UK - Last week was a challenging one for sellers of pigs, according to Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights report last week.
The SPP continued its downward track, losing another 1.18p to stand at 146.89p and various weekly factory spot bacon prices are now in the 130s - a far cry from the prices at the start of the year.
Spot bacon quotes have also remained under pressure due to the significant gap that exists between continental and British pig prices and, in many cases, 130p was quite a hard target to hit rather than the base price, with some trades recorded in the 126 to 128p range.
However, some of the smaller fresh meat wholesalers were reporting slightly better orders and now might be the time to trickle out a few lighter cutter-weight pigs rather than have to deal with them as overweight heavy hogs over the festive period with spot quotes in the 155p to 160p region on the cards at the lighter end.
Unfortunately, the Euro has taken a step in the wrong direction, trading on Friday at 79.12p compared to 79.69 a week ago but despite this, cull sows have held at similar (but very low) values with bids in the 80p to 82p range in the main.
Although the AHDB 30-kg weaner average has improved to £50.64, 7-kg weaners have slipped again and the overall average is now £35.33 per head. However, in both cases, spot weaner trades have been £2 to £4 behind these figures and, due to the wide variety and complexity of some weaner contract price deals, there can be significant variation between contract vales, depending on when deals were struck.
Those selling on an SPP or similar index-related price for weaner contracts signed up in early 2014 or previously are probably looking at a much rosier picture than those who have recently renegotiated or are about to have to look for new outlets.
Feed prices have also continued with a slightly bullish edge with spot wheat traded on a ex-farm basis up £4 compared to seven days earlier at £119.60 and futures prices are also reflecting a reasonably firm trend with November wheat quoted in the LIFFE market at £123.40 per tonne and March at £128.70.
And finally, news that movement licences are now being issued to pig/poultry producers caught up in the latest avian flu H5N8 outbreak will be a more than welcome pre-Christmas present for those producers who might have faced the prospect of a lock-down over the Christmas period.
However, this represents a wake-up call for the whole of the pig industry and underlines the need for the highest possible levels of biosecurity to be maintained, especially with PEDv and African swine fever as potent threats.
ThePigSite News Desk
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