Spot Still Ahead of Shouts

by 5m Editor
16 April 2012, at 6:49am

UK - Although there is still much catching up to do to match rising feed values, spot and contract prices moved ahead this week with the DAPP up by 1.13p to 144.19p with Tulip also setting a more positive trend by lifting its shout price by 2p, writes Peter Crichton.

This was followed by Vion, Woodhead and Gill who all went up by a similar amount, whereas Cranswick has decided to keep its powder dry for next week when, who knows, perhaps it will lead the charge?

So the runners and riders in the Grand National Shout Price Handicap Stakes are as follows:

147p Woodhead.
146p Gill.
144p Tulip, Vion, Cranswick.

It is a pity that weekly shout prices are still failing to match the spot market where bacon pigs were easily sold at around the 150p mark, with one or two buyers commenting that they still had some space later on in the week, and although the leg trade is on the slow side, the rest of the pig is selling reasonably well.

Unfortunately the euro has continued with its lacklustre performance due to ongoing worries from the money men about the stability of certain eurozone countries and ended the week worth 82.36p, which means that imported pigmeat still poses a major competitive threat to the domestic product.

Despite an easing in the value of the euro, and although some cull sow buyers were heard to comment they would like to pay less, as it turned out the majority had to stand-on with sellers of large loads able to negotiate prices close to 130p, but bids were in the main between 125p–128p.

Weaner prices have remained relatively static with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average almost unmoved at 345.92/head and reports or more weaners coming onto the market because of a mixture of better productivity and a lack of finishing places due in many cases to farm diversification schemes, alternative use and worn-out buildings and owners too.

But escalating feed prices are also continuing to cast something of a cloud over the pig market as a whole with futures quotes on the LIFFE market from May through to July at 3178.00/tonne and November has also moved up to 3156.30/tonne.

Finally on the subject of “mind the gap“ slatted producers have been horrified to hear that unless some form of derogation is granted units with concrete slats, most of which have standard 20mm gaps, may have to replace these with a narrower 18mm gap slat.

Few in the industry were aware of the European Union small-print that emerged in 2003 requiring narrower slat gaps and widths 10 years later, which is why producers are pressing for some tolerance from the government that might allow 20mm gap slats to remain legal rather than face in some cases impossible replacement costs.

A major blunder seems to have been committed by not notifying slat manufacturers in 2003 that they would have to meet the new guidelines, because in many cases even recent installations may now have slats that will be illegal to use beyond the end of the year unless some tolerance and commonsense is introduced.

Quite ridiculous that some producers could face a huge burden of extra costs replacing perfectly good slats for the sake of 2mm, i.e. the width of a gnat’s vital organ.