EU pig prices slide back once festive demand over
The rises seen in the EU average pig price from November to December were short lived, with prices falling by €3.25 over the past four weeks to €151.88/100kg by the week ended 8 January.
With prices falling at a slower rate at the same point a year earlier the gap has narrowed. Prices though are still nearly €26 up on the same week in 2016. The majority of the decline over the month was between week ended the 18 December and 25 December, when the Christmas procurement period would have ended and demand would have tailed off somewhat.
Prices in the most influential producing nation Germany, saw a drop of nearly €6 in the four weeks ending 8 January at €158.18/100kg. The fall in the German price is mainly due to pressure from slaughtering companies as they cut prices because their throughput requirement fell back. Likewise, this is having an impact on the overall average EU price as it has the highest weighting in its calculation. Price reductions were also seen in other major producers such as Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and Poland, despite some strengthening over the most recent week. There was also a small price recovery in Germany in the same week because of tight pig supplies but is only temporary as prices fell in the week ended 15 January.
In euro terms the UK reference price also declined in the four weeks ending 8 January driven by a tail off in demand following the festive period. Furthermore, over the same time period, its currency remained volatile with sterling weakening further against the euro, adding pressure to the UK reference price. In sterling terms the UK reference price recorded a more modest decline, compared to other key EU countries.
Millie Askew, Analyst
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