as cull sow prices are concerned. 

Weaner values are holding at generally similar levels, although the latest AHDB 7kg ex farm average dropped by £1.68/head to £36.45/head. However, no quotation is currently available for 30kg weaners. 

The grain market has ended a relatively quiet week, although there is some concern over the very low temperatures in western and southern Europe, which could cause frost damage to wheat crops. A cold snap is expected to cross much of the UK and Europe in the coming days and there have also rain deficits in Portugal and eastern Spain, which has certainly not been the case in the UK! 

On the domestic market, UK feed wheat has been traded on an ex farm spot basis at around £136/t, which is almost identical to the March futures (delivered) price of £135.40/t, with July trading at £141.15/t and longer months are generally more money. 

And finally, for those of you young enough to look ahead to the post Brexit era, it was good to hear Michael Gove announce a review of bureaucracy burdens placed on farmers and a commitment that environmental or animal standards would not be lowered as part of any new trade deals… we shall see! 

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