EU reference price falls below year earlier levels
In the four weeks ending 15 October, the EU reference price fell quite considerably by €17.24/100kg to €150.40/100kg.
This price series has recorded declines for eight consecutive weeks, although declines have been greater over the past four weeks. Furthermore, in the week ending 24 September, the EU average reference price slipped below year earlier levels and is now nearly €9/100kg lower year on year (week ending 15 October).
The rather steep drop in prices over the past month suggests that supplies of live pigs are greater than demand. In addition to domestic demand amongst the EU being relatively subdued, export demand is struggling too, driven namely by reductions in shipments to China.
On an individual country basis, pig prices in the EU’s top five producing countries all declined in the four week period. Out of the top five, Spain recorded the greatest drop in prices in the four weeks ending 15 October, falling €24.98/100kg to €147.71/100kg. Prices in Germany, the bloc’s largest pig meat producer, fell by €15.71/100kg, while the Polish reference price dropped by €19.19/100kg.
In euro terms, the UK reference price recorded a relatively smaller decline over the four-week period of just over €5/100kg, to €175.90/100kg. UK domestic prices have not experienced the same degree of downward pressure in recent weeks as continental Europe. With sterling virtually stable overall across the four-week period, in sterling terms the UK reference price dropped by around £5/100kg. Following from this, the gap between the UK and EU reference price has grown quite considerably over the past four weeks to €25.50/100kg, the largest since the start of 2017.
Millie Askew, Senior Analyst
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