Peter Crichton’s commentary for October 4, 2013

Although the DAPP put on another 0.2p and now stands at a new high of 170.71p, prices elsewhere were at universal “stand on” levels with the two remaining weekly contract prices as below:

Gills​, 172p/kg
Tulip, 168p/kg

Thanks to all the hard work by BPEX, the NPA and many others following the Horsegate and more recent Tesco Dutch pork scandals, demand is continuing to improve for UK Farm Assured pigmeat sold under the Red Tractor or Freedom Food banners, and despite recent falls in imported pigmeat prices spot values have held firm with bacon traded in the 172-175p/kg range and light cutters around the 180p/kg mark. 

The news that pigmeat sources can now be closely audited at a time when retailers and caterers are also much more sensitive about the origins of the meat products they are selling, UK welfare friendly pigmeat should at last be able to earn the premium values that have been inadequate in recent years and encourage more reinvestment within the industry.

A slightly firmer euro, which traded on Friday worth 84.59p compared with 83.98p a week ago, has also helped to hold cull sow prices, which have fallen sharply over the past few weeks with most export abattoirs offering prices at stand-on levels within the 116-120p/kg range.

Weaner prices have also continued to improve at a modest pace with the latest AHDB 30kg ex farm weaner averagequoted at £54.42/head, but a fairly wide range of around £3-4/head between Red Tractor and Freedom Food types.

And 7kg weaners are continuing to trade in the £36-40/head range according to Farm Assurance status.

Forecasts of slightly firmer cereal prices are filtering through the market, and although LIFFE wheat futures closed a shade easier on Friday, November is now trading at £158.50/t and March 2014 at £164.50/t.  

If wet drilling conditions persist in the Ukraine and Eastern Bloc countries, this could nudge long futures prices ahead, but with spot feed wheat currently trading at about £150/t region, this certainly paints a much happier picture for pig producers than the position a year ago when it was trading at £190/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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