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A Dampish Day for Spot Sellers...

by 5m Editor
18 July 2009, at 8:47am

UK - Like the weather, a slightly damp day as far as spot sellers were concerned and although the DAPP has held at 155.31p, spot quotes tended to be 2–4p lower than last week, writes Peter Crichton in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

This is mainly due to retailers cutting their orders, reflecting reduced consumer demand for pigmeat, not helped by the indifferent weather as barbecues do not work too well under water, but some more cynical observers were suggesting this could perhaps be a way in which the DAPP could start to fall and retailers would have an excuse to pay less for pigmeat in the first place.

As a result most spot bacon quotes tended to be in the 148–152p range, although one or two of the larger operators were looking to buy at less than this, but in many cases on a more generous spec.

Fortunately the euro has improved a shade in value ending the week worth 86.4p compared with 86p a week ago and there are no reports of any further falls in continental pigmeat prices.

This has helped maintain a relatively buoyant demand for cull sows which saw prices averaging circa 112p, but with the usual premiums available for larger loads.

Weaner prices have also tended to hit something of a plateau, which is hardly surprising bearing in mind the large numbers that are now sold on a DAPP-related basis with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average now quoted at 357.16/head.

With something of a “stop start“ harvest due to the weather, no clear pattern has yet emerged as far as feed prices are concerned, although feed wheat is currently quoted as low as 392.20/tonne ex-farm and feed barley 310- 312/tonne behind this.

The major industry talking point remains the threat of imported weaners and the realisation that not only does this trade pose a massive health risk to the British herd as a whole, but it will also have the effect of reducing weaner and ultimately finished pig prices if large volumes come over to the detriment of almost everyone throughout the supply chain.

For all these reasons as well as the potential threats to the health of breeding pig industry in Britain, commonsense dictates that it would be unwise to risk everything for the sake of a handful of finishers seeking to save a few pounds per head on weaners at the expense of the remainder of the industry.