Peter Crichton’s commentary for July 4, 2013

Despite the DAPP improving by 0.74p on the back of last week’s price rises and now standing at another new high of 168.18p, with the notable exception of Woodheads who were prepared to stand on at 169p, Tulip and Cranswick decided to knock a penny off with Gills and Karro taking 2p out with the result that the shout price temperature gauge now reads as follows:

Woodheads, 169p
Gills, 166p
Tulip, 166p
Karro, 163p
Cranswick, 162p

Although we have all been praying for better weather to spark up the nations’ barbeques, unfortunately the recent mini heatwave has failed to improve UK pigmeat prices mainly due to the wide availability of much cheaper imports.

As a result spot bacon was generally traded in the 168-170p/kg region with cutters worth 4-6p above this. High street demand remains fickle, but perhaps a more sustained period of better weather will reverse this trend?

Better cull sow prices were also reflecting firmer pigmeat demand in mainland Europe and a stronger euro that traded on Friday worth 86.16p up from 85.54p a week earlier.

As a result most cull sow abattoirs were prepared to bid in the 111-114p/kg range according to spec.

Weaner prices appear to have plateaued in line with finished pig returns with the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm weaner average quoted at £53.23/head, but this includes rising numbers of Freedom Food pigs within the sample.

Demand for 7kg piglets is also firm with Freedom Food standard 4 week old pigs now worth in the region of £38.50/head according to quality and numbers.

Recent falls in cereal prices have yet to filter through to producers’ profit & loss accounts, but providing this trend continues it looks as though the industry is in for a better second half of 2013 than the first one.

July wheat is currently trading on the LIFFE market at £155.75/t and November at £167/t. Spot ex farm wheat is worth £160/t and barley looks good value at £140/t.

According to the latest statistics released by BPEX the March cost of production figures have been recalculated at 167.7p/kg deadweight and average costs for June are forecast to be just over 164.0p/kg deadweight.

With grade, haulage and slaughter deductions amounting to an estimated 6p/kg, bid prices in excess of 170p/kg need to achieved for producers to remain in the black.

> Suffolk-based Peter Crichton is an auctioneer Peter Crichton provides a wide range of valuation, auction and livestock marketing services, as well as supplying the UK pig industry with a wide range of consultancy services covering tenancy, contract advice, pig equipment and herd valuations as well as dispute resolution. For more information visit: www.petercrichton.co.uk

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