Global pork prices could slide to a four-year low this year

Global pork prices returned to “more normal levels” at the end of 2014, having risen to record levels through the middle of year, but could now be heading for “further falls”, according to BPEX.

Noting that by December, the average export value was once again in line with the levels seen for much of 2012 and 2013, BPEX has warned that further falls in the global average price are likely, possibly taking values to their lowest level in over four years.

The mid-2014 rise in global values, hitting record levels at the time, was driven by the impact of PEDv on global supplies, which affected the USA, as a major exporter, and several key importers, such as Japan, Korea and Mexico.

“This took the average export price for pork, based on figures from the four major global exporters, EU, US, Canada & Brazil, to US$3.50 per kg (£2.32/kg) over the summer, 13% above the previous record,” said BPEX.  “However, with the impact of PEDv waning and signs of production expanding in 2015, prices have subsided once again.”

With EU prices being largely unaffected by the rises elsewhere, mainly due to the Russian import ban, EU pork was the cheapest in 2014, the reverse of the usual position. However, Canadian prices fell sharply after it too was excluded from Russia in August and ended the year close to those of EU exporters.

Brazilian export prices also fell rapidly at the end of the year as the depreciation of the rouble decreased the amount Russian buyers were willing to pay in US dollar terms. Therefore, by December, US pork was the most expensive among major exporters.

“Since then, however, further falls in domestic prices in the New Year, taking them to a five-year low, have brought the US into line with the other exporters,” said BPEX.

“Coupled with the US dollar strengthening against the euro, Canadian dollar and Brazilian real, this suggests that further falls in the global average price, in US dollar terms, are likely in early 2015, possibly taking values to their lowest level in over four years.”

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