"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pigs no longer bringing home the bacon - even though piglet prices are at record levels in Europe

The Leeds office of Grant Thornton have been called in to administrate Yorkshire-based pig companies DRS Pigs Ltd and MCB Sow Company Ltd who have collapsed with debts in excess of 3 Mn Pounds.

The two main creditors are HSBC and Associated British Nutrition a subsidiary of Associated British Foods (ABF) PLC who announced in November, for Y/E Sep '07 Group revenue up 13% to £6.8bn and earnings per share up 23% to 46.7p.

There are some 90 contract producers and finishers who are owed, it is understood, between a few thousand pounds and up to £40,000 each - there is little prospect that they will receive any payment.

The failed pig companies have around 6,100 sows with 50,000 progeny. Up to press a single buyer is being sought for the pigs.

The crash is not believed to have come about as a result of the feed price crisis,(as peddled yesterday on BBC Farming News) but is connected with the value-adding company York Foods Ltd , North Newbald, E.Yorks , which was associated with DRS from September 2006 to February 2007, and which was unprofitable (and is noe dormant).

However grain prices are having an inexorable effect on protein production and according to Dutch newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad the cost price of pork has risen to €1.75 per kilo – the highest since 1993.

The leading Dutch agricultural research group, Animal Sciences Group (Wageningen University) maintain a national piglet price index which reveals that the cost price of a piglet now amounts to €53,26 – the highest in 10 years. (The ASG - recently signed an € 5 million contract to help combat Avian Flu in Indonesia)

PS TV restrictions on HFSS Phase II started 1/1/08

Phase I of restrictions on TV advertising of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) foods around programmes aimed at the under-10s , drawn up by communications regulator Ofcom, came into force last April.

Phase II kicked in prohibiting such advertisements in or around programmes made for children (including pre-school children), or in or around programmes that are likely to be of particular appeal to children aged four to 15, on January 1.

A a review of the impact of the existing rules on HFSS advertising aimed at children is expected to take place later this year and the Food industry is scared shitless that a 9 pm "watershed" will follow - as for television content containing scenes of a violent or sexual nature.

One effect of course is that from April ITV completely dropped producing children's TV programs and dropped them from ITV 1/2/3 schedules.

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