Upward Movement of Shout Prices

by 5m Editor
10 October 2011, at 8:30am

UK - For the first time since early June some (but not all) of the shout prices have actually moved upwards, writes Peter Crichton.

Well done to Cranswick who took the lead and were the first to dip their toe in the warmer waters of pig trade moving their shout price up from 141p to 142p soon to be followed by Vion who went up by the same amount despite Tulip’s earlier decision to stand-on at 142p and Woodhead also left theirs unchanged at 145p, but they have been a shade ahead of the field for most of the year.

This small step for shout prices could be a giant step for the pig industry if it actually encourages some of the bigger players to more fairly reflect the upward trend in the spot market and may help DAPP to continue to improve in the months ahead following on from it’s first upwards step from 144.8p to 144.92p on Wednesday.

The current Big Four placings are as follows:

  1. 145p Woodhead
  2. 142p Cranswick and Tulip
  3. Last 141p Vion

Spot demand has been rising all week and shrewd sellers were able to obtain prices in the 145p–147p range, but some loyal contract sellers may be feeling slightly put out if the abattoir they are selling to is also paying occasional spot sellers a higher price than they are receiving. This underlines another of the inequalities of the whole shout price system.

Although the value of the euro has had something of a rollercoaster week it actually closed on Friday at 86.4p which is only a shade dearer than its position a week ago. As a result cull sow quotes tended to remain on the firm side of stand-on with plenty of competition for reduced numbers and ex-farm quotes in the 108p–109p region with delivered prices 2p–4p ahead of this according to specification.

The weaner market is also at long last showing signs of life helped by rising finished pig prices and lower feed costs and although the AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average has dipped below 340/head for the first time this year, better demand should soon filter through and help to move prices back towards break even levels for hard pressed producers.

Further falls in cereal prices have also helped to put a something of a spring back in the step of the pig industry as a whole with ex farm feed wheat now quoted at 3141.80/t compared with almost 3200/t in April, but many producers are still locked into much more expensive situations and will only benefit in cashflow terms if they can actually buy at the lower price levels now ruling.

And finally if shout prices do not move up next week the Big Four will be first to hear the producers’ screams.