Contrasting trends in EU pig prices
The EU average pig reference price as at week ended 13 September was up €5 compared with 4 weeks earlier, at €147 per 100kg.
Prices have edged up in recent weeks and are back to mid-June levels, having been mildly fluctuating but with no clear direction during the summer. Despite this small increase, the average price is still down by around 9%, or €15 per 100kg, on the same week last year. EU pig meat production in the first half of 2015 was up 5% on the year increasing supplies available but demand has been weak both within and outside of the EU. However, EU shipments of fresh and frozen pork have picked up lately, largely driven by strong import demand from China.
In recent weeks, prices in northern Europe have been performing better than in southern Member States. Over the latest four weeks, the German and Belgian prices both rose, by €11 and €8 respectively. The Danish and Dutch prices also gained by €3 and €10. In southern Europe, the Spanish and French prices fell, by around €7 and €4 per 100kg respectively, during this period. Increased production in Spain has meant pig meat supplies have been plentiful, while the end of the holiday season will have meant some reduction in demand.
The gap between UK and the EU average price has narrowed slightly in euro terms, to around €30 per 100kg, having been €42 per 100kg in mid-August. In sterling terms, the gap narrowed from 30p/kg to 22p/kg over the same period.