It's Been a Good Year and 2010 Should be Okay Too

UK - All in all it has been a good year for the British pig industry which was greatly helped by the Jamie Oliver effect earlier this year with the DAPP opening at 131.23p to peak at 155.57p in mid-July, although this has now slipped back to 138.5p, writes Peter Crichton.
calendar icon 26 December 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

For most of the year it has been more of a sellers’ market than the reverse and if the spring/early summer trend is repeated in 2010 the industry should remain in the black for the second year running, but it is always dangerous to count piglets before they are farrowed.

Contrary to the normal pattern, spot sellers had a relatively easy trading day today and despite two short weeks ahead, supply and demand seem to be in almost perfect harmony for once.

As a result, although one or two spot sellers earlier in the week took 128p for bacon, those with stronger nerves were able to haggle this up to 130p (and more in places) by Thursday.

Because of the holiday period there was much less activity in the cull sow market with slaughter throughput being cut by more than 50 percent during the pre- and post-Christmas trading weeks. With values now down in the mid-90p region, this is a sobering wake-up call reflecting much lower pigmeat prices throughout the European Union mainland, which may mean we have to face yet more cheap imports undercutting the British pigmeat market in the New Year.

The euro has (unfortunately) lost a little ground over the year. It peaked at 96p at the start of 2009. Although there was some talk of it hitting parity with the pound, this failed to materialise but it closed on Thursday worth a very respectable 90p.

Demand for weaners has remained firm throughout the year, although they wobbled a little in the early autumn in line with falling finished pig returns, but looking ahead there seem to be more buyers than sellers in the market which is another positive note and the £50 weaner should be on the menu by the New Year.

A pig farmer and his wife were sitting down together one evening when she remarked that they had been married for almost 50 years and why not throw a party for all their friends and relations, kill a pig and have a barbecue.

The farmer mulled this over for a while and said he was happy to go along with most of her plans... but he felt it was a bit unfair for the pig to take the blame for something that had happened 50 years ago.

Boom Boom! Happy Christmas and a profitable new Year to all our readers (whoever you may be). — Petronella.

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