Shoppers Have Yet to Come Out to Play

by 5m Editor
28 May 2012, at 9:09am

UK - Although the English summer has suddenly arrived, soaring temperatures have yet to feed through to the pig market mainly because of the two upcoming Jubilee holiday short weeks ahead, although as people have reminded me today everyone eats whether or not they are at work, writes Peter Crichton.

Some trade sources are suggesting that barbeque orders for pigmeat should start to flood in by the middle of next week ahead of the holiday weekend and there may well be a possibility of some abattoirs looking for extra numbers to top up with to meet demand.

The DAPP continues to improve and now stands at 149.02p compared with a low of 139.36p at the end of February.

Shout prices have however failed to reflect the recent upward movement of the DAPP and despite Tulip setting the trend by standing-on, Cranswick disappointed sellers by actually dropping its price a penny and the league table now reads as follows:

1. 150p Woodhead
2. 148p Gill, Tulip
3. 146p Cranswick, Vion

Spot bacon prices tended to be in the 150p/kg region but there was generally better demand from the smaller fresh meat wholesalers and this trend is expected to continue next week with light bacons capable of making 152p+ and porkers at up to 160p.

However the ongoing tremors in the eurozone countries have done nothing to settle the euro which on Friday traded at 79.94p and is almost 10p behind its equivalent value a year ago.

Despite this, cull sow buyers were generally prepared to stand-on with the odd copper available in places where numbers were tight and most quotes on a delivered basis were in the 120p region with premiums available for larger lots according to spec.

Weaner prices remain affected by the high cost of feed with ex-farm wheat still traded on a spot basis at around 3167/tonne and forward quotes for July nudging ahead to 3174.75/tonne with November also looking a shade more expensive at 3158.75/tonne.

The latest Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm weaner average at 345.92/head is still barely at breakeven levels as far as producers are concerned and a lack of finishing space is continuing to put downward pressure on weaner prices.

Hopefully recent efforts by BPEX will lead to the DAPP not only being retained but becoming a more representative sample of overall pigmeat prices and many producers firmly believe that we need a reliable index price to use as a yardstick rather than a variety of individually calculated figures.

The DAPP not only forms an important element in finished pig contracts (despite warnings not to use it for this purpose), but is also used for weaner price calculations as well bonus payments and a link to rent.

The loss of a representative and independently calculated price such as the DAPP would be a sad blow to the industry, especially with self-set shout prices coming under so much criticism.