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We Will Rise Again

16th Feb 2019 / By Peter Crichton

After last week’s increase in German pig prices, it was good to see that on this side of the Channel we may be following the same upward track soon.

Although the SPP has continued to decline, losing another 0.41p to stand at 137.74p, spot pig prices are looking a shade firmer and have been up by a copper or two in places, with spot bacon generally traded in the 130p region as well as some of the larger players indicating that they were no longer “rolling” pigs and could soon be looking for extra numbers to fulfil contracts due to the upcoming shortage of UK pigs in the system following last summer’s infertility problems.

Weekly contribution prices have in the main remained at similar levels within the 126-129p bracket but are still lagging well behind the SPP but will hopefully soon start to creep out of the basement.

Cull sow quotes were little changed with most traded between 60-65p despite an improvement of the value of the euro, which traded on Friday worth 87.97p compared with 87.45p a week ago.

However, the future of cull sow values and the effects of import/export tariffs still remain unclear unless a political solution to the “deal or no deal” situation has been clarified with only six weeks to go until March 29, 2019.

Weaner prices remain selective with the AHDB 30kg quote unavailable but was quoted at £43.37/ head a week ago and 7kg weaner prices continue their roller coaster ride losing £1.90 to average £35.39/head.

As previously, Freedom Food standard weaners are still enjoying a significant premium over and above their downtrodden Red Tractor companions

Feed ingredient prices have eased back a shade with London feed wheat futures generally down by around £2/t with March traded at £170.7/t and November at £153.25/t. UK protein prices are holding at similar levels with 48% soya meal ex Liverpool traded at £302/t and 34% rape meal ex Kent at £210/t.

Another interesting feature is that a significant discount for new crop wheat has emerged with November ‘19 new crop futures prices showing an almost £20/t discount compared with old crop (July 2019) prices, due to forecasts of larger global wheat crops in 2019/20. Further falls in wheat prices would be like music to pig producers’ ears at a time when margins remain under pressure.

And finally more evidence that African Swine Fever is being taken seriously throughout Europe, and news has emerged that arrests have been made as part of an investigation into the recent Belgian outbreaks, with more than 450 cases of ASF in wild boar reported since September, so it looks as though the 'Walloon Balloon' has finally gone up!

On a more serious note, however, this underlines the need for our borders to be kept secure at all costs and to (hopefully) benefit from the little strip of sea between us and mainland Europe.