Mixed picture for EU pig meat consumption
Last year there were contrasting developments for household purchases of pig meat in the different major consuming countries.
Demand though was helped by somewhat stable retail prices given the fall in the finished pig market. In 2015, the expected ongoing favourable supply and price situation would suggest that pig meat consumption should hold up in the EU.
Germany is by far the largest pig meat market and although the average retail price of fresh pork was down by almost 2% household purchases still fell by 2%. The barbecue season was disappointing although demand was even subdued during the colder months of spring and autumn. Household purchases of processed products and average prices were down by a similar amount. Pig meat lost market share to beef last year although not to poultry meat. Italy is the second largest pig meat market and fresh pork purchases declined by as much as 6% in January-November in spite of no change in prices. In contrast salami purchases were up by 2% helped by a price decline of 3%. Families in particular cut back on their fresh pork purchase because their overall spending was under so much under pressure and some concerns about the health aspects of consuming pork.
In France, household purchases of fresh pork increased by over 1% in response to stable retail prices and unlike in previous years it took market share from other meats, even poultry meat, all of which experienced a decline in purchases. Household purchases of charcuterie, led by cooked ham, also held up and were unchanged on 2013. The Spanish meat market was especially difficult last year yet fresh pork household purchases were only down by 1% based on data to November taking market share from all other meats as total meat purchases were down by 4%. However, the processed meat market, a large proportion of which is pig meat based, was more difficult with volume purchases down by 6% even though retail prices were unchanged.