Sellers Switch Pigs to Spot

by 5m Editor
18 March 2013, at 8:02am

UK - The two words the industry has been waiting to hear "better demand" were finally uttered by one or two buyers during the week, but with something of a sting in the tail, writes Peter Crichton.

Because of widespread dissatisfaction with the shout price system more pigs were offered on the spot market which is now a relatively minor part of the supply chain and as a result rather than looking for pigs, spot buyers had plenty available and in some cases eased their prices back by 2p/kg with most spot traded in the 158p–160p range.

The DAPP put on 0.35p to stand at 155.81p and Tulip who were late announcing last week went up 1p, but only after Karro had taken a slightly bolder +2p step which was also followed by Cranswick and Woodhead, with Gills adding 1p.

The runners and riders are now as follows: 159p Woodhead, 156p Gills, 154p Tulip, 154p Karro, 154p Cranswick.

The euro ended the week virtually unchanged at 86.43p which coupled with relatively static continental pigmeat prices meant that cull sow values held at similar levels with most quotes between 109p–112p, but with numbers on the tighter side an extra copper or two could be on the table in the week ahead.

Weaner buyers were a little more confident reflecting a generally better outlook for finished pig prices in the months ahead with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average moving up from £46.89/head to £47.28/head, but Freedom Food weaners are continuing to trade £2–£4 ahead of this.

Although feed prices are still far too high, the cereals market has had a fairly quiet week with the March wheat quoted on the LIFFE market at £205/t and spot ex-farm wheat traded at £194/t.

And finally with Tesco and the Co-op looking to source more pigs direct as well as Woodhead looking for bigger numbers in the summer and reports of a mid-sized abattoir takeover, signs are emerging that something of a sellers' market could be the picture by mid-summer, but by then more producers will have left the industry and a minimum 170p/kg COP is essential.