Peter Crichton’s Commentary for October 10, 2014

Contract pigs were traded for the first time without the protective umbrella of the DAPP, which has been replaced with the Standard Pig Price (SPP). Much to the surprise of many, the SPP actually moved up in the face of falling pig values elsewhere and stands at 155.62p.

Spot bacon prices were a shade firmer in places, with some offers closer to 140p than to 135p, but this end of the market still remains under pressure from imports. Signs are emerging that we may be at, or close to, the bottom of the market.

A slightly firmer euro, which traded on Friday worth 78.73p compared with 78.28p a week ago, may have helped to arrest recent falls in cull sow values, which were largely at stand on levels this week. Export abattoirs were quoting in the 77-80p range according to spec.

Weaner markets continue to suffer from a significant lack of finishing space and a fairly bearish outlook for finished pig prices early in the New Year, with the result that the latest AHDB 30kg weaner average has slipped by almost £2.50/head and now stands at £49.17p, but 7kg values have held at recent levels, with an average of £37.88p. The spot weaner sector, however, remains very much a buyers’ market and is not for the faint-hearted with prices of £2-4 less than the AHDB averages being offered.

In the feed market, cereal prices have lifted marginally following reports of heavy rain causing crop damage in South America. They have also been helped by a slight weakening of the £ against the euro with the latest ex-farm feed wheat quote of £106.90p, up by around £7/t compared with a week ago and demand from large bio-energy and ethanol users for feed wheat is also tending to put a bottom into the market. Wheat futures prices on the LIFFE market saw November feed wheat quoted at £111 and March 2015 at £117.

Soya bean prices also increased due to weather-related factors and prices are ahead of the 10 week average. East Coast hipro soya is quoted at £319/t and rapeseed at £159/t.

And finally, yet another auction this Saturday at Hall Farm, Fornham, Bury St Edmunds, which includes over 70 almost new John Harvey 20ft outdoor feed troughs, popular with Waitrose producers, not to mention hoppers, livestock trailers and other bits of pig-related kit. Visit the website (see below) for more information.

> 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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