The economic crisis in Greece is having a sharp impact on pigmeat prices, both within the country itself and, it appears, in the Netherlands, its major supplier in recent years, according to AHDB Pork.
While domestic pigmeat production in Greece is only in the region of 100,000 tonnes and consumption is among the lowest in the EU at around 30kg per head, the country is the third largest net importer in the EU. The Netherlands, meanwhile, is the leading supplier into Greece, accounting for almost half of shipments, with Germany and France also providing significant amounts.
“Until recently, Greek imports have been relatively stable, falling only marginally last year and in the first five months of 2015,” said AHDB Pork. “However, reports suggest that the recent crisis, with its controls on access to cash, have affected the ability of Greek importers to pay for product, meaning that trade has largely dried up.”
While this development is too recent to show up yet in official trade figures, the impact on pig prices is already clear.
“Since the end of May, the Greek reference price has risen by over €22 (£15.50) per 100kg, as the lack of imported pork leads to increased demand for domestic pigs,” said AHDB Pork, adding that this makes the Greek price the highest in mainland Europe.
“Over the same period, the fall in the Dutch price has been among the sharpest in the EU, although the extent to which this is due to the Greek situation is less certain.”