EU Pig Prices: pork rally across Europe

Recent increases in pork prices have surprised the German market and it looks like other EU members are also feeling a positive push.
calendar icon 18 April 2019
clock icon 4 minute read

The recent pork price increase of 33 cents in just five weeks have probably amazed all market participants. There has not been such an increase in recent history. A look at the ISN pig price comparison shows that this rally also took place in the other EU member states.


Spain is pioneering the positive market prices. According to ISN, euphoria in the market sparked as early as calendar week seven, about four weeks earlier than in central Europe. Already in February, increased activities of Chinese importers were reported here. The expansion of slaughtering hooks and a decline in pork supply additionally fuelled demand. The price increase since the beginning of the year is 40 cents per kg slaughter weight.


The delight of the French farmers over the prices, which have risen by 21 cents since the beginning of the year, is offset by the loud complaints of the local slaughtering industry. By comparison, the increase was small. One reason is that the French are far less present on the export markets in Asia than, for example, the Spaniards, Dutch, Danes or Germans. Nevertheless, the price hike also has a good side for the French pork industry: the pressure of the Spaniards on the local meat market is likely to slow noticeably in the coming months.

Germany and the Netherlands

A remarkable 37 cents have been added to prices for Germany and their Dutch neighbours since the beginning of the year until week 15. It started very slowly. An oversupply on the market, heavy pigs and full freezers dominated the reporting at the beginning of the year. With the demand of the Chinese on the market and a decrease in the supply of slaughter pigs, the increase took its course.


Despite the enormous focus on global export markets, the Danish listing is currently following the trend in the rest of Europe. The price has risen 31 cents since the beginning of the year. That's nine cents less than in Spain and six cents less than in Germany. The reasons are not clear. Will the company DanishCrown bring its last good balance sheets back on track? Due to the tendering obligations of the Danish farmers to DanishCrown, the competition will certainly fall by a long way. Farmers in integrative systems, where integrators still have significant market power, should benefit less in the current market phase. This should also make German farmers think in terms of market developments in the top 10 of the slaughter companies.

Overall outlook

If the supply remains as tight as in the past few weeks, the price peak is unlikely to be reached this spring. The barbecue season and holidays in May are yet to come. The reports from China also suggest that the stocks there are considerably decimated, however, the currently below-average supply in Europe may still have something to do with the summer heat of 2018. A normalisation of supply numbers over the coming weeks would not come as a surprise. Therefore, it is currently necessary to maintain tact in marketing and not to overheat the market.

The full European market report can be accessed at ISN -

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