Staffing levels continuing to compromise capacity in pork plants – TVC

Processing space was again a critical factor in pork processing plants last week, with numerous plants adjusting plans on the basis of staffing levels, according to Thames Valley Cambac. 

“Retail demand was described as excellent, but processors struggled to accommodate as kills were trimmed,” TVC said in its latest market update. “Therefore, there was no justification for some severe cuts in contract contributions from a couple of outlets.”

Slaughter weights increased again, with the latest SPP sample at a record high 87.64kgs. Most farms managed with the allocation given, but some have very little head room.

The fresh meat market was quiet with high street footfall affected by lockdown. Cull sows were similar price-wise with continental demand steady, due to the backlog of pigs in mainland Europe.

But European prices tumbled with the Netherlands seeing the biggest drop, losing more than 8 eurocents. Price quotes in sterling were further compromised by a weaker Euro that ended the week down 0.75p at 89.68p.

Weaner supplies were tighter than of late but demand remained very poor due to lack of space caused by the backlog of slaughter pigs. AHDB prices saw no quote given for a 30kg store pig, while the weighted average for a 7kg pig was quoted at £39.40.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 15/11/20    Movement on last week

European Av.              122.21                         – 4.01

Belgium                        92.01                           – 4.29

Denmark                     115.60                         – 3.37

France                         139.01                         – 3.06

Germany                     113.90                         – 0.95

Ireland                         144.39                         – 2.47

Holland                        110.31                         – 8.67

Spain                           140.26                         – 5.24

(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.