Pigs Harder to Move North of Watford

UK - A fairly predictable day for buyers and sellers, although the DAPP caught several by surprise by actually moving up a shade to 139.41p, but still well below its annual peak of 155.57p last July, writes Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary.
calendar icon 5 December 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The north-south divide remains, with pigs harder to move north of Watford, although by the end of the trading day most numbers had been accounted for.

Despite strong beef prices and lamb being more valuable than Welsh gold, some of the smaller fresh meat wholesalers reported a rather indifferent week even though pork prices remain at bargain basement levels.

For those prepared to look at rough comparisons a lamb is worth around 165p liveweight, which based on a 48 percent kill-out is equivalent to around 340p deadweight and the same calculation for cattle at 155p liveweight works through to a deadweight price of 32.75 compared with the lowly pig where deadweight prices are little more than 130p and almost a BOGOF when compared with cattle and BOGTWOF for sheep.

Back in the pig market contract sellers were still able to achieve prices in the 140p region thanks to a firm DAPP with spot quotes lagging 10–12p behind this and very few reports of less than 127p being paid for spot bacon and a maybe a penny or two more than this in places.

The cull sow market continues to defy gravity when compared with equivalent returns in Europe (which is where most of our sows go), but as with finished pigs a fairly wide gap is opening up between different buyers.

Although some outlets were hoping to buy at around 100–103p/kg, significant premiums remain available for larger loads reflecting an ongoing shortage of cull sow availability when compared with slaughtering capacity.

Weaner prices are continuing to hold firm and something of a buyer’s market could develop within the next few weeks with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average now quoted at 347.94/head.

East Anglian producers were pleased to hear that the opening of C & K Meats’ new Eye abattoir is due to take place in late summer next year to provide the region with a premium outlet for locally-produced livestock at a time when there are more funerals than christenings in the abattoir sector.

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