EU pig prices fall in May
In early May, the average price of pigs in the EU fell following increases seen in April but in the most recent week prices started to increase.
In the week ending 24 May, the average price reported to the EU Commission was just under €142 per 100kg, up €1.23 on the previous week, but almost €5 down on four weeks earlier. Increases in prices seen in May 2014 mean the gap compared to last year has increased to around €22 per 100kg but this remains smaller than the difference seen at the start of the year. In sterling terms, prices fell 3.5p/kg compared to the level seen four weeks earlier. However, the strengthening of the pound against the euro means prices are currently almost 31p/kg lower than the same period last year. Prices fell as subdued demand, both domestically and for export, led processors to reduce levels purchased. However tightening supplies in recent weeks helped prices to begin to recover.
Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands recorded the largest fall in prices among the major producers in May, with prices down by over €8.50 per 100kg compared to a month earlier. Prices in Germany were down by over €5 but those in Spain were only down by €1. Prices in the UK and Ireland saw marginal gains, in euro terms, while quotes in Denmark were stable. Prices in all major producers were over €14 per 100kg lower than the same point a year ago, with Spain remaining the furthest behind 2014 levels, being down by over €33. The premium received for pigs in the UK increased to almost €40 per 100kg (28p/kg) in the last month as the EU price fell while prices in the UK rose. This time last year it amounted to €32.