EU pig prices start to recover
Throughout February the EU average pig reference price showed some significant upwards movement.
In the week ending 1 March, the average price reported by the EU Commission was €143 per 100kg dw, up nearly €4 on the week. For the four weeks to the 1 March, the average price had increased by over €12 per 100kg, although the weakening euro meant this was equivalent to just 7p/kg. The speed of such an upturn has not occurred since the middle of 2013 and it has narrowed the gap with prices this time last year to around €7 per 100kg, in contrast to a €30 difference at the start of 2015. This change in direction can in part be attributed to some tightening of supplies, although this may only be a short-term situation. Additionally, the recent weakening of the euro is aiding export opportunities for EU product, balancing out the impact of its continuing exclusion from the Russian market.
Spanish finished pig prices increased by over €12 per 100kg in February, while Germany also remained a driver of price trends, up €17 per 100kg. Belgium, France, Poland, the Netherlands and Austria also all increased by over €10 per 100kg and Danish prices rose by €8. Ireland, however, only recorded an increase by €2 in the month, meaning its price has fallen below the EU average for the first time since September.
In the coming weeks, the EU market will be influenced by the introduction of Private Storage Aid for pig meat, which came into force on Monday. The scheme provides aid of between €210 and €305 for storage periods of between 90 and 150 days, with minimum quantities of 10 tonnes for boned products and 15 tonnes for other products. It covers all pork carcases and cuts but not fats and other by-products, which are reported to be where there is currently the greatest oversupply. Therefore, the impact on pig prices may be limited.