UK pork prices remain stable amid COVID-19 impact
16th Apr 2020 / By Alistair Driver
In contrast to some parts of the world, notably the US, UK pork prices remain stable.
The EU-spec SPP averaged 163.63p/kg last week, 0.26p lower than in the previous week, but still in line with where prices have been - in the 162-163p region - for most of this year. The SPP remains more than 25p up on a year ago and nearly 27p up on the five-year average.
Estimated slaughter for the week, at165,300 head, was 11,500 head down on the previous week, although this was due to it being the run up to the bank holiday weekend, AHDB said.
"The variable activity between plants around the Easter period has influenced the slight drop in price, rather than a change in market direction. Reports continue to indicate that supplies of pigs are on the tight side," AHDB said.
While pig sectors in some parts of the world are experiencing disastrous consequences from the COVID-19 and some UK sectors, notably dairy and beef, are experiencing a hugely negative impact, the UK pork sector has so far been relatively unaffected.
Plants have generally continued to operate as normal and increased retail demand, allied with strong export sales to China, have gone a long way to outweighing the loss of foodervice sales.
Despite some factory breakdowns, the major processors had a 'full processing week in the run-up to Easter, Thames Valley Cambac said in its latest market update. However, pig prices have been falling across the EU.