Peter Crichton’s commentary for September 27, 2013

Although the DAPP has hit a new high of 170.51p and UK pigs remain in demand, ominous signs are emerging from the other side of the Channel, where EU mainland cull sow prices have fallen for four weeks in a row.

On the home front Tulip and Gill’s both stood on as follows:
Gills, 172p/kg
Tulip, 168p/kg

Spot bacon prices have also drifted lower due to a much higher volume of cheaper imported pigmeat hitting these shores, with most spot bacon traded in the 172-174p/kg range, but despite this easier trend, no pigs were rolled. Nevertheless, producers were reminded to keep on top of their numbers in the run up to Christmas, which is now less than three months away.

Cull sow prices took another hard knock today due to a combination of surplus of pigmeat in stock across mainland Europe and poor demand, not helped by a falling euro, which traded on Friday at 83.98p compared with 84.40p a week earlier.

As a result, most cull sows were traded at between 116-119p/kg, with the added problem of a German Bank Holiday next Thursday also reducing processing space.

Weaner prices have however continued to hold firm, with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average a shade higher at £54.18/head and 7kg piglets trading in the £36-39/head range according to Farm Assurance status.

Cereal prices hardened during the week with ex-farm feed wheat traded at £148/t and November wheat futures on the LIFFE market at £156/t, up £5/t compared with last week. If this trend continues, pig producers’ margins will be eroded.

However, for those with a glass-half-full attitude to life, with the DAPP over 170p and cereal prices still below £160/t the outlook is still reasonably positive, providing EU mainland prices stop falling and not too many bulls appear in the feed futures market.

> 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:

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