Processors drop contribution prices as staff turmoil continues

Last week proved to be another ‘desperate week’, with continued cutbacks in slaughter capacity having serious consequences on farm.

“The staffing crisis shows no improvement and there is no indication from any processor of when they will see any change,” Thames Valley Cambac said in its latest weekly market update.

“The frustration is that pigs are still growing, and the backlog is causing average weights to increase – the
SPP sample jumping nearly 1kg this week.”

“Contract prices eased again, with some processors taking advantage of the turmoil by reducing their contract contributions. This raises another point of whether the current industry issues are all staff-related or is there an element of lack of demand. Certainly, export markets are languishing in the doldrums with China particularly low.”

Another other issue this week was the cull sow market. Numbers were limited as the exporters were met with lower orders from the continent due to the vast volumes of cheap pork circulating on the market, TVC added. “Culls will be moved as best we can over the coming weeks,” it said.

European trade was dominated by a 7 eurocent fall in Germany, and smaller falls in Belgium and Spain. Price quotes in sterling were enhanced slightly, however, by a stronger Euro that ended the week up 0.66p at 85.75p.

Weaner emand was mediocre with little interest outside contract commitments. AHDB issued a quote for a 7kg weaner at £38.93, down £2.25, but there was no price quote for a 30kg store pig.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 22/08/21   Movement on last week

GB SPP                                     160.22           – 0.57

Tribune Spot Bacon                157.94             – 1.00

European Av.                          119.19             – 0.99

Belgium                                   96.81               – 2.66

Denmark                                 102.56             – 1.59

France                                     138.40             + 1.06

Germany                                 111.48             – 5.10

Ireland                                     140.63             + 1.08

Holland                                    111.65             + 0.86

Spain                                       138.06             – 1.15

(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.