EU weaner prices unusually stable
The EU 30kg weaner price hovered around €52/head during September. Although a decline of around €7 from the peak in June, this is a little higher than prices achieved in mid-August.
This is unusual, as weaner prices typically decline from a peak in spring to late autumn. The annual price differential has therefore increased, with the average price over €16 higher than 2018 in the latest week.
The weaner market typically follows the finished pig market, though the seasonality is timed differently. The continuing uplift in returns for finished pigs, also against the usual seasonal pattern, and falling feed prices have probably quelled the usual downward pressure. If this continues, it suggests that finishers are not expecting the finished market to fall as much this winter. This no doubt follows from the ongoing African Swine Fever crisis in Asia, generating a global pork shortfall.
There was some variation in trends between individual countries, which also influenced the relative stability overall. Prices in key EU weaner markets moved as follows between the end of June and September:
- Belgium -€9
- Denmark +€4
- France +€1
- Germany -€7
- Netherlands -€12
- Poland +€3
- Spain -€13
A noticeable feature here is the comparative strength of the Danish and Polish market. These markets are linked due to the export of Danish weaners to Poland. Imported weaner pigs remain important for the Polish industry, as domestic pig production continues to be hampered by ongoing African Swine Fever outbreaks.