EU cull sow prices fall below €1 per kg
The beginning of 2015 has so far continued the downward trend of EU cull sow prices reported in the second half of 2014.
This has largely been led by Germany, where sow meat is used in the processing of traditional products. Prices here have dropped 36 cents from a peak in May 2014 to the end of the year. With a further 5 cents lost through January 2015, the price now stands just above a euro at €1.01 per kg. There is usually a seasonal pattern around the end of a year as processors increase production prior to Christmas and then reduce their capacity over the festive period. However, no recovery is apparent yet in 2015 trade. The continued drop in price can, in part, be considered demand-driven, due to product not going to Russia, with the impact on finished pig prices adding to the direct effect on sow meat demand.
Other significant EU markets have all decreased on the year as at 25 January; prices in Denmark and France fell by a third to €0.66 per kg and €0.74 per kg respectively. The Dutch price has fallen by a quarter to €0.78 per kg on the year, a loss of 13 cents in the last quarter of 2014. Despite this, French prices have fallen below the Dutch in this quarter, losing 47 cents since a peak in July. As the cheapest market, Danish prices are now around 35 cents below the German price, although this does not include any annual bonus payments. With the euro weakening sharply in recent weeks, the GB sow price, which needs to follow trends of the EU market to remain competitive, is likely to be falling even faster in sterling terms.