Cheap Pork Imports Continue to Cause Concern

UK - Another somewhat mixed day for sellers and although the DAPP continues to improve and now stands at 161.32p with the exception of Cranswick who are playing catch-up, all the other shout price buyers held their prices at last weeks levels, writes Peter Crichton.
calendar icon 6 May 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Last weeks' levels are as follows: Woodhead 164p, Gills 162p, Tulip 161p, Cranswick 160p, Karro 160p.

The recent spell of better weather seems to have put more life back into the fresh meat market and some of the smaller wholesalers are reporting excellent sales and empty fridges, which is a good sign in the run up to the Bank Holiday, but on the other side of the coin foreign imports are continuing to undercut domestic prices with reports of yet more loads of Dutch and Belgium pigs heading for these shores.

Spot bacon was generally traded within a fairly narrow 163p–165p/kg range, but if demand improves we could see prices in this sector move well ahead of contract.

But one feature of the market was much improved demand from spot and contract buyers for Freedom Food finishers indicating that perhaps to some extent existing Freedom Food premiums are not high enough to reflect the additional costs of high welfare straw based breeding and finishing systems.

Further falls in cull sow values are also indicating troubled times ahead in the European mainland pig market. Most cull quotes dropped another 2p–3p/kg this week due to large volumes of manufacturing grade pigmeat in chillers across Europe coupled with financial pressures facing some of the larger scale EU mainland meat processors due to the high costs associated with maintaining large stock volumes in cold stores. Most UK sow quotes are now between 99p-102p/kg according to spec.

Despite the recent ECB decision to interest rates the value of the euro has remained virtually unchanged trading on Friday worth 84.3p.

Weaner prices are tending to improve especially for Freedom Food stock with standard Red Tractor weaners trading in the £47-£49/head mark and Freedom Food weaners worth £3–£4 ahead of this. The latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average which includes a cross section of Freedom Food and Red Tractor transactions now stands at £49.56/head.

Cereal markets have ended a reasonably stable week with ex-farm wheat quoted at £190/t and wheat futures prices between May and July in a relatively tight £192-£193/t range, although November is looking better value at £184.50/t but soya prices continue to soar due to lack of shipping space and hi-pro soya is now trading at up to £458/t.

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