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Producers urged to plan ahead in case of COVID-19 disruption

18th May 2020 / By Alistair Driver

Pig producers have been urged to plan ahead and ensure they have at least a week's space in reserve, following disruption to the pig supply chain caused by COVID-19.

abattoir workersThe advice from Thames Valley Cambac echoes comments from NPA chief executive Zoe Davies last week urging producers to step up hygiene precautions and ensure there is slack in the system amid concerns over plant disruption. 

In its latest weekly market report, Thames Valley Cambac said it had become 'acutely aware of the disruption caused by a plant closure due to coronavirus'.

"This knowledge helped with planning, with contract kill space organised, and any back log cleared," TVC said.

"It is a stark reminder, however, that these large factories are critically important to the functioning of our market and we urge all our producers to keep on top of your weights, and always plan to have at least a week’s space in reserve."

The market remained 'very similar' last week with decent demand and tight supply. All contract contributions stood on, and the SPP added 0.25p to reach 164.30p.

The fresh meat market stood on, with a touch more interest from some, 'eyeing up a possible improvement as we get closer to the Bank Holiday'.

However, the picture is marred by the continuing freefall state of the cull sow market. Quotes fluctuated, but eventually settled back 6p to 8p.

"The cause was the continuing squeeze on the continental market for multiple reasons – the closure of foodservice, boning plants shut due to Covid-19, and cold store space prioritised for prime pork rather than processing meat," TVC said.

"European market quotes steadied a touch after the turmoil of recent weeks, but falls were still recorded in France, Holland and Spain."

Price comparisons in sterling were enhanced however by a stronger Euro that ended the week up 1.2p at 88.73p.

Demand for weaner was a touch hesitant with some fatteners showing concerns about the future direction of the market. Supplies were plentiful with good runs of 7kgs and 30kgs available.

The AHDB weighted average for a 30kg store pig fell by £2.06 to £59.14, while the weighted average for a 7kg weaner rise by 14p to £42.64.

European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 17/05/20 Movement on last week

European Av.              138.61                         + 0.49

Belgium                       111.78                         + 1.52

Denmark                     142.78                         + 1.94

France                         144.18                         - 1.83

Germany                     141.98                         + 1.92

Ireland                         157.95                         + 2.14

Netherlands                 126.01                         - 1.18

Spain                           145.55                         - 1.09