Weaker euro limits pig price rises

The Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price put on 1.21p last week (w/e 4 November) to stand at 146.28p/kg, writes Farmers Weekly commentator Peter Crichton.

But, with the exception of Gills which increased its price by 1p and is now joint leader of the shout price table, all the other major buyers held firm, as follows:

• Gills: 148p/kg
• Woodheads: 148p/kg
• Tulip: 146p/kg
• Cranswick: 145p/kg
• Vion: 145p/kg

The recent turmoil in the Eurozone countries has done nothing to settle the euro, which closed on Friday afternoon (4 November) as low as 85.83p compared with 87.81p a week earlier.

This effectively means that pigmeat imports are now another 2% cheaper and may be one of the reasons why spot buyers could not be persuaded to lift their bids after several weeks of rising prices.

Most spot bacon was traded in the 147-150p/kg range according to specification, but it was quite difficult to get anything higher than this.

Despite a falling euro, cull sow quotes continue to rise helped by firm European pigmeat prices as well as stronger competition between UK export abattoirs competing for slightly tighter numbers.

As a result sellers with large loads of cull sows were able to negotiate prices in the 114-117p/kg range according to specification.

Weaner prices are also showing a steady improvement with the latest Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm average rising by a comparatively modest £41.28/head, but premiums are now available for Freedom Food 30kg weaners as well as a better uptake of 7kg weaners suitable for spring finishing.

Cereal prices also appear to have reached something of a plateau with ex-farm feed wheat quoted at £143.60/t and November LIFFE wheat traded at £151.50/t. Although this is still dear in relation to pig prices, the situation is much more favourable than last May when ex-farm feed wheat was costing almost £200/t.