Peter Crichton’s commentary for November 29, 2013

As expected the long-running pig price rally has finally come to an end, with buyers generally operating in stand on mode.

The DAPP remains unchanged at 171.35p and the same applies to Tulip and Gills weekly contract prices, which remain at 168p and 172p respectively.

With extra pigs being drawn forward for Christmas, numbers were slightly more plentiful and as a result spot buyers had a little more choice than in recent weeks, which took some of the sting out of the trade. But demand was still very satisfactory as far as sellers were concerned, and spot quotes in the 176-178p/kg range for bacon were readily available.

Cull sow prices have improved by 2p reflecting better EU mainland pigmeat demand, and possibly painting a better picture for the last few trading weeks before Christmas as far as EU pig prices are concerned.

Cull sow quotes were generally in the 112-116p/kg range according to spec, and despite reasonable numbers coming forwards, the two main buyers were prepared to soak up everything that was available.

Producers are reminded, however that with just two clear cull sow slaughtering weeks between now and Christmas, they need to start moving them in the next couple of weeks because reduced cull sow numbers will be wanted in the week commencing the December 16, virtually nothing in Christmas week and perhaps just three slaughtering days over the New Year period.

The improvement in cull sow demand occurred despite a weakening euro, which traded on Friday worth 83.11p compared with 83.55p a week earlier.

Weaner prices have also plateaued with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average, which includes a significant proportion of Freedom Food weaners, quoted at £57.18/head and 7kg weaners now trading at above £40/head.

Feed prices have been showing a slightly dearer trend as far as UK feed wheat is concerned, with ex-farm wheat now quoted at £160.70/t and futures prices a shade firmer with January 2014 at £165.25/t and July 2014 now standing at £170.25/t.

Wheat prices are continuing to be influenced by US maize values, and following a record 2013 maize harvest, hopes remain that we will not see too much of a spike on this side of the Atlantic as far as wheat is concerned in the months ahead.

Finally, my apologies to those of you who might have been mislead by last week’s ex-farm feed wheat quote of £147.90/t and may have thought Christmas had come early; it should, of course, have read £157.90/t!

> 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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