Pork processors continue to suffer problems, thwarting efforts to ease pig backlog

Pork processors continued to suffer problems last week, meaning little progress is being made in eating into the pig backlog, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

Many processors suffered issues of one form or another, from machinery failures to staff absenteeism, which culminated in yet another week of underperformance. COVID-19 was still in evidence with the announcement on Friday of a large processor having to go on short kill for a fortnight after an outbreak amongst factory staff, TVC said in its latest weekly update.

“Pig supply remained ample and average weights showed little sign of easing – the cold snap does not seem to have slowed pig growth,” TVC said.

Prices were similar and all contract contributions stood on. The fresh meat market continued to
languish with little spark from anyone.

“Cull sows were a stronger however, on the back of improvements in the continental markets, and prices generally 5p better. In Europe, Belgium gained 9 eurocents but from a very low base due to being officially free of ASF.

Spain was the best of the rest with a rise just shy of 5 eurocents. Price quotes in sterling were compromised however by a much weaker Euro that ended the week down 1.24p at 86.51p.

Weaner demand remained pretty fickle with the slaughter backlog, feed and pig pricing, and straw availability all dampening attempts at trade. Supplies remained tight, however, with production curtailed on some units by autumn infertility.

There were no weaner or store price quotes issued by the AHDB.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 21/02/21    Movement on last week

Tribune Spot Bacon                139.93             n/c

European Av.                           114.59             + 0.37

Belgium                                  92.12               + 6.65

Denmark                                 110.50             – 1.61

France                                    126.23             – 0.24

Germany                                 104.67             + 0.25

Ireland                                     133.05             – 4.02

Holland                                    103.20             – 0.70

Spain                                       132.34             + 2.29

(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.