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EU pig prices continue their decline

New data shows that the average pig price in the European Union has fallen by 4%, continuing the decline that began in mid-June.

12 October 2021, at 8:56am

Analysis from AHDB finds that EU pig prices have continued to decline in recent weeks. In the last four weeks, the EU average price has fallen by 4%, with most member states posting a decline. By the week ended 26 September, the average reference price had dropped to €136.08/100kg. The average as now been falling for 15 consecutive weeks and has lost over €30 (18%) in that time. Prices are now back to levels last seen in February, more than €5 below the same week last year, and about €45 below 2019 levels.

Falling prices have been driven by strong supply levels across Europe, while export demand from Asia has weakened and demand within the EU remains difficult to stimulate.

EU prices are currently low by historic standards. The strong Chinese demand that had been offering price support in previous years has weakened, and the outlook for this trade going forward is uncertain. It remains to be seen whether stronger Chinese pork production this year can be maintained, or whether culling due to disease concerns or poor profitability has offered a temporary extra supply boost.

The gap between the EU average reference price and the UK price has remained particularly wide since the end of August. The UK price was generally about €44/100kg higher throughout September, a level not seen since 2015. For some member states, the difference is even larger, including some that are major suppliers of UK pig meat imports. The latest Dutch price is only €118.45/100kg, €62 less than the UK average. EU product is currently particularly price-competitive compared to British pork, and this would be expected to exert further price pressure here.

Words: Bethan Wilkins