Spot Price Moves Ahead

UK - Although Tulip disappointed sellers by standing on despite the DAPP rising by 0.58p to 158.2p, the other big four shout price operators decided to ease producers' negative margins a shade by adding 1p to their weekly prices and for the first time for some while Tulip are now joint last in the shout price list, writes Peter Crichton.
calendar icon 8 April 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Woodhead 161p
Gills 158p
Cranswick 157p
Karro 157p
Tulip 157p

However spot buyers remain short of pigs and with reports of better retail demand for fresh pigmeat on the high street they were out looking for dwindling numbers with opening offers for bacon weight pigs in the 160p region and by mid afternoon bids of 162p plus were on the table.

Meat traders are however commenting on high stock levels of European pigmeat coupled with sharp falls in the value of exports to Russia, all of which may serve to put a lid on any significant price recovery to break-even levels which, according to BPEX, need to be not less than 165p/kg.

Static prices for cull sows are also confirming lower European Union pigmeat values with British export abattoirs standing-on in the 107-109p range whereas this time last year cull sows were worth up to 128p/kg, another £30 per head.

The euro remains at lower levels than earlier in the year and traded on Friday at 84.9p reflecting continuing concerns in the currency markets over the financial problems affecting some of the weaker eurozone countries.

With British pig numbers falling back due to the long cold winter and spring as well as the December 2012 census flagging up the lowest pig numbers in living memory, demand for weaners continues to improve with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average rising to £48.79 and Freedom Food weaners trading £3-£4 ahead of this.

Feed grain prices remain far too high as far as pig producers are concerned with May wheat quoted on the LIFFE futures market at £199.25 and ex-farm wheat at £196.40 on a spot basis. As a result most producers are continuing to trade at a loss and will do so until feed prices fall or pig values rise.

Finally, spare a thought for Jeremy Barber in Dorset who lost almost 1,000 pigs when fire ravaged his pig unit in Dorset this week, destroying half of his breeding herd which took over 40 years to build up, not to mention the trauma caused to his staff and the pigs concerned.

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