Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Pig producers sacrifice prices to clear backlog on farms

HEAVY DISCOUNTS: A shutdown at Brechin’s abattoir due to Covid led to pigs for slaughter backing up.

Brechin’s abattoir is battling to clear a backlog of 15,000 slaughter-ready pigs which built up on Scottish farms after the plant closed for two weeks in January.

The priority for the Scottish Pig Producers co-operative, which accounts for the majority of the suppliers to the slaughterhouse, is to reduce the pressure on member farms, so producers are currently accepting heavily discounted prices in order to get stock moved quickly.

The plant closed at the end of January after a number of employees tested positive for coronavirus, but slaughtering facilities were already disrupted  at other meat plants across the UK and the number of pigs ready for slaughter mounted rapidly.

The co-operative’s managing director, Andy McGowan, said heavy discounting was now  taking place in order to find slaughtering space for pigs.

“At the moment we are not being too precious about pricing,” he said.

“We’d rather move the pigs and get farms back to normal  and bear the financial consequences subsequently.”

The value of pig meat has fallen around 30p per kilo since its peak last year, with the current price hovering around 124ppk.

“It has been a sharp reduction but we are cautiously optimistic that it could be a short-lived slump,” said Mr McGowan.

“The European pig price is starting to go up which might suggest the worst of the reduction is coming to an end.  The backlog should be resolved in the next month and that should then coincide with reopening of hospitality and catering markets.”

Scottish Pig Producers chief executive Andy McGowan.

One of biggest implications of the virus outbreak is the loss of a valuable licence to export to China. Latterly the Chinese market accounted for more than 25% of throughput, and the market offered outlets for parts of the carcase that are not in demand here.

“Our trade is based on trust so we surrendered the licence voluntarily and now that we’re designated clear (of the virus) by public health authorities we have reapplied,” said Mr McGowan.

“The time scale for that is out of our control which is a concern as it reduces the overall value of the pigs.  Northern Ireland had the same issue last autumn and they got their licence back in November.

“We are following standard procedure, but in the short term it does create a problem.”

Brechin pig slaughterhouse

Another issue for pig producers is that feed overheads are rapidly rising with high prices for both grain and soya.

 

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]