EU pig prices still falling
The close of the year did not bring good news for European pig producers and the New Year has brought no change, with prices averaging €131 per 100kg in the week ended 11 January, down €28 on this week last year.
The close of the year did not bring good news for European pig producers, with continual price drops seen in most of 2014, concluding at an average for €135 per 100kg dw during the 4 weeks ending 28 December. This is about €25 less than in the first month of the year. Pressure has been kept on the market by disease issues, the Russian ban and, latterly, ample supplies. Average prices did recover a little from April to July, in part as opportunities arose while US exports were limited by PEDv losses and markets expanded in Asia. However, this was short lived, with prices consistently falling week on week from August onwards. Slaughterings were up in many key markets as producer efficiency carried on moving forwards but demand has not grown to absorb this additional production. As such, 2014 prices persistently tracked below 2013. The New Year has brought no change, with prices averaging €131 per 100kg in the week ended 11 January, down €28 on this week last year.
While the downward trend was seen across the board, key producing countries have played a large role in driving the declines; many have dropped around €10 in the last 2 months, including the UK. German prices ended 2014 at €135 per 100kg, €22 lower than a year earlier, and fell again in the New Year. Danish, Belgian and Dutch prices have shown similar movements over the last 12 months but prices have been stable in the former in the early weeks of 2015. The UK remains the highest priced major producer, ending 2014 at €180 per 100kg. As the EU average price has fallen, the UK has managed to retain its premium, expanding the gap between the two prices from an average of €14 in 2013 to €35 in 2014. The gap might increase further following the weakening of the euro last week, after the Swiss Franc was decoupled from it. This could be enough to push the EU average price below £1/kg in sterling terms for the first time since early 2008.