Private Storage Aid suspended prior to closure
The EU’s Private Storage Aid scheme for pig meat has been suspended as of 27 January, with the intention being to close the scheme. Some applications that were made before this date may be rejected.
The PSA scheme was opened on 4 January in an attempt to try and stem the falling pig prices throughout the EU and had been operational for three weeks. During that time, a substantial amount of pig meat was taken off the market – around 90,000 tonnes. This far exceeded the quantity of pig meat that entered last year’s scheme, which totalled 67,000 tonnes. Most of the meat is to be stored for a period of three months, at an estimated cost of €27.6 million. In total, 18 Member States have taken advantage of the scheme, with four countries accounting for over 75% of all applications.
15 Member States, of which the United Kingdom was one, voted for an early closure of the scheme. There is a risk, the commission believes, that if more meat is stored, it will cause an imbalance when it returns to the market later this year.
Early indications show that the EU average pig price has halted its decline experienced in 2015 and started to stabilise. Some Member States are also showing cautious signs of growth - for example Germany has experienced an increase of over €4 per 100kg between the start of the year and week ending 17 January. There is an inference that the PSA has had a role to play in this movement. However, it remains to be seen whether this positive price trend can be sustained post-PSA.