Short Supply Holds Up UK Cull Sow Prices

UK - Although in some areas small rises in spot prices were recorded, the general sentiment was more of a stand-on nature reflecting the relatively static DAPP which now stands at 140.59p, but still well up on its value of 132.75p a year ago, Peter Crichton writes in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.
calendar icon 21 November 2009
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Something of a north/south divide opened up in connection with pig prices today with more of a seller’s market south of Watford than north.

It will be unfortunate if abattoirs are unable to take full numbers in the key weeks building up to Christmas, but the return of colder weather could help on this front by slowing down growth rates.

If pig prices could be persuaded to follow the upward track seen in the sheep market recently where liveweight prices have gone up by 20p/kg in the last 14 days (£8/sheep), pig producers will also feel that Christmas had arrived early.

With no reports of spot bacon being traded at less than 125p and most prices circa 127p with lighter weights attracting more interest, spot sellers had a slightly easier ride than they did a few weeks ago.

Cull sow prices continue to be held up by a lack of numbers on this side of the Channel rather than better prices in Europe and the euro has maintained its value over the past seven days closing on Friday worth a fraction under 90p.

Export sow abattoirs were generally offering in the 106–108p range on a delivered basis, but still some fairly wide variations according to load size and specification.

Weaner prices have followed the spot finished pig market with very little variation over the past seven days with the 30kg AHDB ex-farm average holding at £48.29/head.

Reports of financial problems being faced by some of the smaller wholesalers (not abattoirs) are continuing to circulate in the market, but are in stark contrast with recent financial results announced by Tulip and Cranswick both of whom are recording significant profits, but really needs to be seen throughput the whole supply chain to allow producers to re-invest in what are fast becoming worn out pig units with in many cases worn out pig farmers running them.

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