Subdued retail sales of pigmeat across Europe, despite rising overall levels of consumption, is one of the main reasons why pig prices have remained “stubbornly low” this year, says AHDB Pork.
Drawing on the results of a detailed analysis of consumption trends and retail sales in major EU markets, AHDB Pork reports that retail demand for pigmeat remains under pressure in Europe, even though consumption has begun to rise again.
“This combination of higher consumption and subdued retail sales, which was also apparent in the UK, suggests that an increasing proportion of pork is being eaten in foodservice or as processed products,” said AHDB Pork, observing that these markets are “generally much more price sensitive than the retail market”.
“Therefore, in order for them to absorb the increased amount of pork available, the price inevitably has to fall.”
With Germany, France, Italy and Spain all showing similar consumption/retail trends, AHDB Pork reaches a fairly downbeat conclusion.
“For prices to pick up, either supplies need to tighten, unlikely before the end of the year, at least, or retail sales will need to increase,” it said, adding that with the EU economy still struggling, this doesn’t seem particularly likely either.
“Therefore, the outlook for EU pig prices still seems fairly pessimistic, with an inevitable knock-on effect on the UK market.”