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Flu? What Flu? This Minor Hiccup is Only Temporary

by 5m Editor
2 May 2009, at 8:31am

UK - Although when most sellers woke up in the morning they were faced with the prospect of a short week and more misleading news reports about “Swine Flu“, by the end of the day most spot trades were at stand on levels, although one of two of last week’s front running spot buyers had reined in their bid by 2p to 3p in places, says Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary.

As a result heavy bacon on a 14 probe was generally traded in the 153–154p region and lighter specs on a 12 probe worth a few pence above this.

In many cases however in net terms producers are better off taking a slightly lower price on a wider weight/grade spec than being dazzled by one or two fancy sounding prices a tighter spec.

The market also maintained its momentum due to a further increase in the DAPP which now stands at 149.65p and for those producers selling on a DAPP plus 4p contract, their returns are now for the first time this year neck and neck with spot.

The upcoming Monday Bank Holiday also did little to undercut the market, but reports of lower European Union pigmeat prices where the H1N1 Type A Virus (as it should correctly be called) are, starting to filter through.

If European Union prices continue to decline coupled with a slight easing in the value of the euro which on Friday traded at circa 89p compared with 90.7p last week, this could provide a further challenge to domestic pig prices.

But with forecasts of generally good weather over the holiday weekend and an ongoing shortage of United Kingdom live pig availability, when the flu virus story is off the front pages traders are generally confident that prices will recover some of their upward momentum in the weeks ahead.

Confirmation of easier trends in European Union pig prices were also provided by significant falls in cull sow quotes of between 4–6p for next week.

As a result most opening bids were in the 114–118p range according to load size and specification with a copper or two more available for larger loads.

Weaner prices have also to some extent stabilised, although the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average still has some catching up to do and now stands at £55.30/head.

A glance at the office calendar will reveal that 30kg weaners bought today will probably hit the finished pig market smack bang in the middle of the summer holiday period when demand for finished pigs can sometimes be a tad selective.

Feed wheat prices firmed a shade this week with ex farm quotes of circa £102/tonne, but this still brings a smile to most pig producer’s lips when compared with £156/tonne twelve months ago.