EU pig prices: Focus on African swine fever outbreak in Belgium

This current week, decreasing quotations still are a daily occurrence on the European pigs-mature-for-slaughter market. In Belgium, especially, the pig prices are under pressure after an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) was confirmed in wild boar
calendar icon 26 September 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

All in all, producers and purchasers have been unnerved by the increasing quantities of pigs for slaughter on offer. Yet, according to various market estimates, this is not the sole decisive reason for the latest price decreases. The current situation has been mostly benefited from by the leading German slaughter companies who reduced their number of slaughters in order to build up pressure and improve their currently unprofitable margins. The corrected German quotation, for instance, went down by 15 cents within a three weeks’ period. The prices are also spiralling down in the Netherlands: 14 cents over a 14-week period.

The Spanish price fall was slightly more moderate. In Spain, the corrected quotations went down by 10 cents over a period of no more than three weeks. The Danish quotation, which had been bearing the red light until two weeks ago in the price structure of the five EU member countries most important in pig keeping, went down by a corrected 2.7 cents this week. The French quotation also has to cope with the first price decline after a phase of either increasing or steady prices.

In Belgium, the price development appears to be a lot more difficult because of the expected market upheavals resulting from the ASF outbreak. Purchase of Belgian hogs by German slaughter companies – who are particularly important for the Belgian producers – has been suspended. Other purchasers of Belgian pork are also jamming on the brakes. As a result, the Belgian quotation went down by a corrected 14 cents in one swoop.

(Source: ISN - Interessengemeinschaft der Schweinehalter Deutschlands)
1) corrected quotation: The official Quotations of the different countries are corrected, so that each quotation has the same base (conditions).
2) These quotations are based on the correction formulas applied since 01.08.2010.
base: 57 % lean-meat-percentage; farm-gate-price; 79 % killing-out-percentage, without value-added-tax

Trend for the German swine market

In view of the Belgian developments, German market participants are also unsettled, even if the local market development is not directly concerned. As is heard, marketing of German pigs for slaughter is going trouble-free, the quantities on offer may be placed completely. Because of the balanced market situation, a steady price development is still on the table.

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Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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