EU prices hit new lows
Since its most recent peak in late September, the EU average pig price has fallen for 11 consecutive weeks, losing over €22 per 100kg during that time. The latest quote, for week ended 6 December, was €126.35 per 100kg, the lowest level recorded since April 2005. In sterling terms, the average price has now dropped below 90p/kg.
Reports suggest that the recent declines have mainly been demand driven, as EU consumers continue to buy less pork and other pig meat products. Although pigs have not been in short supply, numbers do not appear to be that much higher than a year ago, when prices were also falling but were around €10 higher than they are now. In the latest weeks there has been some sign of prices stabilising but the market usually falls further post-Christmas. Whether that happens this year may depend on how successful the EU’s Private Storage Aid scheme is when it opens on 4 January.
Price falls were apparent over the last month across all the major producing Member States. Even Danish prices were forced down by €5 in the latest week. Prices in Germany stabilised in the week ended 6 December but were nearly €11 lower than a month before, with similar trends in Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland. Spanish prices followed the same direction but the month-on-month fall was only €7. French prices continued to fall, though, recording the largest drop among major producers, of €14 compared with a four weeks before. With UK prices broadly stable in euro terms, the gap to the EU average was up to almost €50 per 100kg (35p/kg).
While reference prices provide a useful indication of trends across Member States, they don’t necessarily provide a consistent picture of the overall price paid to producers. For more explanation and analysis of the true level of prices across Europe, click here.