Chinese Torture


By Peter Crichton, Pig World (UK)

August 9, 2019


Although UK pig prices have remained at similar levels with the SPP only moving up a fraction to stand at 152.8p, on the other side of the channel a different picture is continuing to emerge with further increases in the influential German producer price which gained another seven cents this week on top of the four cent increase seven days ago.


This means that the German price of €1.85 has risen by 6.3% over the past seven days compared with the SPP, which has hardly moved, up by a mere .002% over the same period – the Germans must be considerably better at selling their meat than we are.


Despite the recent rises recorded in the EU pig meat value and the huge “black hole” that is reported to have emerged in the Chinese pig herd that up to 40% of their output may be lost to the ravages of ASF, most weekly contribution prices have tended to stand on and remain within the 143-150p range, rather than following the upward trend seen elsewhere.


Spot demand remains relatively quiet and there is no doubt that the UK red meat market is suffering from a drop in demand rather than slaughter numbers which is a worry for producers looking ahead, unless all of the benefits of the Chinese situation filter through to our industry. Spot bacon tended to be traded in and around 150p/kg but in this sector, there seem to be more sellers than buyers.


Cull sow prices have always been a useful indicator of EU pig meat values and were also helped by a stronger euro which traded 1% up on the week at 92.55p, together with a surge in demand throughout much of Europe confirmed by UK cull sow exporters, lifting their bids by 7p/kg (£10 per sow) with most quotes between 107-114p/kg, but it is difficult to gauge what the cull sow trade will be like after October 31, assuming a “no deal” situation is the outcome.


Weaner prices have improved...