Spot bacon heats up

THOUGH THE GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price (DAPP) slipped by 0.23p last week (w/e Jan 28) to 99.47p, there is evidence that rising EU pigmeat prices are feeding through to the UK market.

The EU average moved up over a penny to 91.32p/kg, and UK spot quotes generally hardened on the news. Spot baconers were up 2-4p/kg in the 101-103p/kg range.

Some spot abattoirs short of stock were prepared to add 4-5p/kg to these prices by the end of trading on Friday (Jan 28).

Tighter EU supplies, the end of the post-Christmas lull and strong Russian exports were believed to be behind the rise.

Smaller wholesalers buying lighter pigs are still complaining of indifferent high street demand, but once this picks up, prices for lighter pigs could also move ahead.

The sow market also staged a partial recovery from the sharp drops over the last two weeks, with most deadweight quotes in the mid-70p/kg region.

The euro has failed to break back through the 70p barrier, trading today (Jan 31) at 69p –  compared with almost 71p at the start of the year.

But weaner values are improving due to lower availability and a better outlook for finished pig prices. The Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg weaner price hit £32/head ex farm.

A combination of rising EU pigmeat values and tight UK supplies should lead to firmer domestic prices in the spring, providing the euro does not slip further from current levels.