COVID and Brexit checks combine to affect pig trade

Staff absenteeism due to COVID-19 continues to be a big problem for processors and hauliers, resulting on ongoing disruption, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

“The backlog continued to grow and finished weights soared,” TVC said in its latest market update. “The average weight in the SPP sample recorded a new all time high of 89.86 kgs. Some producers are now seeing serious issues, and we are trying to alleviate pressure where we can.”

Prices eased sharply in some cases as new monthly negotiated contributions came into play. The fresh meat market was quiet, although odd outlets serving butcher type businesses saw a bit of a lockdown surge, TVC added.

COVID issues have been compounded by the new checks required for goods going from the UK to the EU. There was no cull sow market due to delays at Calais, which caused disruption leading to a deterioration in the shelf life of sow carcases, TVC added.

European prices were similar, but price quotes in sterling were enhanced by a stronger Euro that ended the week up 0.23p at 90.13p.

The backlog of slaughter pigs is starting to seriously disrupt weaner movement, with pressure in most systems now in nursery and grow out, as bacon pigs remain unmoved. Therefore, there is no space for new intake, TVC added.

There were no weaner prices quoted by the AHDB.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 10/01/21   Movement on last week

Tribune Spot Bacon                145.88             – 2.49

European Av.                          116.12             + 0.50

Belgium                                   83.11               + 0.31

Denmark                                 115.07             + 0.39

France                                     129.89             + 0.59

Germany                                 107.25             + 0.40

Ireland                                     142.58             + 0.53

Holland                                   106.62             + 0.79

Spain                                       126.29             + 0.47

(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.