Peter Crichton’s commentary for the week ending September 12, 2014

It was another quiet day on the selling front with plenty of contract pigs about; spot buyers, once again, were able to pick and choose to some extent, hence spot bacon was traded around the 150p mark, although regular spot sellers were able to obtain 2-4p ahead of this in some cases.

The DAPP also continues to ease, dropping by 0.41p to 157.06p, and contract prices tied to the DAPP or other index figures are also reflecting a slightly easier trend.

Reports from Europe that German prices had fallen back will not help as far as the price of imported pigmeat is concerned, and the ongoing Russian blockage on EU mainland food imports is also hurting the market with backfat extremely hard to sell as Russia was one of the major customers for this product.

Sterling has recovered some of its composure after the earlier possibility that our tartan-clad Northern neighbours might decide to run their own show, and the Euro traded on Friday worth 79.63p.

Cull sow prices have remained at generally stand-on levels, although there was an extra copper available for sellers with large loads in some places and culls generally traded between 92-95p according to spec.

Weaner prices remain under pressure due to a lack of space in the system, with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm average quoted at £52.56p/head and 7kg at £38.46p/head.

With feed prices still drifting lower, weaners were well worth a gamble for those lucky enough to have some room.

On the LIFFE market, feed wheat was traded for November at £113/t and January at £116/t, and ex-farm feed wheat is currently quoted on a spot basis at £106.80/t. Along with cereals, protein markets are also remaining bearish with UK soya ex-East Coast store closing £5/t lower at £335/t following further falls in Chicago soya bean prices.

Reports that Brazil is likely to produce a record crop of soya beans in the 2014 season should help to keep downward pressure on protein prices and recent reports of high worldwide cereal stocks will also be music to pig producers’ ears.

And finally, those of you wanting to show your wives/partners a good time, why not visit my sale of 600 lots of outdoor pig equipment tomorrow, set in beautiful, rolling Thomas Hardy Dorset countryside with a wide range of good quality outdoor pig equipment available?

The sale is at Tisbury, Wiltshire, and is being held on behalf of John Sycklemoore, who’s retiring from outdoor pig keeping after selling his 400-sow herd. The auction comprises a really useful range of outdoor pig equipment, much of it in good condition, including farrowing huts, dry sow arcs, outdoor 6m feeding troughs, two Rotafeeders and an auger filling trailer, three bulk bins and many other useful items.

> 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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