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 'Helter Skelter' - When you get to the bottom you go back to the top...

4th May 2018 / By Peter Crichton

Mixed prices across the board today. Although the latest SPP has gone up by 0.55p to 145.82p, unfortunately EU prices are heading south at an alarming speed with the latest German producer price falling by 5 Euro cents to 1.37p EUR (120p/kg in our money). 

Although some but not all of the major players have put up their weekly contribution prices by up to 2p the spot market remains quiet with fresh meat demand reported to be selective. But fortunately, despite the short week not too many pigs were looking for homes and as a result spot bacon was traded at around the 145p region with more in places according to spec. 

The value of the Euro continues to play a major role in determining pig meat prices, but despite a weaker pound with the Euro trading at 88.22p this was not enough to persuade cull sow buyers to go easy with sharp falls of up to 4p/kg for next week compared with their value of 104p this time last year when the Euro was much weaker at 84.7p. 

Apparently European cold stores are filling up with pig meat, with supply exceeding demand as well as sharp falls in the influential Chinese market, a major customer for global pig meat over the past few years. 

As a result, culls have mainly traded in the 60-62p range which may encourage some producers to hang on to older sows and re-serve them rather than selling at such low levels. 

Weaner prices have also been selective with demand for Freedom Food standard weaners well maintained but Red Tractor proving harder to move by comparison and the latest AHDB 30kg weaner average remains at £50.16/head with the 7kg prices dropped to £35.92/head. 

With some finisher buyers worried about the high cost of straw and rising feed prices, it is no wonder that there is a certain amount of caution in the weaner market despite finished pig sales being relatively firm. 

Feed prices have continued to creep ahead with the latest ex farm spot UK feed wheat quote now standing at £149.80/t which is £14/t more than it was worth at the start of the year. 

UK protein prices have also remained firm with 48% soya meal trading ex Liverpool in the £362 region and rape meal prices also hardening to £222/t. 

On the futures market London wheat traded for July at £147.60, November has also improved in value to £152.95/t. 

And finally with the British Pig and Poultry Fair just around the corner on May 15-16, it is a good time to meet up with friends and colleagues and either celebrate or commiserate. 

Just to put matters into perspective however, at the Pig Fair two years ago the SPP had slumped to 114.7p and the sow price was even worse than it is now at 59.33p. 

The only downside appears to be that a tonne of wheat two years ago only cost £101.30 compared with its current day value of almost half as much again.