COVID-19 staff issues continue to hamper processors – TVC

COVID-19 staff issues continue to cause issues for pork processors, which are currently struggling to meet target numbers, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

“The week has been plagued yet again with many processors wanting to avoid taking their committed numbers,” TVC said in its latest market update. “This was intensified by many processors losing staff due to COVID-19 which restricts their ability to further process the required volumes.”

TVC also reported that retail sales are, unsurprisingly, slowing down, with one of the major retailers reporting their first week decline in sales year on year. Meanwhile, food service is not opening back up at the rate in which it appears that retail is falling.

“However, export volumes, to China are positive albeit not at prices levels required to maintain the current SPP. With pig numbers appearing plentiful mainly due to planned kill numbers not being obtained, processers are using this to ease their input prices,” TVC said.

“SPP eased a further 0.33p to 163.51p, affecting many price calculations. We have identified that prices to consumers are not falling and it is only the volume of pigs available for market that is presenting processers the opportunity to reduce their prices.”

The cull sow market continues to be very lacklustre, driven predominantly by the recent shut down in Europe and the recovery is very slow. Quotes in sterling were compromised slightly by a weaker Euro that ended the week down 0.70p at 89.75p.

Beyond contract weaner and store movements the weaner market is very thin, with very few being offered, which is fortunate as there are very few buyers.

The AHDB weighted average for a 30kg store pig rose by £5.15 to £61.71, while the weighted average for a 7kg weaner fall by 10p to £42.30.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 23/08/20   Movement on last week

European Av.                          133.22             – 0.02

Belgium                                   111.90             – 0.52

Denmark                                 126.60             – 0.54

France                                     143.90             – 3.77

Germany                                 131.94             – 0.61

Ireland                                     148.54             – 0.69

Holland                                   118.12             – 0.55

Spain                                       151.51             – 0.71

(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.