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German pig prices are rising despite lost Chinese sales

German pig prices are firming as restaurants reopen in the country as COVID-19 lockdowns ease and EU exports compensate for lost sales to China.

24 May 2021, at 10:26am

Reuters reports that German pig prices rose 10 cents to €1.54 per kg slaughter weight last week.

Prices stood as low as €1.21 per kg in February after being hit last year by widespread import bans after African swine fever (ASF) was found in Germany.

“German prices are being supported by some re-stocking by the food service industry against a tight supply background as the food service sector gets ready to open,” said Justin Sherrard, Global Strategist Animal Protein at Rabobank. “As supplies are tight, it doesn’t take much of a bump on the demand side to push prices up after a flat period.

“Relaxing lockdowns will change the consumption patterns, with consumption shifting from retail to the food service sector as restaurants and the rest of the hospitality sector is able to work again.”

A German meat trader added: “Summers with major football events traditionally generate more meat consumption, with barbecues a tradition - and the European football championships are starting in June.”

China and other Asian countries banned German pork imports in September after ASF was found in wild animals in Germany. This resulted in other EU countries increasing exports to China, while German sales to Europe increased.

“German pork exporters have done an incredible job of re-distributing their sales to Europe after the loss of Chinese and Asian markets last year,” Sherrard said. “Spain especially has strongly increased its exports to China in early 2021, taking over a lot of the pork volume previously sold by Germany, along with some more moderate increases by the Netherlands and Denmark.

“Germany has taken over gaps left in other EU countries.”

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