Expectations of a recovery in the EU pigmeat market in the short-term may be “premature” says AHDB Pork, basing its views on new figures shared during a European Commission (EC) pigmeat forecasting meeting held in Brussels on Monday this week.
Despite “widespread expectation” that many EU producers would either reduce their herds or leave the industry altogether this year, it’s now forecast that production won’t start to fall until the third quarter of 2016 and then only by a minimal amount.
New estimates from the forecasting group, coupled with official figures from member states which were not represented at the Monday meeting, actually show EU pig slaughterings in the first half of 2016 moving slightly higher than in the same period of 2015. After that, the latest forecasts show production starting to fall back, albeit only marginally in the third quarter.
The group also produced quarterly price forecasts for the coming year. These indicate a rise in value during the spring and summer, assuming reasonably favourable seasonal demand, but without prices increasing more than they did last summer.
“However, with supply tightening to some extent in the latter part of the year, prices are not expected to fall back as sharply as in the last two years, meaning they could move above year earlier levels,” said AHDB Pork. “How these trends affect the UK market, of course, will depend on the exchange rate between the pound and the euro.”
All of which means that the hoped for tightening of the EU market still looks to be some way off, unless there is a significant increase in demand.