EU prices rise despite falls in Germany
Following falls seen shortly after Christmas, there has been some modest recovery in the average EU pig price in the past few weeks.
Prices increased by €0.86 over the past four weeks to €152.73/100kg by week ending 5 February, following tighter supplies.
As prices at this stage last year saw sharper rises, the gap compared to 2016 has continued to narrow. However prices are still €24 higher than the same week last year. Prices have seen some volatility in the last four weeks, seeing rises at the beginning of the period followed by falls before prices began to rise again at the end.
Prices in Germany, the most influential producing nation actually fell, down €0.69 to 157.49/100kg in the four weeks to 5 February. Tight supplies of live pigs so far this year have not yet been seen in price trends. This is because requirements from slaughtering companies have been limited following weak demand in the New Year. The German price falling has an impact on the overall average EU price, as it has the highest weighting in its calculation. Prices also declined in Denmark, however the overall EU price increase was driven by rises seen in French and Spanish prices.
In euro terms, the UK reference price also declined in the four weeks ending 5 February as demand continued to fall following Christmas. Volatility in the pound/euro exchange rate has continued, with the pound strengthening against the euro during the period and hence also contributing to the fall in the UK price.
Mark Kozlowski - Senior analyst