EU pig prices continue to weaken

Thursday, 3 December 2020

By Bronwyn Magee

EU pig prices have continued to decline in recent weeks. Since our last update, prices have dropped back a further €6 in the three weeks to 22 November, averaging €133.81/100kg. The further decline follows as the volume of pork available on the EU market continues to increase, with the ban on German pork exports to China still firmly in place. Furthermore, demand patterns continue to be disrupted by COVID-19, adding further pressure to EU pig prices, and volatility and uncertainty to wholesale pork markets.

In the three weeks to 22 November, the German price fell by over €4, to average €127.06/100kg. This the lowest the measure has been in at least the last five years. As Germany dominates the EU average price, this decline has also weighed on prices in other EU countries. 

In Denmark, which also has a large influence on the EU market, the price has also fallen in recent weeks. While the demand for Danish pork remains steady in Asia, prices stand at the lowest recorded since March 2019.

Prices in Spain and France have followed a similar pattern, with the Spanish price falling by over €8 during this period, due to the number of pigs available outweighing demand. While throughput has recently increased, this over supply of pork is likely to continue to negatively impact prices. Despite Spain continuing to export to China, further price reductions are expected in coming weeks. In France, usual demand patterns have continued to be disrupted, resulting from loss of foodservice due to the recent national lockdown.

The UK price is the exception, remaining relatively steady in the weeks to 22 November in euro terms, with UK contract prices slower to react to market conditions. Despite this, issues at processors resulting from COVID-19 and a backlog of pigs, against a background of European oversupply, are expected to continue to impact prices in the coming weeks.

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