Signs are emerging that the slide in spot prices may soon level out, writes pig market commentator and consultant Peter Crichton. However the Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price dropped again to 148.05p/kg on Wednesday for the seventh successive week. Most of the weekly contract or shout prices set by processors followed suit.
With the holiday period drawing to a close, demand should soon improve, coupled with a slight hardening of EU pigmeat prices as we enter autumn. As a result most spot bacon was traded slightly ahead of 140p/kg with 4p to 8p/kg premiums for lighter weights.
Reasonably firm cull sow demand in Europe is also putting a base in the trade and signalling more stability in the EU mainland pigmeat market as a whole.
UK cull sow exporters were looking for bigger numbers and prices were mainly in the 107p to 110p/kg range, according to specification.
The relative strength of the euro, which closed on Friday worth 87.9p, is also helping to maintain cull sow values as well as making pigmeat imports less competitive.
The weaner market however remains a troubled sector. Larger numbers are coming forward at a time when finishing space is at a premium. The latest AHDB 30kg weaner average fell again to a five-month low of £41.85 a head, with reports of spot weaners being traded as low as £35 a head ex-farm.
Finally, the news from the cereals market is not good for pig producers, with ex-farm feed wheat quoted at £165/t and LIFFE November feed wheat traded at £172/t.