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Prices are Moving Upward

by 5m Editor
17 May 2010, at 5:49am

UK - Prices followed the upward trend set at a buoyant Pig Fair, writes Peter Crichton.

All signals seemed to be on green as far as sellers were concerned, except in the cull sow market.

DAPP took a significant upward step again this week and now stands at 144.58p and the Tulip base price also gained ground to 146p.

As a result most spot buyers had to offer in excess of 147p to find the numbers they wanted but these are still thin on the ground.

All the signs are that there is something of a black hole opening up in the supply chain and this could put prices under further upward pressure in the weeks ahead, although most industry pundits would prefer to see a steady rise rather than the more volatile movements we saw in 2009, which unfortunately led to a mini slump in August/September.

Another note of caution is that now we have our "Little and Large" government coalition at Number 10, sterling has gained in value against a weaker euro and this has the effect of cheapening foreign imports and also cuts the value of British cull sow exports.

However it is not just the value of the euro that is hitting demand for cull sows, with reports from Europe that cold stores are full and product is still hard to move in the face of cheap competition from outside the European Union.

Consequently British cull sow abattoirs were offering less than 100p/kg and still getting the numbers they needed as low as 95p in some regions but the usual copper or two more available for larger loads and for sellers who were prepared to haggle.

The weaner drought continues with demand outstripping supply and although the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm quote has remained almost static at £54.64/head sellers with large lots to offer were achieving premium prices of £2-£3 ahead of this in most regions.

Cereal market price watchers will also be aware that prices have continued to creep up with ex-farm feed wheat worth close to £100/t and now might be the time for forward thinking producers to get some more cover.

As far as the Pig Fair is concerned it was really good to see so many smiling faces with the exception of one well known pig trader who got his fingers burnt for the first time — by the scalding hot water in the gents.

At the 2012 Fair perhaps we might even see some abattoirs/processors and marketing groups dip into their pockets and rent a stand too?

P.S. You can usually tell who the real pig farmers are at the Pig Fair (rather than reps and traders) as they wash their hands before they have a pee and not afterwards!