Pig prices remain under pressure - Farmers Weekly

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Pig prices remain under pressure

UK pig prices remain under pressure with the latest GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price easing by 0.78p to 151.12p/kg, writes FW commentator Peter Crichton.

Weekly contract prices announced by Tulip, Vion, Cranswick and Woodheads have also fallen to an overall average of 146.0p/kg.

Demand for spot bacon has remained subdued with producers concerned that prices could drop below the 140p/kg barrier, but with one or two exceptions most quotes for pigs next week tended to be between 140p/kg and 143p/kg according to region and specification.

Lighter pigs continue to earn modest premiums, but better pig availability coupled with subdued retail demand is putting the whole supply chain under pressure.

The recent civil disturbances in London and other major cities are reported to have affected retail demand across the board during the earlier part of the week, but once order has been restored food shopping volumes should return to normal, which might to some extent help to stimulate demand in the pigmeat sector.

The civil unrest may also have contributed to a slight fall in the value of the pound and a stronger euro which continues to have such an effect as far as the pigmeat supply/ demand trade balance is concerned.

The euro closed the week worth 87.57p, compared with 86.6p seven days ago and as a result cull sow quotes showed a firmer trend with delivered prices mainly between 104–107p/kg.

In the face of indifferent prices for finished pigs, weaner values are continuing to fall with the latest Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm weaner average dropping to £43.68/head, which is its lowest level since mid-April.

Another negative for the industry to consider has been a slight improvement in cereal prices over the past week, not helped by indifferent harvesting weather, with the latest ex-farm feed wheat price quoted at £152/t. Futures prices are also tending firmer with November wheat quoted on the LIFFE market at £162.25/t and July 2012 looking even more expensive at £171.20/t.

Pig prices remain under pressure

GB CONTRACT and spot pig prices for delivery this week (commencing Mon, Aug 9) continue to come under pressure.

The Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price (DAPP) lost further ground in the week ending July 31, to 106.2p/kg.

Spot prices have also eased, with bacon traded at 90-95p/kg, reflecting weak wholesale demand as cheap imports continue to undercut the market.

However, better barbeque demand is giving lighter pigs a slight edge, with porkers and cutters trading at a 5-10p premium over bacon.

UK legs and loins remain particularly hard to shift.

Traders hope that once the holiday period has drawn to a close, domestic demand will improve. 

Signs of relatively firm EU manufacturing pigmeat prices are supported by a ready enquiry from UK export abattoirs for cull sows.

Culls are currently quoted at 75-78p/kg compared with 52-56p a year ago.

Weaner values continue to be affected by indifferent finished pig returns, with the Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg average losing further ground to stand at £31.64p/head ex-farm.

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