Pre-Christmas pig prices on firmer footing

Pig prices have remained firm in the lead up to Christmas, with the latest Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price closing virtually unchanged at 147.41p/kg for week ended 2 December, writes Farmers Weekly commentator Peter Crichton.

All of the big five major buyers’ contract base prices were held at similar levels, as follows:

• Gills: 148p/kg

• Woodheads: 148p/kg

• Tulip: 146p/kg

• Cranswick: 145p/kg

• Vion: 145p/kg

Spot bacon quotes were tending firmer with rises of 1-2p on the week and were generally in the 148-152p/kg range according to specification.

The relevant stability of the euro, which closed on Friday (2 December) worth 85.8p, has, despite all the financial uncertainties facing the Eurozone, helped to keep up the price of imported pigmeat at a time of year when it normally comes under pressure.

Cull sow demand in Europe has also remained strong, assisted by the value of the euro, with additional export abattoirs looking for sows to fulfil their orders with quotes in the 118-122p/kg range.

There has been better news in the weaner market as well and although the latest Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm weaner average has only nudged its way up to £42.97/head, private trades are reported to be £3-5 ahead of this, with additional premiums available for Freedom Food weaners.

Although feed wheat prices appear to have levelled out with the LIFFE January to March positions virtually unchanged at £144.00/t and ex-farm wheat steady at £138.70/t, this certainly paints a much rosier picture than a year ago when feed wheat was nudging up towards £200/t.