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Paint it Black

19th Jan 2018 / By Peter Crichton

Another difficult day for sellers and, although UK pig prices are well ahead of equivalent European mainland values, the gap between the two gets wider to the ultimate detriment of domestic pig prices.

The latest SPP dropped by a fairly significant 1.43p and now stands at 148.22p, but the influential German producer price announced yesterday was back another 4 Cents and now stands at 1.30 EUR.

This translates to around 115p/kg and allows importers to offer good quality carcases ex-head and feet in the 130p/kg region, which is well below the UK value on this side of the Channel.

For comparison purposes, the European producer price this time last year stood at around 127p/kg.

As expected, weekly contribution prices have continued to head south in the 138p/kg region, losing a penny or so in most cases and the spot market is not for the fainthearted, with one-off loads of pigs worth around the 130p/kg region, although regular spot sellers were able to negotiate prices 4-6p/kg ahead of this.

Cull sow prices also reflected the dismal level to which European pigmeat values have fallen, with UK export abattoirs dropping their bid price by around 3p/kg, meaning that most culls were traded in the 60p/kg area compared with 94p/kg a year ago.

The Euro did us no favours with the Pound strengthening marginally and trading at noon on Friday worth 88.4p compared with 88.99p a week earlier.

Weaner prices also continue to head south and, although contract sellers are still receiving a fairly useful return, much of which is often pegged to the value of the SPP, the spot market tended to be a much colder environment.

The latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average is £51.81/head and the 7kg average £37.72/head, but one-off loads of Red Tractor spot weaners remain at a significant discount and may be worth a punt if finished pig prices stabilise in the months ahead.

Grain markets ended another relatively quiet week with the latest UK feed wheat spot average little changed at £135.8/t and futures drifting sideways with March traded on the LIFFE exchange at £140/t, July at £142.25/t and more distant months such as March 2019 at £145.60/t.

UK soya values have slipped a shade with 48% Brazilian crop trading at £304/t and rape meal holding at £166/t.

And finally, it is good to see that the AHDB are concentrating on further pork promotion, which comes at a time when the industry is sorely in need of a boost as far as consumers are concerned, with the latest campaign delivering a message broadcasting the health and benefits of pork as a 'healthy option' which is naturally rich in protein and also has the benefit of being of produced to high welfare standards.

Congratulations to Rebecca MacBain who is the winner of the NPA’s slogan competition with “British Pork – The Real Deal for a Tasty Meal”.