Have EU pig prices reached a turning point?
EU pig prices continued to fall through most of January but in the last week of the month the average increased for the first time since the start of August.
The EU finished reference pig price dropped over €2 per 100kg through January. At week ended 25 January, the price was €129.19 per 100kg, over €30 down on the year. However, in the following week the price increased by 78 cents to €129.97 per 100kg, the first weekly rise since the start of August. However, the recent depreciation of the euro against the pound equates to a decrease of 6p/kg throughout January, with the latest price continuing to fall and now under a pound, at 97.29p/kg. Due to the weakness of the euro, these changes mean the gap between the UK and the EU average prices continues to widen, to a record 39p (52 cents).There have been some reports of possible trade agreements with Russia, despite ASF outbreaks continuing to plague Eastern European herds, which may have helped the market. However, the normal seasonal trend is for strengthening prices after a short New Year slowdown, as processors call for more pigs for as demand starts to recover.
As ever, the larger producers have led the trend in price. Most notably in January, Denmark dropped more than €9 and France by €4. There are, however, signs of positivity in the market not reported since July. German prices increased by €2.52 for the week ended 1 February, putting prices up 65 cents from the start of the month. Dutch and Polish prices followed suit. French and Spanish prices remained stable in the latest week but Denmark, after only a slight reduction in week ended 25 January, dropped prices further the following week. Despite any recent gains, prices in most major producers were still around €30 per 100kg lower than a year before, with Spanish prices over €45 lower.