Cold storage close to capacity, as export concerns reported

While trading continued to be ‘relatively straightforward’ last week in the run up to the Bank Holiday week, cold stores are filling up and export markets are a cause for concern, according to Thames Valley Cambac (TVC). 

Most of the majors chose to kill a full five days giving credence to a decent undercurrent of trade and all prices stood on, TVC said in its latest market update. However, some processors have made reference to difficulties in the export market, which has helped underpin our market for the last couple of years.

“Cold storage is running close to capacity, and any delay in export sales will harm the ability to process pigs,” TVC said.

“Thankfully, all our plants continue to function normally and relatively unaffected by coronavirus, whereas the collapse in the US hog market gives a stark reminder of the turmoil that ensues from plant closures.

“US prices have collapsed and the lucrative Chinese market is sourcing this cheap US pork, at theexpense of European and UK supplies. This was the indirect cause of the further collapse in our cull sow price.

“European markets are awash with pig meat, cold stores are full, and sow meat is a cheap processing meat usually finding its way into processed foodservice type products – for which there is currently a very limited market.

Cull prices were back 16p on average and numbers accepted were again limited. European market prices continued to fall, with the overall average down over 5 eurocents. Prices in sterling were eroded further by a weaker Euro that ended the week down 0.60p at 86.90p.

Weaner supplies increased a touch as better production started to filter through. Demand was patchy, but some fatteners ‘showed a little more interest than of late’. Prices were unchanged however, on the back of concerns about the future market direction.

There was no AHDB price given for a 30kg store pig, while the weighted average for a 7kg weaner fall by 19p to £42.58.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 03/05/20 Movement on last week

European Av.                          145.23             – 5.31

Belgium                                   125.27             – 7.64

Denmark                                 146.78             – 4.55

France                                     149.34             – 5.85

Germany                                 147.74             – 5.38

Ireland                                     156.86             – 1.51

Holland                                   139.05             – 6.07

Spain                                       151.56             – 6.15

(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.