Factory reliability continues to hamper pork production

Factory reliability continued to be the pork supply chain’s Achilles heel last week, with one major losing a whole day due to a Health and Safety issue, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

“Gremlins affected other majors leading to hastily arranged Saturday kills, and some others rolled
into this trading week,” TVC said in its latest pig marketing summary.

“Supplies remained quite tight for this time of year, with anecdotal evidence suggesting health issues in the winter period have affected growth rates quite severely.

“Demand remained on the steady side of good, with some majors worrying about the impact of trade disruption caused by the global coronavirus outbreak.

The fresh meat market saw an odd spark of improvement with better demand seen from numerous outlets. The star of the week was reserved for cull sows, where prices soared again, up 5p to 6p, on the back of improved continental demand.”

Meanwhile, Germany added another €0.06 to its price , and broke the €2 Euro barrier for the first time, as pig supply shortened even further. This influenced other markets, with quotes in sterling further enhanced by a stronger Euro, which ended the week up 1.80p at 85.31p.

Weaner supplies tightened a touch, coming closer to available demand. Fatteners were still very reticent however, to bid for any batches outside committed contract arrangements. The prices announced by the AHDB saw no quote given for a 30kg store pig, and the weighted average for a 7kg weaner fall by £1.38 to £41.53.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 01/03/20 
European Av.               163.09             + 7.04
Belgium                        156.22            + 8.74
Denmark                      163.28             + 6.79
France                         156.74             + 6.82
Germany                      172.34             + 8.66
Ireland                         167.22             + 3.54
Holland                        157.22             + 7.38
Spain                           168.63             + 3.49


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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.