EU pig prices increased during the four weeks to June 22, reaching their highest point for the year so far at 171.10c/kg (136.24p/kg).
This was about 3.98p/kg higher than the start of the month and close to June 2013 levels, but was still well below the peak recorded last September. Strong orders from Asia have helped to mitigate the loss of the Russian export market.
Improving weather conditions have brought the barbecues out in northern Europe, stimulating demand here. The onset of the holiday season will also have helped demand in southern Europe. This led to prices resuming their upward trend as May gave way to June.
With prices rising again, the gap between EU and UK prices narrowed to 21.5p/kg in the latest week, down from 32.7p/kg in March. The gap would have been narrower still but for the strong pound, which has added about 6.7p/kg to the UK price in euro terms since the turn of the year.
Prices across all the key Member States rose during the last four weeks, with increases ranging from around 3.98-7.96p/kg. For example, Dutch and Belgian prices recorded the largest increases, up by 7.96p/kg in the four-week period. After a slowdown in late May, pig prices in France and Spain showed an increase of 4.78-6.37p/kg in the past three weeks.
As well as improving demand, tight supplies in the EU helped push prices up across the continent, where the largest pig producer, Germany, also recorded a 6.37p/kg increase in the four week period ended June 22.