Tide Turns for British Producers

Things are looking up for the British pig industry, writes Peter Crichton in his latest Traffic Lights commentary.
calendar icon 24 October 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

At last, the negative tide that has been eroding the British pig industry has started to turn due to a combination of factors – rising demand for fifth quarter (the bits we Brits do not like to eat, such as snouts, ears, tails, trotters and squeaks) for the Chinese market, better retail demand as consumers finally wake up to the excellent value pig meat provides, and a relatively strong euro.

The DAPP also took a modest upward step from 144.52p to 145.08p and with spot prices rising by an average 2p, this should be reflected in future DAPP calculations and perhaps the shouters can be persuaded to nudge their price ahead to keep up.

The latest shout price league table reads as follows:

  • 1. 146p (+1p) Woodhead
  • 2. 144p (+2p) Cranswick and Tulip
  • 3. 143p (+2p) Vion

Spot bacon quotes tended to be in the 147p to 149p range, with 150p available in odd places but generally on a tighter spec or lower weight range.

Better pigmeat demand was also reflected by bigger kills with Cranswick helping the industry by slaughtering over three recent Saturdays.

Smaller fresh meat wholesalers are still, however, reporting a relatively quiet market and it seems to be the bacon sector that is leading the field.

With the euro remaining reasonably firm closing the week worth 87.02p and cull sow buyers looking for increased numbers benefiting from the lift in the fifth quarter export market, sow prices tended to move up by 2p across the board with quotes generally 110p to 112p according to specification with one or two plants offering more than this, but sometimes on a tighter spec or killing out percentage.

Although weaner prices have stopped falling they are still generally disappointing with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm average becalmed at £40.03 per head but I am receiving a few more phone calls from people looking for Freedom Food 7-kg piglets anticipating stronger finished pig prices after Christmas.

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