Cull sow movements offer ‘glimmer of joy’ as COVID continues to hamper the industry

In an otherwise ongoing very difficult situation, a slight upturn in cull sow movements has at least offered a ‘glimmer of joy’ for the pig sector, according to Thames Valley Cambac. 

The ‘scourge of random Covid outbreaks’ continued to hamper even the best laid plans last week with issues at numerous outlets, TVC said in its latest market report.

“This culminated with the news that a major plant north of the border would have to close due to a severe outbreak,” TVC said.

“These setbacks curtailed any chance of eating into the large backlog on farm.”

Prices eased again, fuelled by another large fall in the SPP – and another record weight to boot. Fresh meat demand was steady with the current lockdown decimating any foodservice trade.

“There was a glimmer of joy with cull sow movements which improved slightly from a very low base,” TVC added.

European prices stood on, but price quotes in sterling were enhanced slightly by a stronger Euro that ended the week up 0.04p at 89.04p.

“The backlog of slaughter pigs is now affecting weaner and store movements with nurseries and finishing houses still full,” TVC added.

“This is causing headaches and worry for quite a few producers now, and we will try everything possible to try and alleviate pressure where we can. There were no prices quoted by the AHDB.”

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 24/01/21    Movement on last week

Tribune Spot Bacon                142.19             – 1.56

European Av.                          114.50             – 0.16

Belgium                                   82.11               + 0.04

Denmark                                 113.68             + 0.06

France                                    128.33             + 0.07

Germany                                 105.96             + 0.06

Ireland                                     139.36             – 1.44

Holland                                    105.34             + 0.06

Spain                                       126.74             + 0.07

(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.