Shouts Up Tuppence

UK - A more promising day for sellers, although prices still have a fair way to travel before they hit breakeven levels, writes Peter Crichton.
calendar icon 15 April 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

The DAPP continues its slow recovery rising by 0.62p to 158.83p and Tulip was thankfully prepared to open the batting in a more positive frame of mind adding 2p and all the other shout price operators did exactly the same, so the latest league table now reads as follows:

Woodhead 163p
Gills 160p
Cranswick 159p
Karro 159p
Tulip 159p.

Although spot prices moved up 2p–4p last week, on this occasion more modest gains were recorded with spot bacon generally traded in the 162p–163p range, but reports are still filtering through that retail demand remains fickle and shoulders are still relatively hard to move.

In the light of the latest disclosures in the horse meat scandal it is surprising pig prices have not moved up further, which has been the case with lamb and beef.

A marginal recovery in the value of the euro which traded on Friday worth 85.17p compared with 84.94p a week before may have encouraged some but not all of the cull sow abattoirs to add a penny to their bids for large loads of sows with trading generally in the 107p–109p bracket on a delivered basis.

However European Union mainland pigmeat demand also remains selective with reports of significant stocks still being held. A spell of better weather on both sides of the Channel would work wonders especially as summer approaches.

On the feed price front lower yield forecasts are doing nothing to help producers' margins with feed wheat traded on an ex-farm basis at £196.50/t and feed wheat futures prices on the LIFFE market at £197.60/t for May and £201.10/t for July.

Weaners are in shorter supply than previously and this has helped prices to move ahead with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average now quoted at £48.83/head and Freedom Food standard weaners are continuing to earn useful premiums £2-£4 above this according to quality.

The long spell of bad weather which has reduced cereal acreages and will adversely affect yields will also have an impact on straw availability this harvest. Where possible producers are advised to make forward arrangements to avoid a shortfall of an extremely expensive commodity that high welfare pig production requires in large quantities.

Ampton Point-to-Point 14 April: And finally, a rare annual opportunity for you to get a "free" drink from me and drown your sorrows at the rescheduled Ampton Point-to-Point near Bury St Edmunds this Sunday where I am sponsoring the Club Members Conditions Race. If you are able to attend I will be only too pleased to see you in the Sponsors' Tent, but please do not ask me for any tips as I cannot promise these will be any more accurate than my pig price forecasts.

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