Pig backlog now in excess of 110,000 pigs – TVC

The backlog of pigs on farm has topped 110,000 pigs, after yet another ‘extremely difficult week’, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

The number of pigs backed up on farms ‘must now without doubt’ exceed that number, given the number of weeks we’ve had to endure these reductions, TVC said in its latest weekly update.

“Government still appears to be unhelpful, in the pursuit of assisting the arrival of any foreign workers, so the labour shortage will roll on for months or even longer. They also seem very lethargic at helping recover the China status at the three plants in England and Scotland that are still under suspension,” it said. “China approval at these three sites wouldn’t solve all our problems but it would certainly help.”

TVC described the fear of further interruptions in slaughterings due to CO2 shortages as a further blow.

With regards to pricing on the week there was very little change – some input prices dropped by 1p, but ‘in truth the meat product that is going through the system really doesn’t require being cheaper’, TVC added.
“We are told that most retail buyers are, at best, just getting enough product but the majority could all do with more if only they could get it!

“The one flicker of progress was the change in mindset from AHDB, who are now accepting there is a serious problem and they have committed to find ways to access the funding they are sat on, to help with the current plight. Various schemes are being considered and it’s imperative that we find one!

The sow market dragged itself to a stand on, but the volume of sows is increasing as many producers looking at cutting production in light of the current issues.

Currency ended the week in the same place it was a week earlier.

There are now severe restrictions on weaner movements caused by the backlog in slaughtering. Many yards are still full and now out of sequence with refill plans. AHDB issued a quote for a 7kg weaner at £37.68 but there was no quote for a 30kg store pig.

Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 19/09/21 Movement on last week

GB SPP 156.37 – 0.02

Tribune Spot Bacon 154.61 – 0.16

European Av. 113.99 – 2.67

Belgium 88.59 – 0.60

Denmark 99.67 – 0.68

France 136.59 – 1.78

Germany 106.58 – 0.72

Ireland 131.30 – 0.08

Holland 102.57 – 4.13

Spain 132.83 – 3.14

(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.