Peter Crichton’s commentary for September 20, 2013

It was a similar day as far as sellers were concerned, and although the DAPP has moved to another new high of 169.67p, spot and contract prices have remained at largely stand-on levels.

The depleted two-horse shout price race card now reads as follows:
Gills, 172p/kg
Tulip, 168p/kg

One feature of the market has been a significant shortage of extra pigs in the system, with nothing being rolled and some reports of deadweights dropping due to a tight supply situation. 

As a result, spot bacon prices have remained at largely similar levels despite reports of further falls in EU mainland prices where the German market had dropped by 3-4 cents. Spot bacon was traded in the 173-176p/kg range according to spec, but current prices are tending to be supply- rather than demand-led.

The euro staged a modest recovery trading on Friday at 84.4p compared with 83.68p a week ago.

However, cull sow quotes remain under pressure with price anywhere between a reluctant stand-on and minus 2p with most sows traded in the 124-126p/kg region according to load size/spec. 

Demand for 30kg weaners is continuing to improve, with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average quoted at £54.15/head and 7kg pigs trading in the £36-39/head range according to Farm Assurance status. But buyers are waking up to the fact that 30kg weaners bought today should be ready sell as finishers in late November/early December, when demand can improve prior to the Christmas/New Year shut down.

The feed market remains in a slightly bearish mood with ex-farm feed wheat easing further and now selling at £144.30/t, and futures prices have remained at largely similar levels with November wheat quoted at £151.75/t and May 2014 at £158.25/t.

September hi-pro soya still looks expensive at £410/t, but April 2014 is showing an easier trend at £377/t. 

It has been reported that the Karro’s Wiveliscombe abattoir will to cease slaughtering next week. This follows a trend of abattoir closures in recent years and, with the exception of C&K Meat’s plant at Eye, in Suffolk, very few new ones seem to be taking their place. This is a worry for producers, with a reduction in competitive outlets and yet more food miles on their plate.

And finally, Cranswick has made a further move towards securing more in-house pig supplies with the recent announcement that it has purchased 3,000 sows from Dent of Cumbria, which will now be operated under the Cranpig banner.

> 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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