Pork pricing remains relatively unchanged despite some lower market costs, labour shortages are a major concern with pigs backlogged, this is a challenging time for the industry.
Average prices fell last week, the measure was likely influenced by some particularly low prices paid by abattoirs for batches of pigs outside contracts, as the market finds an outlet for some pigs killed with only minimal butchery. This could be the case for several weeks to come, depending on how long there is a backlog of pigs on farms.
Reports suggest that 150,000 pigs are backed up and reports that some farms will have to cull some pigs.
Slaughter at GB abattoirs was estimated to be 194,700 head during the week, 7.5% higher than the week before and 11% above the same week a year ago. This is the third-highest weekly kill of the year. Bear in mind that these are estimates, the accuracy of which can be affected by unusual circumstances.
Carcase weights averaged 90.93 kg, 700 g heavier than even last week and more than 4 kg heavier than the same week in 2020.
The pork sector is having some serious issues, a quote from AHDB “We are working with industry and the Government to address the challenges facing the pork sector.”
Chairman of the AHDB Pork Board, Mike Sheldon, said: “With the unprecedented challenges being placed on the pork sector, AHDB is working with industry and the Government to identify ways in which we can all help levy payers during these difficult times.
“These challenges, in particular a shortage of skilled workers, come on top of pressure on margins largely due to rising feed costs.
“These issues are extremely concerning and therefore require industry-wide action to prevent the situation from deteriorating into an animal welfare issue.
“AHDB is already undertaking work to help the sector, including providing independent evidence to the Government setting out the seriousness of the situation and looking at how together we can support meat processors to ease the supply of labour.
“As well, AHDB’s wider approach has resulted in the AHDB Pork Board agreeing to a one-month levy holiday to help ease the burden of the financial pressures faced by levy payers. AHDB has asked for Ministerial approval for this step.”