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The Long and Winding Road - market commentary

8th Sep 2017 / By Peter Crichton

The SPP continues to drift downwards albeit at a fairly slow rate dropping by .49p this week to 164.17p.

As reported recently, spot prices are continuing to lag behind contract and with more pigs about demand described by one wholesaler as 'fickle' (or I think that’s what he said!). Regular spot sellers were able to achieve prices in the 156p to 160p range but one-off loads were harder to clear with bids in the 150p region in some cases.

Weekly contribution prices are also following the downward track of the SPP losing between 1-2p and most are now within the 155p-161p range.

The Euro has also been drifting in value slightly, trading on Friday worth 91.34p compared with 92.06p a week ago but fortunately cull sow quotes have remained at similar levels with most buyers bidding in the 96p-98p range according to load size. German pig prices have also remained at similar levels with the latest producer price quoted at €1.70EU for the 9th week running.

Weaner prices are also tending to reflect slightly tighter margins for finished pig production with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm average easing to £60.31 and the 7kg price also down a touch to £44.42 and it is probably fair to say that most spot trades have been at less money than contract which has not been the case for several months.

Cereal prices to some extent hardened in places with smaller stocks of wheat and barley on UK farms at the end of June with wheat down by 48% and barley was 33% lower.

Feed prices on the LIFFE market have ended the week little changed with November traded at £140.50/t, March at £145.30/t and July at £149.15/t.

UK protein prices have remained at generally similar levels with 48% soyameal trading ex Liverpool at 296/t and 34% rapemeal trading ex Kent at £164/t.

It remains to be seen however, what effect the recent apolyptic weather conditions in parts of the US will have upon the feedstock market but it looks as though coconut crops will be hit harder than cereals.

And finally, something of a storm warning from the AHDB concerning rising supplies and the prospect of prices coming under pressure in the next few months although the weak pound is continuing to support the UK pig meat price.

According to AHDB Pork estimated UK slaughterings are up by 7% and EU reference prices have also started to fall but the position is certainly a lot better than it was than this time two years ago, when the SPP stood at 131.45 and the sow price was 59p.

Hopefully we are still in a glass half full rather than a nearly half empty situation…….we shall see.