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Don't Ring Us, We Will Ring You...

by 5m Editor
22 August 2009, at 8:49am

UK - ...But not many did, and as expected, most of the big abattoirs have kept contract numbers tight which put extra supplies into the spot sector where demand remains subdued, writes Peter Crichton in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

Although beef and lamb producers are enjoying firm prices, pig farmers seem to be the poor relations at present mainly due to some of the larger retailers (Tesco to name but one) choosing to stock higher levels of imported pig meat (see the NPA news page for details.

As a result retailers’ forward orders to abattoirs have been cut and some pigs have been rolled.

With more pigs appearing on a weak spot market the DAPP continues to edge downwards and shed another 0.77p this week to stand at 153.65p. For the glass-half-full merchants this is still miles better than the 136.9p level of the DAPP 12 months ago when wheat was worth £111/t ex-farm compared with £85/t now.

Spot bacon was traded today at circa 140p/kg which is around 15p below most contract prices equivalent to £10/£12 per bacon pig. Lighter weights are worth a modest 4-6p premium but with feed prices where they are it probably still pays to produce heavier weights providing they do not go off the scale.

This should however only be a temporary problem and when we hit mid September with schools back and those members of the British population who are not unemployed return to work, demand should recover.

The value of the euro has held up well trading on Friday, worth 86.4p, almost identical to a week ago, but much better than 79.9p in August 2008.

Cull sows prices are also greatly influenced by the value of the euro and United Kingdom availability, both of which are operating to sellers’ advantage, with bids firming up as the day went by and anyone receiving less than 115p has probably undersold their culls with the usual premiums available for larger loads.

The weaner market continues to be overshadowed by falling finished pig prices and ex-farm values have dropped by up to £5 per head since last May with the AHDB ex-farm 30kg weaner average now quoted at £54.33/head.

Once the mini glut of pigs in the system has cleared we could see a better uptake for weaners again soon folks.