Backlog on farms ‘inevitable’ as COVID problems curtail processing

A backlog of pigs on farms is inevitable as pork processing factories continue to face problems with COVID-19, according to Thames Valley Cambac. 

Significant problems were experienced last week at two large plants, while others had kills curtailed sharply, as the supply chain continues to struggle with factory closures, short kills and last minute cancellations due to COVID-19, TVC said in its latest weekly market update.

“Pig growth is excellent on most units at the moment, so a backlog is inevitable. We urge all producers to be aware that this situation may deteriorate, and to try and make provision on farm to build a buffer in supply,” TVC said.

“We at TVC will move as many as we can, but will need the cooperation of producers (and hauliers) to achieve this.”

“Pricing was secondary to movements but most contract contributions eased 1p to 2p. Fresh meat demand was lacklustre, as the country settled in to a second national lockdown.”

Cull sows stood on, but European markets continued to trend lower with big falls seen in Belgium, Denmark and France. Price quotes in sterling were enhanced slightly however by a stronger Euro that ended the week up 0.22p at 90.43p.

?The backlog of slaughter pigs impacted heavily on the weaner market with fatteners unable or behind schedule to make space for new intakes. This affected the market with little or no interest from the majority of fatteners,” TVC added.

AHDB prices saw the weighted average for a 30kg pig fall £1.36 to £52.87, and there was no quote for a 7kg pig.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt)   w/c 08/11/20 Movement on last week

European Av.                           126.22             – 2.01

Belgium                                    96.31               – 3.27

Denmark                                 118.97             – 5.79

France                                    142.07             – 4.61

Germany                                 114.85             + 0.28

Ireland                                     146.86             + 1.62

Holland                                    118.98             + 0.29

Spain                                       145.50             – 2.62

(Ref Weekly Tribune)

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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.