Tönnies Closure: Pig market in corona shock
Tönnies Closure

Pig market in corona shock

imago images / Noah Wedel
The Bundeswehr is supporting the authorities in the Gütersloh district in the coronate tests of Tönnies employees.
The Bundeswehr is supporting the authorities in the Gütersloh district in the coronate tests of Tönnies employees.

GERMANY; Frankfurt. With the lockdown in Rheda, more than 20,000 pigs have to be distributed daily to other farms. The European market is still stable.

On the German slaughter pig market, supply and demand were balanced until the middle of last week. The price quotation for slaughter pigs of the Association of Producer Groups for Livestock and Meat (VEZG) therefore remained unchanged last Wednesday at € 1.66 per kilo carcass weight.

Only shortly before, it had become known that the largest German pig slaughterhouse of Tönnies in Rheda-Wiedenbrück was shut down due to significantly increased corona detection among employees. About 140,000 pigs are slaughtered and cut up there every week, that is every seventh pig in Germany. Although animals ready for slaughter are to be diverted to the other company sites in Sögel and Weißenfels, this alone will not be enough; other slaughterers will have to step in. If the closure of the plant takes longer, a backlog of pigs is to be feared.

The loss of Tönnies is also making itself felt in other countries. Danish Crown (DC) suspected that the loss of cutting capacity could lead to less sheer pork. On the other hand, the supply of bone-in meat is likely to increase because other slaughterhouses in Germany are slaughtering more and want to sell boning goods elsewhere with limited cutting capacity. The Tönnies subsidiary Tican Fesh Meat in Denmark has already announced that it will temporarily stop accepting Danish sows and organic pigs. A large part of the slaughtered sows will be sent to Rheda-Wiedenbrück for further processing. Now alternative processing locations must be sought, the company announced.

Belgium is also affected by cancellations of slaughter pigs that were intended for Tönnies. Most of these animals must now be taken up by the local live market. In Belgium, however, the price of slaughter pigs has been maintained for the time being, as has the purchase price of DC.

Italy at the turning point

In other countries of the European Union, prices for slaughter pigs were stable to firm. In Austria, the Tönnies barrier and its possible market effects were also a hot topic according to the Verband landwirtschaftlicher Veredlungsproduzenten (VLV). In a fairly balanced market, the leading price in the Alpine Republic remained stable at € 1.63 euros per kilo carcass weight. However, the interest in animals ready for slaughter had increased and the average slaughter weight of 97.7 kg had fallen to the lowest level of the current year for the time being, reported the VLV.

In France, too, the slaughter weights of large numbers of animals declined significantly; however, the quotation on the Marché du Porc Breton remained unchanged for the fourth week in a row at € 1.346 Euros per kilo carcass weight. In Italy, on the other hand, the turning point in the market seems to have been reached. The quotation for slaughter pigs rose by two cents per kilo live weight. The demand for meat has improved noticeably and the slaughterhouses achieved an above-average margin of up to € 30 per animal in the still very low purchase prices for slaughtered animals, reported a local analyst. Meanwhile in Spain, the moderate seasonal price increase continued with a plus of 1.5 cents to € 1.318 per kilo live weight on the Mercolleida. According to the Mercolleida, the number and weight of pigs for slaughter on offer is declining, which is typical for the season, and the animals can be marketed without any problems.

Unchanged EU average price

According to the EU Commission, slaughter pig prices in the 27 member states had remained unchanged on average in the week ending 14 June. An average of € 162.63 per 100 kilograms carcass weight was paid for class E animals; this was almost as much as a week earlier. Slaughter pigs were apparently in demand in Romania, where the price soared by 4.4% according to the Commission. Producers in Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia were happy about surcharges of between 1.4 and 2.9%. Prices in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Hungary and Austria rose by a more moderate 0.5 to 0.7%. The fatteners in Germany, France and Ireland received the same money for their animals as in the previous week. In contrast, slaughterhouses in Poland and Bulgaria cut their payments by almost 2% each. A price drop of 2.4% was reported for Denmark and one of 2.7% for Italy.

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE


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