UK pork markets remains relatively ‘unscathed’ from COVID-19, but EU prices falling

The market continued to function ‘relatively unscathed’ from the COVID-19 lockdown rules last week, according to Thames Valley Cambac.

The main taking point for some processors were rumblings over of lack of exports leading to full cold stores, while others were concerned by a touch of retail apathy, TVC said in its weekly market update.

However, demand remained much the same. “Monthly contract contributions were a stand on, but prices improved slightly helped by the SPP that breached the 164p barrier for the first time in 2.5 years,” TVC said.

“Supply remained tight with continuing production issues blighting any improvement. The fresh meat trade was a touch more buoyant, surprising given the general retail scene, but nonetheless

“The black spot, however, was reserved for cull sows. A perfect storm in Germany – boning plants closed due to coronavirus, full cold stores and the May Day holiday conspired to reduce demand dramatically.

“Prices were down sharply and booking slots were limited. This malaise was not just reserved for the sow market however, as pig prices tumbled as well. Germany was the biggest loser, down 9 eurocents, giving an unfortunate direction to the rest of the European markets.”

Price quotes in sterling were enhanced however, by a stronger Euro that ended the week down 0.52p at 87.50p.


Supplies of both 7kgs weaners and 30kg stores continued to be tight, but demand remained little changed as bids were very scarce for any batches outside regular contract arrangements.

AHDB prices announced saw the weighted average for a 30kg store pig rise by £2.97 to £61.75, and the weighted average for a 7kg weaner fall by 70p to £42.77.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 26/04/20    Movement on last week

European Av.                           150.54             – 3.56

Belgium                                  132.91             – 3.73

Denmark                                 151.34             – 4.88

France                                     155.19             – 2.59

Germany                                 153.12             – 6.92

Ireland                                     158.37             – 0.80

Holland                                    145.12             – 1.88

Spain                                       157.72             – 4.15

(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.