Peter Crichton’s commentary for May 9, 2014

It was a relatively quiet trading day as far as buyers and sellers were concerned, with the DAPP moving up by 0.48p to stand at 163.90p and the latest APP announced for the previous week of 165.57p (which was 2.15p ahead of the DAPP for the equivalent period of 163.42p).

Spot bacon buyers were taking routine numbers and most quotes remained unaltered trading in the 166-168p/kg range with a copper or two more available for lighter pigs and special deals.

Reports of unsettled pig prices (like the weather) were underlined by a sharp fall in cull sow prices which lost between 4-6p/kg, with most export abattoir quotes around the 95p/kg mark.

This wasn’t helped by a stronger pound, which has pushed the euro down yet again. It was trading on Friday worth a mere 81.66p.

It’s surprising that despite the ravages of PEDv throughout the Americas and in Asia, this has yet to have a material impact on European mainland pigmeat prices, despite US pork futures and pigmeat prices hitting record highs and increasing by 45% during the previous year.

Back in the UK, weaner prices have, however, remained firm with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm average quoted at £57.81/head and 7kg pigs at £39.80/head.

The grain markets have ended another relatively quiet week with futures prices showing an easier trend and May wheat trading on the LIFFE market at £164/t and November showing a slightly more bearish tone closing at £156.75/t.

However, US winter wheat yields are in danger of being harmed due to poor soil conditions and the unsettled situation in Ukraine may still put upward pressure on cereal prices if the present civil unrest continues to escalate.

And finally, hopefully many of us will be able to meet up at the Pig Fair next Tuesday and Wednesday. For those of us based in East Anglia, it sometimes seems a little strange taking a 250-mile round-trip to say hello to people who live next door!

> Based in Suffolk, 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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