US pig prices rise as German prices fall

US pig prices have risen sharply since the summer, whilst German pig prices have declined sharply over the same period, according to AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins.

Since mid-September, the US Iowa/Minnesota carcase price has stayed at around $1.40-$1.45/kg (approximately €1.20/kg), the highest prices for this time of year since 2015 – a huge lift in comparison to June, when prices were little over $0.60/kg.

The German reference price has been about €1.32/kg for over a month, falling from from €1.52/kg in early September, following the discovery of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the wild boar herd, and falling from over €1.70/kg during the summer.

According to Interpig data, however, the disparity in prices are generally not entirely comparable between countries as on a like-for-like basis the two quotes would probably be even closer together with German producers typically facing larger deductions (e.g. for transport costs).

Ms Wilkins commented on the parallel shift: “Germany is a large exporter, so these restrictions on pork marketing have understandably dampened the value of German pigs. However, this also created an opportunity for other rival exporting nations, such as the US. ASF in Germany has therefore helped support the US pig market.”

She also said that it is difficult to see any potential upside for German pig prices, unless a regionalisation agreement is reached with China that allows pork to be shipped again.

She added: ” Usually, US pork is considerably cheaper than EU product, but the current developments mean that right now, the most competitively priced pork is probably much closer to home.”

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