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A Pause for Breath

by 5m Editor
28 February 2009, at 7:45am

UK - Since the start of the year the DAPP has gone up from 131.23p to 138.05p, but like people of a certain age there is a need to pause for breath after such a long climb from the ground floor to the bedroom, according to Peter Crichton in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

This is probably no bad thing as signs are emerging that the widening gap between United Kingdom and European Union pigmeat prices was encouraging yet more imports to head this way with some importers claiming that they could now buy the foreign equivalent at up to 15p/kg cheaper than its British counterpart.

Despite the wonderful benefits of the Jamie Oliver programme and support by some of the upmarket retailers for United Kingdom pork, the lower end of the market remains much more price sensitive and easily tempted by cheap imports.

Spot quotes on Friday tended to range 143–148p according to specification with one or two reports of slightly higher prices for cutters and light bacon, but generally a “one price pig“ seems to be a feature of the trade.

The strength (or otherwise) of the euro will continue to dominate the fortunes of British pig producers and this week the euro ended almost exactly where it started worth 88.8p.

With the stockmarket still in retreat owing due to ongoing disarray in the financial and banking sector where the bonus and pension schemes seem to be working in reverse, pig producer’s are hoping that confidence in sterling will remain low, favouring the euro.

Cull sow prices this week remained at almost universal stand-on levels with a minimum of 116p payable in most regions, but premiums still available for larger loads with throughputs reported to be well below capacity.

Sharply rising weaner prices also appear to have levelled with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average now quoted at 348.99/head, but several deals are breaching the 350/head mark.

A look back to this time last year however reveals that feed wheat which is now trading at 3102.50/tonne ex-farm was valued at 3181/tonne twelve months ago when the DAPP was 111.75p and spot pigs were worth 3110… so some clouds have a silver lining.