Friday Not Black But Difficult for UK Pig Sector

UK - Perhaps not quite a Black Friday but certainly a difficult one for pig sellers with prices still on the slide, writes pig marketing consultant Peter Crichton.
calendar icon 1 December 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

SPP lost a further 0.75p to stand at 146.14p. The trend of the widening gap between spot and contract prices continues and some spot quotes were as low as 120p per kg, which compares with equivalent pigs selling in June this year at 170p per kg and represents an overall loss of 50p per kg in six months, equivalent to £40 per pig, supporting the theory that sometimes in life “the hottest can be the coldest”.

Most contract pigs tied to the SPP or similar index prices were traded in the 142p to 146p per kg range, although two major processors came out with what are now called “contribution prices” between 135p and 136p per kg.

Reduced export demand to some Far East destinations has also put further downward pressure on pig prices and has filtered through to the sow market where quotes dropped a further 4p with cull sows now trading in the 76p to 79p region and as low as they have been for several years.

Fortunately, the Euro managed to improve a shade from 79.12p the previous week to 79.57p but any further weakening of this key currency would be another kick for pig sellers.

The latest AHDB weaner prices are continuing to show an easier trend with the 30-kg ex-farm average at £48.28 per head and 7-kg weaners at £35.20 per head.

Bearing in mind that these include a significant proportion of contract prices, which are slower to come down (and slow to go up) and Freedom Food standard weaners, whereas spot quotes once again are operating at a significant discount.

Michael Priestley

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