Downward Pressure on Prices Continues

by 5m Editor
15 August 2011, at 10:41am

UK - Pig prices remain under downward pressure with the DAPP slipping by a further 0.78p to 151.12p, writes Peter Crichton.

However, Tulip helped to put some stability into the situation by holding their shout price at 147p, although Cranswick clipped 0.5p off theirs to 145p while Woodhead and Vion remained the same as last week.

This week's rankings in the weekly price chart are:

  • Woodhead – 149p
  • Tulip – 147p
  • Cranswick and Vion – 145p
  • Gill – 144p

Retail demand was not helped during the earlier part of the week by the widespread looting that took place throughout many of our major cities with the average shopper preferring to stay at home rather than facing a barrage of boozed-up Brits hurling bottles and bricks, but hopefully these dark days are behind us now, with retail trading patterns returning to normal.

An even more chill wind continues to blow through the spot market although fears that the 140p floor price level might have a hole in it generally proved unfounded and it was interesting to note that one or two opportunist buyers who were looking to buy at 138p had to come back into the market later in the day at slightly more money to get the numbers they needed.

Some of the more realistic spot quotes were in the 140p to 144p range which is now only 6p to 8p above equivalent foreign imported pig meat prices and almost on a par after deductions of haulage costs and the benefit of being sold as British.

The recent civil turmoil in Britain may have stopped the pound getting any stronger which helps as far as the import/export balance is concerned with the euro traded on Friday (12 August) worth 87.57p compared with 86.6p a week earlier.

This helped to put something of a lift into cull sow prices where delivered quotes were generally in the 104p to 107p range but still a fairly wide variation in killing out percentage between different plants, hence this can quite often be a case of 'less is more'.

The weaner market still remains in a fragile state and it was disappointing to see the latest Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30-kg ex-farm average had dropped yet again to £43.68 per head, which is its lowest point since mid-April and at these levels producers will inevitably lose money. Another negative for the industry to consider has been a slight improvement in cereal prices over the past week, not helped by indifferent harvesting weather with the latest ex-farm feed wheat price quoted at £152.00 per tonne and futures prices tending firmer with November wheat quoted on the LIFFE market at £162.25 per tonne and July 2012 looking even more poisonous at £171.20 per tonne.