Weaner shortage drives prices

PIG PRICES remained steady, although cull sows slipped slightly.

With the GB Euro DAPP still almost stationary at 99.93p/kg, spot and contract quotes for bacon were in the 99-102p range, with cutters worth more at 104-106p.

Cull sow prices edged lower due to the de-stocking of several herds and the upcoming Christmas holiday, which effectively shuts down the European trade until the new year.

The euro has also eased against the pound, opening on Mon (Dec 6) at 69.1p.  This and the approaching Christmas break lead most cull sow buyers to ease their bids back to 80–84p.

Traders are reporting a little more interest in weaners amid signs that there will be fewer finished pigs in early 2005.

As a result, the MLC 30kg weaner average moved up marginally to £30.94/head ex farm.

The effects of last summer‘s infertility are also starting to be seen, with weaned numbers on the lighter side which could lead to a significant shortage of finishers by next March/April.