Producers urged to build buffer into system amid ongoing concern over COVID-19 plant closures


By Alistair Driver, Pig World

June 29, 2020


Thames Valley Cambac is again urging producers to try and build a buffer into their system, so they can hold a week or more pigs if needed amid further concerns the impact of COVID-19 on plants.


In its latest market report, TVC said this week saw more reports of  UK plant closures due to coronavirus in the wider meat processing area, while the closure of the Tönnies processing plant in Germany, has ‘wreaked havoc’ on the cull sow market.


“It is a constant worry that we could see this within our sector. We reiterate our recent comment that producers are advised to try and build a buffer into their system, so they can hold a week or more pigs if needed,” TVC said.


Demand remains largely unchanged, but some plants took the opportunity to close some days for maintenance. Supply was a touch tighter due to the recent hot weather, which has dented pig growth and led to a general fall in slaughter weights.


Prices generally improved, helped by the increase in the SPP to an all-time high of 164.93p, and increases in a couple of monthly negotiated contract contributions.


“The fresh meat market was quieter than of late, with the poorer weather being blamed. The cull sow market was extremely tough, as the closure of the UK’s main export buyer in Germany wreaked havoc on our market.


“Numbers were limited, and there was a strict quota on numbers. Prices fell 5p and cull boars have little or no value. As this situation will persist for some time, we urge all producers to look carefully at their system to see if any culls can be served again and kept on for another parity.”


There was a mixed picture in Europe, where Belgium and Denmark suffered 5 and 4 eurocent falls respectively, while Spain added 1.3 eurocents. Price quotes in sterling were enhanced also by a stronger Euro that ended the week up 0.06p at 90.57p.


Supplies of both 30kg stores and 7kg weaners continued to be short, but excess fattening accommodation was in short supply as well. “This is the start of the season when spare yard space tends to compete with other agricultural operations and temporary storage,” TVC said.


There was no AHDB quote given for a 30kg store pig and the weighted average for a 7kg weaner fall by £1.43 to £41.57.


European Prices (p/kg.dwt) w/c 28/06/20    Movement on last week ...





Thames Valley Cambac

TVC is the leading Pig Marketing Co-operative in the United Kingdom.

The Company was established in the mid 70’s and markets farmers’ pigs to all the leading processors in the United Kingdom.