Pig market ‘functioning as normal’ amid coronavirus lockdown

The pig market has continued to function as normal, while most of the country has entered coronavirus lockdown, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

“Some processors have seen an increase in absenteeism, but they had plans in place to cope. The unprecedented retail demand was in many minds and most of the majors planned full kills,” TVC said in its weekly market update.

But it described pricing as ‘frustrating’, with one major adding 4p to their monthly contract contribution, while the others ‘resolutely stood on’. Supply remained tight with a general easing in average weights seen.

“However, it was not all plain sailing. The fresh meat market saw demand fall off a cliff as foodservice shut down, and high streets emptied. Prices were unchanged for deals that were struck, but numbers were drastically down,” TVC added.

The cull sow market eased 2p due to unfavourable currency, while the European markets saw further losses with Denmark and Holland both losing 4 eurocents. Price quotes in sterling were eroded further by a weaker Euro that ended the week down 1.28p at 89.74p.

Supplies of both 7kgs weaners and 30kgs stores remained tight, but demand outside any contract or regular movements was minimal. The prices announced by the AHDB saw no quote given for a 30kg store pig, and the weighted average for a 7kg weaner rise by 32p to £42.57.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt)             w/c 29/03/20 Movement on last week

European Av                                      164.45             – 4.27

Belgium                                              151.49             – 2.17

Denmark                                             164.79             – 5.84

France                                                167.14             – 2.39

Germany                                             169.61             – 2.43

Ireland                                                 166.65             – 6.30

Holland                                                157.82             – 5.89

Spain                                                   173.65             – 4.85

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.