EU pig prices fall steadily
The EU average pig reference price has steadily declined over the past month.
For the week ended 29 April, the average price reported by the EU Commission was €143.08/100kg, a modest decline of €1.82/100kg from four weeks earlier and €28/100kg below the same week in the year before. This ongoing decline was not unexpected, as demand for pork is reportedly weak both domestically and on the export markets, with product particularly struggling to compete with low domestic pork prices in China. In addition, forecasts anticipate EU pig meat production will be slightly higher this year than in 2017. Supplies available therefore currently exceed demand, bringing pig prices under pressure.
Looking at the major producers individually, most recorded declines in the reference price over the four weeks ended 29 April. The French reference price reported the most significant change over the four week period, falling €5.00/100kg to €130.00/100kg in the most recent week. Germany, the Netherlands and Spain also reported declines in price over the month. Conversely, the Danish reference price was broadly stable, and Poland actually reported a small increase over the same period.
The UK reference price remained relatively stable over the past four weeks, rising marginally by €0.35/100kg. This is in line with the change in sterling terms over the same period, as April opened and closed with the value of sterling against the euro at a similar level. As the overall EU price has declined throughout April, the gap between the UK and EU average reference price has therefore been widening. In sterling terms, the UK price stood 19p above the EU average at 144.27p/kg in week ended 29 April. This is the largest UK price premium since February, but remains smaller than the difference recorded throughout Q4 last year.
Felicity Rusk, Trainee Analyst