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Pig Prices Approaching Temporary Plateau

13 June 2017, at 1:00am

UK - Another positive day for sellers and, although prices are to some extent approaching a plateau for the time being, pig numbers remain tight and demand is firm, writes Peter Crichton in his "Traffic Lights" commentary for 9 June 2017.

The SPP has continue its upward track rising by a further 0.75p and now standing at 160.85p, although German producer prices have stood on and most weekly contribution prices have remained at similar levels, generally within the 159p – 164p/kg range.

Spot bacon prices are now more than 10p above the SPP with most traded in the 170p – 173p/kg region and plenty of takers.

After all the excitement of the General Election result (nil to the Conservatives), the currency markets went into a bit of a tizzy, but now seem to have settled down with the Euro worth 87.86p on Friday afternoon and marginally firmer than its value 7 days earlier of 87.58p.

However, cull sow demand improved by 1p – 2p/kg, depending on spec and load size, with most culls traded north of 102p/kg and demand is firm with both of the main cull sow exporters prepared to take more where numbers were available.

Weaner prices remain firm with the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm average rising above the £60/head mark to stand at £60.25/head and 7kg piglets virtually standing on at £43.29/head but, with spot buyers still out to fill all those empty pens, you can add up to £5/head to the averages in some cases for spot Freedom Food batches.

As far as feed costs are concerned, US wheat and maize futures eased back slightly with the exception of US spring wheat futures, which rose to their highest level since July 2015 and any sharp fluctuations in currency values the recent General Election results will also have a significant impact on the grain and protein markets.

Pig producers will have been pleased to see the latest AHDB spot feed wheat ex farm average slip to £139.30/t.

UK futures prices ended another quiet week with little change and July feed wheat was quoted on the LIFFE market at £141/t and January a touch dearer at £143.30/t with something of a spike approaching in May 2018 at £147.25/t.

Protein values saw 34 per cent rape meal ex Kent trading at £176/t and US soya bean futures fell by £1.08/t to £267/t on the November futures market.

And finally, following on from the shock result of the latest UK General Election, it was amusing to hear the British Government being described as “well hung"... surely not all of them!

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