EU pig prices increase
The average price of pigs in the EU has been increasing since the end of March, continuing the general trend seen in 2015.
In the week ending 26 April, the average price reported to the EU Commission was just under €147 per 100kg, up €1.82 on the week and almost €6 on the level reported 4 weeks previously. In sterling terms the price increased more marginally, up just £2 per 100kg on the level seen four weeks earlier. Prices last April were more stable than those seen in 2015, and so the year on year price difference fell to €15 per 100 kg. It also meant the difference remains smaller than that at the start of the year. These gains are due to increased demand from processors, with most pigs coming forward being sold quickly. Prices were helped by fine weather across the continent resulting in the start of barbeque demand although this appears to have been short lived as the EU market is now falling away again.
Of the major producers Belgium saw the largest price gain in April compared to a month earlier up by €10 per 100kg. Large increases were also seen in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Denmark, all up by over €6. More modest gains of up to 3% were seen in Spain, the UK and France. Prices in all major producers remained at least €10 per 100kg below the levels seen in 2014, with Spain maintaining the largest gap, at €40 per 100kg down on 2014 levels. The premium received for pigs in the UK has fallen to almost €34 in the last month as the EU price increased by more than that in the UK. This time last year it amounted to €29.
The increases in prices have led the EU Commission to terminate from 29 April the Private Storage scheme that was opened on 9 March. This is due to reduced uptake following the recovery in prices in the past month. By 27 April 63,500 tonnes of pork had been contracted for with storage periods ranging from three to five months. This included 229 tonnes in the UK.