COVID less of a problem in plants but fresh pork market ‘dire’ – TVC

Fewer issues were seen at pork plants last week as the reduced allocation that some processors planned bore fruit, according to Thames Valley Cambac. 

COVID-19 was, however, still a major problem for some plants, with boning and cutting staff particularly affected, TVC said in its latest weekly market update.

Demand was reported as being steady and exports to China still denied at some plants and slaughter numbers remained high with average weights near to record levels for many producers.

“However, a glimmer of hope was given with odd Saturday kills being planned, and this may help to eat into the backlog,” TVC said.

Prices eased again, partly due to another large fall in the SPP, with the SPP report also showing the lowest number of standard pigs in the sample since May 2020. The closure of the major Brechin in Scotland plant could be one reason, and a larger number of outdoor born pigs being processed  another, TVC suggested.

“The fresh meat market was pretty dire with a collapse in sales reported by many – possibly challenged by cheap imports chasing a limited market. The cull sow market was similar in price and volume terms,” the report added.

European prices were similar, but price quotes in sterling were compromised by a weaker Euro that ended the week down 0.85p at 87.53p.

Both store and weaner supplies were uncharacteristically tighter this week, with some signs that the poor winter weather has badly affected some outdoor units. Placements were still disrupted however, by the continued turmoil in the slaughter market. There was a weighted average 30kg store pig price announced by AHDB quoted at £38.71.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 07/02/21   Movement on last week

European Av.                          113.53             – 0.64

UK Tribune Spot Bacon         140.19             – 1.12

Belgium                                   85.26               + 0.33

Denmark                                 111.83             – 1.01

France                                     126.16             – 1.22

Germany                                 104.17             – 1.01

Ireland                                     136.73             – 1.32

Holland                                   103.56             – 1.00

Spain                                       126.98             + 0.72

(Ref Weekly Tribune)

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About The Author

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.