UK Pig Prices Reach Record High (July 2009)

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in July 2009 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.
calendar icon 9 July 2009
clock icon 4 minute read

UK pig prices have hit record highs in recent months and reached 154.6p per kg at the end of June according to the Whole Hog.

The prices are 16 per cent higher than last year and nearly 55 per cent higher than 2006.

The prices are driven by tight supplies and high domestic demand and the Whole Hog says that there are no signs that the trend will weaken, although the Whole Hog says the prices are not likely to last through to the end of the year.

However, the Whole Hog says that the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation outlook forecasts a drop in trade and prices for pig meat this year.

It says that world pig meat production is expected to rise by two per cent to 106 million tonnes this year.

Global pig meat trade is expected to fall by seven per cent this year.

The Whole Hog says that the weakness of the global pig meat trade has had an impact on the pig price cycle.

It shows that the pig prices in all the three major exporters' domestic markets were down year on year.

World Meat Imports 2004 - 2009(f)

US Breeding Herd Falling

The US pig census for June shows a three per cent fall in the breeding herd year on year to 5.97 million.

The total number of pigs is down by two per cent despite a one per cent rise on the March figures, the Whole Hog reports.

US exports for pork cuts and variety meats for April showed a drop of 8.7 per cent on March and 9.5 per cent over the year.

Despite the monthly totals being down, the Whole Hog shows that over the whole year to date exports are up by 3.4 per cent.

Canadian exports, meanwhile, are relatively steady having fallen by just 0.2per cent between January and April, although the small change in numbers hides some large changes in exports to Russia, China and Hong Kong, the Whole Hog says.

Polish Processors Power Ahead

The Whole Hog places Poland as the fourth largest pig meat producer in the Europe, behind Germany, Spain and France, but shows the industry as being still fragmented as a throw back from the time before the country joined the EU, when it was one of the Eastern bloc countries.

The Whole Hog also shows that in the Euro zone producer prices are generally falling.

The average pig price last month was €149.87/100kg down by 8.7 per cent from June 2008. Only Spain and Germany saw their prices remain above the average.

Australian Trade Gap Widens

The gap between Australian exports and imports is widening, with the latest trends showing a drop in exports of more than 10 per cent and an increase in imports of more than 25 per cent.

Australia shipped 3,197 tonnes in March, up on the February figure by 0.2 per cent down on the same month last year.

Imports in March rose almost 100 per cent on March a year earlier, the Whole Hog shows.

Japanese imports fell back a little in the first quarter of this year by 1.1 per cent to 182,565 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the Whole Hog reports that the imports to South Korea were down more sharply.

They fell by 3.6 per cent in April compared to the same month in 2008 to 27,914 tonnes, with year to date figures down by 18.2 per cent to 98,015 tonnes.

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