Christmas - A Time for Taking as Well as Giving

UK - Although the DAPP took another downward step and now stands at 139.16p, spot prices generally held at stand-on levels, although there are still some fairly wide variations between different bidders, writes Peter Crichton.
calendar icon 28 November 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

There were very few cases of spot pigs being sold for less than 126p, although one or two buyers were suggesting that was what they would like to pay early on Friday morning, but the general run of prices tended to be between 127p and 129p, although premiums of 2–4p were available for niche jobs, gilts and the like.

While there were no signs of any significant numbers of pigs being rolled, it would be unfortunate if demand slipped in the crucial run-up to Christmas, but providing the cold weather continues and the euro holds at current levels, closing on Friday worth 90.7p, we should see it through to the festive season without receiving too much punishment on the price front, i.e. Christmas is a time for taking not just giving.

European pigmeat prices have remained reasonably stable, but they are still at much lower levels than in the United Kingdom with the average European Union producer price at circa 117p, which is a significant discount when compared with comparable prices on this side of the Channel.

As a result cull sow prices have barely held at recent levels with some reports of a penny or two being clipped off recent quotes also allowing for the fact that many of the big German cull sow processors have now got enough product in the system for Christmas and are buying reduced quantities for January when retail demand is normally easier.

A fairly wide range of prices were quoted by the three major cull sow export abattoirs with smaller lots worth no more than 102–105p, but premiums of 2–4p available for larger loads.

Weaner prices appear to have stabilised with some buyers taking a slightly longer term view and hoping that finished pig returns will have started to rise by the time we move into February/March next year and the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average is currently holding at 348.20/head, although this still represents a significant drop when compared with six months ago.

Members of the British pig industry had to leave their trading desks, livestock trucks and farms early today to pay a final tribute to Ray Pilgrim, whose funeral took place on Friday, but the church was full and fitting tributes were made by Richard Doel of AQM and Ray’s nephew Craig Lovelace. It was sad to say goodbye to one of the industry’s great characters taken at the comparatively early age of 63, which is a bit of a worry as according to my wife I was also born later in the same year.

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