After the rises in pork prices over the Easter period prices remain firm with throughput down. This may be down to variable activity between processing plants rather than a change in market direction. Generally, reports continue to indicate that supply of pigs are tight.

As reported last week, falling processor revenues due to the imbalance are leading to some plants to look at ways to cut costs with potentially cutting slaughtering and cutting days. Slaughter of prime cattle and cows were down 5600 head (13%) on the previous week.

The imbalance of use of the beef carcase is still of grave concern, with retail demand for mince and dicing products not diminishing. Round cuts (topside & silverside) are still maintaining the levels from last week and steaking meat is at an all-time low. We have gone from mincing 43.5% of the carcase to 53.5%.

With a typical 43% of the carcase minced this only contributes to around £780 per head to the retail value of the carcase (av. 345kg). At the other end of the scale, fillet is 2% of the carcase which equates to £200 per head in retail values.

Lamb pricing has risen again with throughput of animals down by 20,000 head (20%) last week, well below levels for this time of year.

Early signs that the stability for some poultry products may be coming. The only thing that may change this is lowering production in the processing plants, which may yet happen.