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Still Suffering from Imports...

by 5m Editor
6 February 2010, at 7:54am

UK - Demand for pigs today has proved to be rather like the weather… changeable, according to Peter Crichton in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

Although contract prices have moved ahead helped by the DAPP now hitting the 140.01p threshold (which is its highest point since last November), spot bidders were less enthusiastic with the commodity end of the market still suffering from cost cutting imports, although Freedom Food, regional and outdoor-born pigs are still relatively easy to sell.

As a result spot bacon quotes were in a fairly wide price range with some of the coldest bidders opening at 134–136p, but by the end of the day price reports of around 138p were being obtained, with small premiums in places.

Pigmeat is still extremely good value when compared with lamb at over 34 kg d/wt and beef at circa 285p kg d/wt.

Retailers large and small are, however, commenting on rather slack demand throughout the whole of the pigmeat sector with legs particularly hard to shift, but this is often the trend in February when the post-Christmas financial hangover hits people’s pockets.

A brighter note today was sounded in the cull sow market due to two of the largest German sow processors deciding to have their own version of World War III on the competition front and lifting bids for sows by 2–4p across the board.

This price revival is long overdue, especially bearing in mind that this time last year cull sows were worth circa 116p/kg.

Generally however cull sow prices were in the 94–96p bracket with the higher end quotes for large loads and also depending if quoted prices were flat rate or weight related.

The weaner market remains strong and the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average has continued to improve and now stands at 351.23/head.

The recent cold weather has played havoc with production numbers and will continue to do so as far as conception rates are concerned with the result that weaners will continue to be short and something of a seller’s market has already emerged.

Despite the slight wobbles seen on the spot market today, most producers are looking forward to the spring/summer on an optimistic note and the final bit of the jigsaw will be for the euro to gain some value, but it still remains almost becalmed worth 87.1p.