Europe: Hog Markets

EU - After an apprehensive spring that has seen some price drops (thanks in part to the season), during the last few weeks, there has been a slight increase on the pork price (0.4 cent/kg) – the highest in two years, writes Javier Santamartina, Spain, Italy & Portugal Genesus Representative.
calendar icon 21 June 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

This increase in price of live pigs does not follow through to the packing plants, as they are still operating at very low margins.

One of the problems is the current higher prices of pork in Germany due to a shortage of hogs in this country. Russia’s ractopamine ban in countries like Canada, Brazil and the US is making Germany a quick pork supplier to Russia. Meanwhile Spain continues to freeze its pork.

Germany is also getting momentum in Poland by sending more market hogs to this country. Poland has liquidated 108,000 sows (from 1,113,000 sows to 1,005,000 sows) over the last year. Germany is helping to satisfy Polish demand.

France has a lack of pigs which is reflected on a strong increase of 5 Euro-cents per kilo and week and 12 Euro-cents per kg carcass over the last two weeks.

Italy is also beginning to see a higher price season as was projected. Improvement in price is expected.

On the other hand the cost of feed is apparently decreasing. Grain prices are declining in international markets and everybody expects decent crops this year, it does not look bad according to forecasts.

Due to the strengthening of the euro dollar and the rise in pig prices in North America, the difference of $0.40/kg we experienced in April has been reduced to $0.10/kg, which makes more competitive European meat and meat by-products to be exported to countries like China or Viet Nam.

Ultimately we are approaching to the best time of the year for price recovery. The downside is that we still face a weak domestic market due to the financial crisis and the restrictions on export to Russia which is compensated a little bit by the strength of the German market. The fact is the warmer weather is coming very fast with a lower offering of pigs, less growth in the finishing barns and higher demand for the BBQs.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of June 10, 2013
CountryDomestic price
(own currency)
US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)
USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 99.97 USD/lb carcass 73.98¢
Canada (Ontario) 1.84 CAD/kg carcass 65.12¢
Mexico (DF) 22.20 MXN/kg liveweight 77.99¢
Brazil (South Region) 2.59 BRL/kg liveweight 86.68¢
Russia 76 RUB/kg liveweight $1.08
China 13.37 RMB/kg liveweight 98.95¢
Spain 1.396 EUR/kg liveweight 84.85¢
Viet Nam 40,000 VND/kg liveweight 86.26¢
South Korea 4,359 KRW/kg liveweight $1.74
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