By Peter Crichton
TRADING proved selective in the last week of 2001.
Spot abattoirs were only really buying to meet existing orders, with a feeling in the trade that if sales pick up this week, more pigs will be wanted.
The new Grampian set-up replaced the former Malton contract price, which is now terminated, with its own “self set” figure of 102p.
This proved to be 2p-4p ahead of most of the other big contract abattoirs, with Dalehead and Glambia in the 98p-100p range.
Smaller abattoirs and wholesalers appear to have had a good clear-out before Christmas, with empty chillers and quotes for handy-weight porkers hitting the 110p region.
Cutters and baconers are on a UK Spec between 106p and 100p, with very few at less.
Weaner prices remain selective, although there is more interest from buyers in the north who are prepared to go shopping at around 15 to 16 plus 50p/kg, some 2 to 3 ahead of East Anglian quotes.
However, these weaner prices are still very low compared with a year ago, when similar pigs were worth up to 37.
The UK AESA did no one any favours, with further falls to a provisional level of 101.6p, down 2.78p in the last week of December.
Cull sow prices are also dull, with most export quotes around 45p/kg and home market users on the UK Spec 5p-7p below this.
The Dutch annual census always seems to put more sow meat on to the Continental market, but once this has been used up and the holiday period is over, we will see a recovery in cull prices.
- Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry