EU prices retreat from near-record highs

There has been a reversal of fortunes in EU pig market in recent weeks with prices starting to weaken following near-record highs.

Having risen steadily since May, the EU average price reached a peak in the first week of September at £1.64/kg, which was the highest level it has reached since the FMD outbreak in March 2001.

However, since then the price has fallen back by more than 4p in two weeks to stand at £1.60/kg for the week ended 22 September.

BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly reports that the change has been driven by an increase in the supply of pigs in recent weeks, relieving the tight supply situation that had prevailed over the summer. This is partly because pigs whose growth was slowed during the heat of the summer are now coming to market.

The price fall has been particularly apparent in northern member states, precipitated by a drop in the German reference price, which fell by 11p/kgin the three weeks to 22 September. The exception was Denmark, where robust export markets kept prices steady through most of September.

Further south, prices remained stable or even increased until the latest week, when most eased back slightly.

The UK was one of the few member states where prices were still rising in mid-September. As a result, having briefly been below the EU average, the UK price re-established its premium in September, with the gap opening up to 7p/kg in the latest week. This, however, is still smaller than the premium during most of the spring and early summer

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