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Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Subdued retail sales suppress EU pig prices

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2015 \ July \ Subdued retail sales suppress EU pig prices

New analysis looks at consumption trends and retail sales in major EU markets.

As with all commodities, prices for pigs are largely determined by the balance between supply and demand. In the case of pigs, however, it is relatively easy to track supply levels but more difficult to measure demand. In the absence of better sources, total pig meat consumption is usually derived by balancing production, imports and exports. Between 2007 and 2013, EU consumption fell by around 3kg per person but since then it has begun to rise again. However, despite this, retail demand for pig meat in the main markets of the EU has remained under some pressure in 2014 and so far in 2015.

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This combination of apparently higher consumption and subdued retail sales, which is also apparent in the UK, suggests that an increasing proportion of pork is destined for more price-sensitive markets like foodservice or processed products. This combination explains why EU pig prices fell so sharply during 2014 and why they have remained stubbornly low this year.

To read more analysis of consumption trends and retail sales in major EU markets, click here.