Peter Crichton’s commentary for October 11, 2013

Friday was another good day for sellers (better than the weather) with prices at positive stand-on levels and takers for pigs in all weight ranges.

Although the DAPP also took a useful upward jump and put on 0.78p to stand at 171.49p, Tulip’s decision to stand on with its weekly price of 168p/kg further underlined the flaws in the almost defunct shout price system. Spot bacon was readily traded in the 173-176p/kg range and more could easily have been sold.

Gills weekly price, at 172p/kg, was much closer to current market levels.

Signs of a return to more stable EU mainland pigmeat prices were flagged up by cull sow quotes, which have remained at stand-on levels for the second week running, also helped by a slightly stronger euro that traded on Friday worth 85p. Cull sow abattoirs were generally prepared to pay in the 116-120p/kg region according to spec.

The weaner market remains firm with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average quoted at £54.26/head, but this now includes a significant proportion of Freedom Food pigs, which will have the effect of lifting averages. A significant shortage of finishing space is also tending to put a lid on further competition for weaners, which if finished prices stay at their current levels should earn good returns for buyers.

Although the grain market has continued its stealthy rally, with ex-farm feed wheat now quoted at £154/t, futures prices eased back by between £1-3/t today for long and short positions. November feed wheat was quoted at £162/t, but next July was looking significantly more expensive and touching £170/t.

If this trend continues, producers will see their margins eroded, but hopefully pig prices will continue to hold firm in the run up to Christmas.

> 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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