By Peter Crichton

FINISHED pig prices have held firm and in some cases improved by a penny or two in the past week, but there is a feeling that until the full effect of the export situation is known prices are unlikely to surge.

Spot baconers were traded on Friday (19 October) at or around 100p/kg, whereas contract prices have more of a “stand-on” feeling.

This is partly due to the shock drop in the UK AESA, which against all predictions lost 0.1p to stand at 93.15p during a period when all other price quotes had been on an upward level.

Weaner demand remains behind the trade at present with the MLC 30kg average standing at 27.22/hd, although there have been reports of tail-docked and vaccinated weaners from known sources trading at up to 35/hd.

The cull-sow market remains very unpredictable prior to the opening of export activity and many producers in free areas are continuing to hold sows back to see if the forward quoted price of 60p/kg materialises.

Sows sold on to the home market have now moved up in value from 25p to figures in the 35p-40p/kg range, which is a welcome boost for producers with large numbers to clear.

The widely reported Grampian takeover of Malton Foods may be nearing a conclusion and an announcement on this is expected within the next few days.

However, until the future of the Malton factory is confirmed pig traders still remain nervous about the overall outlook for the industry.

The UK market will continue to be dominated by EU prices and the value of the Euro, which improved slightly to stand at 63.2p at the end of the week.

EU pigmeat prices remain slightly weak with falls in most of the major producing countries and Germany now heading the league at 101p.

Dutch, German, Danish, Spanish and Belgian prices remain within a fairly tight band between 87p and 101p with France lagging behind at 82p.

Imports from Holland remain high with the latest weekly figures quoted at 3300 tonnes, equivalent to 47,000 live UK pigs.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry

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