Recent weeks have seen a reversal of fortunes in the EU pig market, according to BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly.
Having risen steadily since May, the EU average price reached a peak in the first week of September at over 195 per 100kg. This was the highest level it had reached apart from during the FMD outbreak in March 2001.
However, since then the price has fallen back by nearly 16 in six weeks to stand at 179.83 in week ended October 19.
The change of trend has been driven by a reported increase in the supply of pigs in recent weeks, relieving the tight supply situation that had prevailed over the summer. This is partly because pigs whose growth was slowed during the heat of the summer have now come to market.
The recent price fall was initially most apparent in northern Europe, precipitated by a drop in the German price, which fell by 14 in the three weeks to September 22. The exception was Denmark, where robust export markets kept prices steady through most of September.
Further south, prices remained stable or even increased until late September, but have since matched the falls seen a few weeks earlier further north.
The UK was one of the few member states where prices were still rising. As a result, the UK price premium opened up to nearly 16p/kg in the latest week. However, this was still smaller than in May, before EU prices started rising, when the gap was more than 20p.