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Wintry Blast Blows Through Shouts and Spot

22 January 2013

UK - Another tough day for sellers, who were battling with the combined evils of falling pig prices, high feed costs, and the icy weather, writes Peter Crichton.

On the pig price front although the DAPP moved up marginally and now stands at 160.42p, shout and spot prices continue to head south with Tulip clipping 3p off its price following last week's U-turn and as a result all the other major players pulled their prices back by 2p–3p and the price chart now reads as follows:

160p Woodhead
156p Tulip and Gill
155p Vion and Cranswick.

Spot buyers reflected the weather and were decidedly cold and although sellers with regular slots were able to receive prices a shade below shout levels, spot sellers looking for homes had to face a further 5p reduction and accept 145p/kg or not move their pigs.

The main cause of the malaise seems to be indifferent demand coupled with foreign imports with further reports of those dreaded Belgium carcasses hitting these shores at no more than 160p/kg ex-head and feet, which converts back to an equivalent producer price of not more than 140p/kg on this side of the Channel.

These falling prices were in spite of a much firmer euro which traded on Friday worth 83.75p up 1.2 percent on the week.

Cull sow prices have always provided a ready barometer of the health (or otherwise) of mainland pigmeat prices and unfortunately this particular barometer is indicating stormy weather ahead as cull sow quotes fell by another 3p–4p/kg despite a firmer euro with most export abattoirs offering prices in the 92p–94p/kg range.

Weaner buyers are also on the back foot due to falling finished pig prices, although this has yet to be reflected in the latest AHDB 30kg statistics which are quoting an average of £46.34/head for 30kg weaners on an ex-farm basis and there is still a shortage of Freedom Food weaners which can be sold at a premium, but non-Freedom Food weaners are proving harder to move than in recent weeks.

Although a few weeks ago there were signs of easier grain prices these have now firmed with the result that March wheat is quoted on the LIFFE futures market at £213.40/t and July at £215.90/t.

Slightly easier soya prices might help with the latest spot quote for Hi-Pro Soya easing to £370/t, but none of this has yet filtered through to the price of compound rations which still remain far too high in relation to pigmeat values.

Trafficlights Peter Crichton

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