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EU sow prices grow stronger

The latest market analysis from Duncan Wyatt at AHDB shows that sow prices in the European Union are rising alongside finished pig prices.

8 June 2021, at 8:45am

As finished pig prices in some key EU member states have risen, so have sow prices. In the German market, the average M1 sow price reached 128¢/kg at the end of May. The German price can be something of a guide for other member states; there has also been some increase in the Dutch price in recent weeks. However, the French price has not seen the second round of support. Sow slaughter in Germany is 3.1% lower than year earlier levels so far in 2021.

Reports from AMI suggest the amount of pork in store in Germany is high compared to last year, but it is hoped that summer demand will start to work through this. As such, any demand-side weakness could undermine further price increases in clean pigs and therefore sows. For now however, prices are being driven by shorter numbers of clean pigs.

The British sow market has been vulnerable to new checks and other administrative changes imposed at the border since the UK left the EU. Exporters have worked hard to overcome difficulties and British sow prices have improved too, compared with earlier in the year. Although, reports suggest that the lack of profitability in the finished pig market might mean the uplift in sow prices has presented an opportunity for some producers to exit. We will need to watch upcoming June survey data for more guidance.

Words: Duncan Wyatt, AHDB