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The Times They Are A-Changin

4th May 2019 / By Peter Crichton

The SPP has finally woken up with recent significant rises in global pigmeat values finally filtering through to the UK.

It has risen by 1.17p to stand at 139.84p and more of the same in the weeks ahead hopefully with significant increases in contribution prices and most now in the 133p – 140p/kg range.

Spot pigs remain scarce with very few cases of contract pigs being rolled, but spot values are also moving ahead with prices either side of 150p/kg according to spec.

Cull sow prices have held at similar levels with most traded in the 90p – 93p/kg range despite a slight fall in the value of the euro, which traded on Friday worth 85.83p compared with 86.3p a week ago.

Weaner prices have yet to react to the improvement in the value of the SPP with the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm average quoted at £45.28/head and 7kg piglets a shade firmer at £35.53/head, but in every sector weaners are now operating in much more of a sellers’ market than they were previously.

Cereal prices have remained at slightly easier levels with London feed wheat quoted for June delivery at £166/t and September deliveries at £145/t.

UK ex farm spot wheat averages are also easing in producers’ favour averaging £158.10/t. Barley for June delivery is quoted at £136/t and September at £132/t.

Hi Pro soya prices have remained at an 11 month low with June – October traded at £280/t and November – April 2020 at £287/t

And finally, despite still awaiting the outcome of the longest ever divorce case in the EU when Brexit day finally dawns, Tönnies the German based meat processor have agreed terms to purchase C&K Meats, who are a Suffolk based abattoir established in 1994 at Eye. Much of their business centres around pig and cull sow slaughtering, which is a sector in which Tonnies have been major players for many years throughout Europe.

Tönnies UK operations chairman Carsten Jakobsen has described their acquisition as an excellent partnership as part of their plan to continue vertical integration in the UK, so it should be a case of “business as usual” at Eye.

However, it will be interesting to see what effect the arrival of a major player in a market where the number of abattoirs has been shrinking has upon the whole UK pigmeat supply chain where Tulip operate under the ownership of Danish Crown as market leaders and at a time when Cranswick have also continued to expand their sphere of operations.