‘Disastrous’ start to 2022 as COVID infections in pork plants compound problems

It has been a ‘disastrous’ start to the New Year for the pig sector, with thousands of slaughter pigs rolled into this trading week, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

The ongoing issues of the past few months have been compounded by Covid infections among factory staff, which are ‘rife’ and this has cut out swathes of processing capacity, TVC said in latest market update. “Therefore, number allocations were pretty dire and the backlog continues to grow,” it said.

The latest SPP recorded a large fall, with the average weight was the highest on record at 94.12kgs. Contract prices eased in response to the fall in SPP.

The fresh meat trade was ‘very poor’, which is not unusual for January, and prices eased back here as well. The cull sow market was limited by poor export sales so numbers sold was minimal.

There was little solace in European markets either and price quotes in sterling fell as the Euro ended the week down 1.78p at 83.43p.

The weaner market remains badly disrupted by the backlog in the slaughter market, which is resonating
back down to the weaner producer, with many units now overstocked, TVC added. There was insufficient data for AHDB to issue any prices.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 09/01/22   Movement on last week

SPP                                          140.55             -2.31

Tribune Spot Bacon                140.40             – 1.60

European Av.                          104.37             – 2.65

Belgium                                   83.43               – 1.78

Denmark                                 94.19               – 2.10

France                                     124.81             – 2.58

Germany                                 102.62             – 2.19

Ireland                                     118.47             – 5.93

Holland                                    96.28               – 2.05

Spain                                       110.54             – 2.36

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.