EU pig price decline decelerates
EU pig prices continued to decline over the previous four-week period, albeit at a slower pace.
The EU average reference price fell almost €6/100kg over this period to stand at €145.99/100kg for week ended 12 November. This was the lowest price since June 2016. However, prices in the most recent week recorded only a modest decline of less than €1/100kg, which might perhaps be a sign they are now starting to stabilise.
Increasing supplies have been behind the downwards price pressure in Europe in recent weeks, with both export and domestic retail demand remaining lacklustre. However, market reports suggest demand on the EU meat market may now be experiencing some seasonal uplift, which could help support the price.
Notably, on the key German market, prices only reported a decline of €0.14/100kg in the most recent week (ended 12 November), settling at €149.20/100kg. Danish prices were also stable on the week, and negligible changes were reported for the Netherlands and Poland. In fact, of the key markets, only Spain continued to post a significant decline and dropped over €3/100kg during the week. The slowdown in exports to China is reportedly impacting the Spanish market at the moment, pushing available supplies ahead of demand.
For the UK, pig prices reported a similar trend to the rest of the EU and declined more modestly during the four weeks leading to 12 November. At €173.21/100kg, the UK average price fell €2.69/100kg during the period. Some strengthening of the pound also helped minimise the price decline in euro terms. As such the gap between the EU and UK reference price widened during the past four weeks, and has stood at over €27/100kg for the past two weeks. This is a level not seen since the beginning of 2016. The increased price competitiveness of European pigs could mean the UK faces increasing pressure from imported product, at least in the short term.
Bethan Wilkins, Analyst
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