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No Need to Sell for Less

by 5m Editor
5 June 2010, at 8:33am

UK - Like the weather prices are also hotting up and 150p proved to be a very accurate minimum price for bacon and anyone who sold at less at this has probably been sitting out in the sun for too long, writes Peter Crichton.

The Tulip base price moved up a penny to 148p and the DAPP also took another upward step to 145.92p.

Although prices are still approximately 5pc lower than a year ago, most sellers would rather see a firm but stable price throughout the summer and autumn rather than the rollercoaster ride we faced last year.

Numbers still seem to be on the tight side and there are more reports emerging of health challenges which may account for generally lower probes and slightly reduced growth rates.

The current shortage of finished pigs can also be traced back to the very cold spell faced at weaning time on outdoor units 18–22 weeks ago.

With barbecue demand continuing to improve, pork is still very good value and the signs are that we could see further price rises in the weeks ahead, especially if European countries continue to stay out of the losers' dressing rooms in the World Cup.

The situation in the currency markets is however painting a much bleaker picture, more due to a lack of confidence in the euro than a strong pound.

For those who find it hard to do the maths, a weak euro is generally bad news for the British pig industry (although it can help on the feed price front) as it means cheaper imports and our pigmeat exports (mainly cull sows) are also worth less.

By Friday afternoon the euro had fallen in value to 82.6p compared with 85.4p seven days earlier, a fall of 3.2pc, but a year ago the euro was worth 88.2p.

Although there have been reports of slightly higher cull sow prices in mainland Europe, this was more than offset by the fall in the value of the euro and most buyers were pulling their bids back by between 1–2p and it is only due to strong competition between the three main British outlets and a lack of cull sow numbers that the drops were not greater than this, but prices were generally quoted in a 96–98p range with a copper or two more for big loads or on a tighter specification.

Weaner prices continue to hold at recent levels with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm average hardly moving at £54.46/head, but one positive note has been a recent reduction of circa £5/tonne in ex-farm feed wheat prices which should help to keep feed costs under control, but soya remains dear.