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Weaner calf prices dip even further due to Covid-19 related lackluster demand.

Beef: Local beef prices have been under pressure due to current lockdown restrictions. These are times of uncertainty and many feedlots are not buying the volumes of weaner calves they usually do due to the uncertainty about the overall direction of prices in the coming months. Farmer’s not being able to sell their livestock creates not only a cash flow problem , but also creates a logistical backup as they may not have physical space for new feeder cattle that were intended to replace the cattle that could not be sold. Unlike other commodities that can simply be stored, animals continuously need to be fed and taken care of therefore creating ongoing expenses for producers, especially with the current higher maize and soybean prices.

Pork: The local pork prices traded negatively this week. The average porker price is 7.1% lower from at R21.08/kg, while the average baconer price declined by 4.9% at R20.77/kg. Pork prices locally have been declining on end, with some regions recording prices between R15-16/kg for porkers and baconers. The decline in prices is driven by lack of demand during the quiet buying period of the lockdown. Seasonally, April would be a month were prices increased however, this year that is not the case.

Poultry: The ongoing depreciation of the Rand strength against major global currencies is going to affect the local consumer price of imported poultry. Poultry stocks are piling up and capacities are tight. Some market players have reported that their stocks are piling up in outside storage, while others are reporting adding some select cuts into IQF products just to keep products moving. Seasonally the March-April months is a high consumption period, which supports prices, in 2020, however that is not the case. Egg prices however have been underpinned by higher consumer demand.

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