Shortage of Pigs Underpins Price

23 September 2013, at 3:05am

UK - Although DAPP has moved to another new high of 169.67p, spot and contract prices have remained largely at stand-on, writes Peter Crichton. One feature of the market is a significant shortage of extra pigs in the system, with nothing being rolled and some reports of deadweights dropping due to the tight supply situation.

The depleted shout price two-horse race card now reads as follows: Gills, 172p; Tulip, 168p.

As a result, spot bacon prices have remained at largely similar levels despite reports of further falls in continental prices where the German market had dropped by three to four cents.

Spot bacon was generally traded in the 173p–176p per kg range according to spec, but current prices are tending to be supply-led rather than demand-led.

The euro staged a modest recovery trading on Friday worth 84.4p compared with 83.68p a week ago.

However cull sow quotes remain under pressure with price anywhere between a reluctant stand-on and minus 2p with most sows traded in the 124p-126p per kg region according to load size/spec.

Demand for 30-kg weaners is continuing to improve with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average quoted at £54.15/head and 7kg pigs trading in the £36-£39 per head range according to farm assurance status, but buyers are waking up to the fact that 30-kg weaners bought today should be ready sell as finishers in late November, early December when demand can improve prior to the Christmas/New Year shut-down.

The feed market remains in a slightly bearish mood with ex-farm feed wheat easing further and is now selling at £144.30 per tonne and futures prices have remained at largely similar levels with November wheat quoted at £151.75 per tonne and May 2014 at £158.25 per tonne.

September hi-pro soya still looks expensive at £410/t but April 2014 is showing an easier trend at £377 per tonne.

It has been reported that the Karro Wiveliscombe abattoir is due to cease slaughtering next week and following a trend of abattoir closures in recent years, with the exception of C & K Meat's plant at Eye in Suffolk, very few new ones seem to be taking their place, which is a worry for producers with a reduction in competitive outlets and yet more food miles on their plate.

And finally, Cranswick has made a further move towards securing more in-house pig supplies with the recent announcement that they have purchased 3,000 sows from Dent of Cumbria, which will now be operated under the Cranpig banner.