Modest Price Recovery on the Cards?

by 5m Editor
12 September 2011, at 12:01pm

UK - For the first time since May signs are emerging of a slight price recovery with one or two spot buyers having to pay a penny or so more (rather than less) to get the numbers required in the weeks ahead, Peter Crichton writes in his latest Traffic Lights commentary.

Although the DAPP has continued to ease falling from 148.05p to 147.15p, Tulip set a slightly firmer trend by not tinkering with its shout price which remained at 143p, and the other major contract buyers followed suit, so the league placings remain unaltered:

  • 145p Woodheads
  • 143p Tulip
  • 142p Cranswick
  • 141p Vion
  • 141p Gills

Spot quotes however tended to improve as the day wore on with 140p in the morning and for those prepared to sit it out until the afternoon, quotes of 142p–143p were available with lighter baconers and cutters worth 4p–6p more than this.

Price watchers are suggesting that this trend is reflecting slightly firmer European Union mainland pigmeat values despite significant falls in the euro which on Friday afternoon traded at 86.34p compared with 87.55p a week ago, effectively reducing the cost of imports by 1.5 per cent.

Further evidence of a slightly better European pig price outlook was underlined by British cull sow abattoirs looking for extra numbers and where pushed, prepared to pay an additional copper for larger loads with sows traded in the 107p–110p range according to killing-out percentages and spec.

The weaner market however remains a fairly gloomy sector, especially as far as spot supplies are concerned, with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average slipping once again to £40.93/head with reports of some spot sellers having to take significantly less than this if their faces did not fit.

At least feed prices have (for the time being) stopped going up, although many are suggesting that they are far too dear in the first place with the November LIFFE wheat futures price back a shade over the week to £169/tonne, but May 2012 still paints an unpleasant picture at £175/tonne.

Ex-farm spot wheat quotes have also eased a touch from £165.40/tonne last week to £161.20/tonne this week.

As one hard-pressed pig producer put it to me today, the current situation is like being hit on the head by his wife with a frying pan eight times instead of ten every morning… it still hurts.