EU prices remain under pressure
Having recently attempted to push above €150 per 100kg for the fourth time this year, the EU average pig reference price has again fallen back, as there was insufficient demand to justify the higher price at current levels of supply.
By week ended 11 October, the average price was back to just over €143 per 100kg, close to the average for the year to date. This is now less than a euro below the price a year ago, the smallest gap since June 2014. Three weeks earlier, the price had reached nearly €149, the second highest quote of the year but, as had happened with previous peaks, this price level couldn’t be sustained. With EU pig supplies remaining relatively plentiful and consumer demand subdued, the market is still pressured. The Russian ban remains firmly in place while some other export markets are cooling, although this is being mitigated by strong demand from China.
While most major producers recorded falling prices over the last month, the drops were most severe in southern member states. For example, Spanish prices dropped by nearly €10 per 100kg in the four weeks to 11 October, while Italian and French quotes were down by €9 and €8 respectively. Further north, prices in Germany were only €4 lower over the same period, while Dutch and Polish ones fell slightly more. However, the overall weakness wasn’t replicated in Denmark, where prices in the latest week were €3 higher than 4 weeks before, although they had stabilised in the more recent weeks.
With UK prices falling recently and a slight strengthening of the euro against the pound, the gap between UK and EU reference prices narrowed slightly, to below €29 per 100kg (21p/kg) in the latest week. While this is a smaller gap than for most of the last year, it remains high by historical standards.