Processor unreliability causes backlogs on farms

Processor unreliability is causing serious backlogs of pigs on farm, with major downtime at numerous facilities over the past week, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

The back up of pigs on farms is now affecting weaner movements as finishing units are not emptying on schedule, TVC said in its latest weekly update, which painted a downbeat picture of the market.

“The causes were numerous – lack of staff, boiler issues, line problems, gas – the list was endless,” TVC said. “Some Saturday kills were hastily arranged and it required careful re-planning and the goodwill of both producers and hauliers to rectify. Nevertheless, many hundreds were rolled into this trading week.

“The backlog added to a healthy supply, and some pigs were not placed. It will take at least a couple of trouble free weeks to get on top.”

Prices generally eased with the SPP down a massive 1.14p last week, and some weekly and monthly quotes lower.

The fresh meat market saw better demand, possibly due to panic buying by people worried about another lockdown.

The cull sows market stood on, reflecting stability in Europe. Belgium was the only significant faller, down 2.5 eurocents due to the increased pork supply on the Euro meat markets from Germany. Price quotes in sterling were similar as the Euro ended the week little changed up 0.02p at 91.34p.

Weaner demand was poor with many fatteners concerned about straw availability, and the future direction of feed costs, TVC added. Supply was enhanced by some batches that could not be placed due to slaughter house breakdowns.

AHDB did not have sufficient data to announce any average prices for 30kg stores or 7kg weaners.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 27/09/20   Movement on last week

European Av.                          131.10             – 0.25

Belgium                                   103.20             – 2.35

Denmark                                 126.34             – 0.08

France                                     151.15             + 0.04

Germany                                 116.01             + 0.03

Ireland                                     147.06             + 0.04

Holland                                   120.18             + 0.55

Spain                                       153.73             + 0.04

(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.