Have EU pig prices stopped falling?

Monday, 1 June 2020

By Bethan Wilkins

EU pig prices made a small gain in the latest week ended 24 May, having been falling since early March. The EU average price increased by just over €1 on the week, to stand at €159.42/100kg. Except for the previous week, this was still the lowest price since April 2019 and €15 lower than the equivalent week last year though.

The slight upturn comes as European market reports indicate an improvement in both national and international meat sales. Underlying Asian demand remains strong, and some EU catering outlets are now reopening. Nonetheless, much of the continent still reports difficulties with backlogs of pigs, and with ongoing uncertainty around coronavirus developments, the market remains finely balanced. Further price increases can’t be guaranteed soon, and will partly depend on how management of COVID-19 fares over the coming weeks.

Prices movements in the latest week were varied between the major producing states. The largest rise was in Poland (+€8.61) but prices in Germany also increased (+€2.79). The German price is particularly influential, and may support some other countries in the coming week. Elsewhere prices were still falling, particularly in Spain, which lost €3.55 over the week.

With UK prices falling in euro terms, due to the weakening pound, the premium over the EU average fell to €24.78 in the latest week. This is still large in comparison to 4 weeks ago, when it was just €9, and of course, EU prices were above the UK for much of last year. However, in historic terms the price differential is not particularly large. Between 2014 and 2018, the difference between UK and EU pig prices was €25 on average.

Bethan Wilkins

Senior Analyst - Red Meat

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