German pig prices stabilise as abattoir starts work after coronavirus

HAMBURG, July 23 (Reuters) - German pig prices stabilised this week following heavy falls, with the market underpinned as a huge German slaughterhouse reopened after a coronavirus outbreak, a farming association said on Thursday.

The Toennies slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck resumed operations last week after being closed for around a month when more than 1,500 workers tested positive for COVID-19.

The closure caused a slump in German pig prices as farmers scrambled to find slaughterhouses for their animals. Abattoirs and meatpackers cut their pig purchase prices because of the extra demand.

But pig prices have remained unchanged this week around 1.47 euros a kilo after Toennies reopened, the German pig farmers’ association said. This compared to 1.60 euros a kilo four weeks ago when Toennies closed.

The Toennies closure led to a temporary lockdown for 600,000 people in the surrounding Guetersloh region and Germany’s government plans a new law to improve slaughterhouse working conditions. (Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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