GLOBAL - Having risen to record levels through the middle of 2014, global pork prices had returned to more normal levels by the end of the year.
The price hikes were driven by the impact of PEDv on global supplies, affecting one of the major exporters (USA) and several key importers (Japan, Korea and Mexico, among others).
This took the average export price for pork (based on figures from the four major global exporters – EU, US, Canada & Brazil) to US$3.50 per kg over the summer, 13 per cent above the previous record of $3.12.
However, with the impact of PEDv waning and signs of production expanding in 2015, prices have subsided once again. By December, the average export value was down to $2.95, in line with levels for much of 2012 and 2013.
EU prices were largely unaffected by the rises elsewhere, mainly due to the Russian import ban, so EU pork was the cheapest in 2014, the reverse of the usual position.
However, Canadian prices fell sharply after it too was excluded from Russia in August and ended the year close to those of EU exporters. Brazilian export prices also fell rapidly at the end of the year as the depreciation of the rouble decreased the amount Russian buyers were willing to pay in US dollar terms.
Therefore, by December, US pork was the most expensive among major exporters. However, further falls in domestic prices in the New Year, taking them to a 5-year low, have brought the US into line with the other exporters.
Coupled with the US dollar strengthening against the euro, Canadian dollar and Brazilian real, this suggests that further falls in the global average price, in US dollar terms, are likely in early 2015, possibly taking values to their lowest level in over four years.
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