EU pig prices moving down
The last four weeks have been mixed for the EU average pig price.
During the first two weeks, the average was creeping upwards, and reached €152.26/100kg in the week ended 2 September. However, the price has subsequently slipped by over €5, falling to €147.08/100kg for the week ending 16 September. Overall, the current price therefore stands €2.70 below four weeks ago. The discount on 2017 prices stands at €20.57/100kg.
In Germany, the price declined by €5.83 over the four week period, to €150.75/100kg in the latest week. Poland and the Netherlands recorded similar decreases, to €144.21/100kg and €126.90/100kg respectively. Meanwhile, Belgium and Spain recorded more modest declines overall, while conversely, France and Denmark actually recorded increases in the average price. The Danish price reached €132.38/100kg in week ending 16 September, up €2.42 on four weeks prior, and prices in France rose a substantial €7, to €140/100kg.
In the UK prices have remained broadly stable in both sterling and euro terms. In the week ended 16 September the UK price had slipped 0.71p compared to four weeks ago, to 147.48p/kg. In euro terms the price is €165.40/100kg, a decline of less than half a euro, reflecting some modest strengthening of the pound. Overall, this does mean the premium received by British producers has increased to around €18/100kg in the latest week, though this remains low in a historic context.
Reports suggest supplies are picking in in Europe, with rising numbers of slaughter pigs and increasing carcase weights. Without a concurrent increase in pig meat demand, prices have begun to fall.
More recently, African swine fever (ASF) has been discovered in Belgian wild boar (click here to read more). While the most recent week of EU reference prices does not cover the period following the announcement of the outbreak, reports have indicated that this has contributed to further price declines, particularly in Belgium. Some Belgian pigs are typically slaughtered in the Netherlands and Germany, however reports indicate this has at least partly ceased, which may make it difficult to market all the available Belgian slaughter pigs.
The proximity of the ASF outbreak to other key EU pig producers is also a concern, and neighbouring processors are reportedly reluctant to build up stocks in case of further spread. As such, demand for frozen pork is likely to decline, which could further affect EU pig prices.
Rebecca Oborne, Analyst
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