Tough price year for EU pork at least has “new markets” benefit

The experience of being the lowest-priced exporters this year has at least helped the EU pig industry find alternative markets for the pork which it previously sent to Russia, according to BPEX.

More used to being the highest priced exporters in the global marketplace, the EU industry had to settle for only a slight price rise this year while global pork prices in total reached “unprecedented levels”.

The difference between EU and global trends was due to the first Russian ban which was imposed on EU pigmeat supplies in January 2014.

At one point the global average reached $3.50 per kg, 20% higher than a year earlier.

“Prices began to rise in March as the impact of PEDv began to hit slaughter pig numbers in the US, Mexico and Asia, meaning both a tightening of supplies and an increase in demand on the global market,” said BPEX.

Since then, of course, prices have fallen back.

“The recent price decline has been driven by two main factors: the Russian ban on imports from the US and Canada (as well as the EU) and the lower than expected impact of PEDv in the US, given heavier carcase weights,” said BPEX, adding that the Russian ban had a particularly strong effect on Canadian export prices, with US export prices also being driven lower, mainly by a fall in domestic prices.”

While noting that, unlike the other major players, EU exporters have not seen the benefit of higher prices, BPEX added that this did at least mean that the EU had been “helped” in terms of finding replacement markets for pork which would, in previous years, have been sent to Russia.

Access BPEX report

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