The Market was Like the Weather

UK - Demand today was rather like the weather... dull and not exactly hot. But most contract pigs cleared reasonably well with reports of only a few pigs being rolled into next week, writes Peter Crichton.
calendar icon 14 August 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Spot buyers took their cue from the DAPP which dropped almost one penny to 144.59p, but Tulip fortunately stood-on at 143p.

As a result there was no need for spot bidders to break into a sweat to find the numbers required, but once again a feature of the trade was a fairly wide range of spot bacon regional prices between the haves and have-nots and quotes anywhere from 137p to 142p were available.

Further improvements in the value of sterling have done nothing to help the import/export pigmeat balance and the euro closed on Friday worth 81.8p, which is its lowest point this year and compares with an early 2010 value of 89p.

Some of the smaller wholesalers were on the hunt for a few extra pigs to top up their numbers, but prices remain unspectacular with cutters traded in the 142–146p range.

Recent falls in the value of the euro did nothing to dent demand for cull sows which remains driven more by competition between British cull sow abattoirs rather than better prices in Europe.

Shrewd sellers with large loads of sows were once again able to negotiate prices of over 100p/kg on a delivered basis with collected prices circa 96–98p according to specification.

The weaner market remains under pressure on three fronts due to concern over falling finished prices, high feed costs and many finishers being more preoccupied with carting valuable straw than buying cheap weaners.

The latest Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm weaner average has dropped by over 35/head from mid-April, but still provides a better net return to the breeder than the finisher.

Although cereal price rises seem to be levelling out, forward quotes are still painting a much more expensive picture for pig producers in the future with ex-farm feed wheat traded in East Anglia on a spot basis of 3137/tonne and September–October forward prices nudging up towards 3140/t.

And if I had a pound for every time pig buyers have mentioned the dreaded upcoming Bank Holiday, I would be better off than many pig producers.

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