Market robust enough to deal with increasingly difficult COVID-19 disruption

The COVID-19 outbreak is putting more pressure on the pork supply chain, but the market has been robust enough to deal with it so far, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

In its latest market update, TVC says one major processing plant was forced to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak last week, after a few relatively untroubled weeks.

But it added: “The market was robust enough, however, to deal with this issue and while a substantial number were rolled into this trading week, all pigs were placed.

“Demand remained fair to good, but there was anecdotal evidence to suggest that cold storage availability was becoming a premium. Carcase balance is an issue for some as well, with disrupted markets in both domestic and export trade not helping.

“Supplies remained seasonally tight, and average weights continued to trend lower.”

Pricing stood on across the board and the SPP edged a little higher at 164.05p. The fresh meat trade was ‘a touch more reserved’, troubled by reports of increasingly large offers of cheap imported pork from our European neighbours, TVC added.

The ‘low spot’ concerns cull sows, with prices down another 13p, as the demise of continental foodservice caused a ‘massive oversupply of processing meat’.

European markets continued to languish with further large falls reported across the board. Belgium, Holland and Germany all saw double digit losses in eurocent terms. The Euro was a touch stronger and ended the week up 0.63p at 87.53p

Weaner supplies continued to improve reflecting the slow improvement in production, while demand remained steady with spare accommodation still at a premium. The AHDB weighted average for a 7kg weaner fall by 8p to £42.50.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 10/05/20    Movement on last week

European Av.                         138.12                         – 7.11

Belgium                                  110.27                         – 15.01

Denmark                                 140.94                         – 5.94

France                                    146.01                         – 3.33

Germany                                 140.06                         – 7.68

Ireland                                     155.81                         – 1.05

Holland                                    127.19                         – 11.86

Spain                                       146.65                         – 4.91

(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.