Tight EU pig supply predicted to continue

Pig supplies in the EU are expected to remain tight until at least the middle of 2014, according to the latest issue of BPEX’s Pig Market Weekly.

Quoting figures from the European Commission’s forecasting working group on pig meat, the publication said that slaughterings fell by more than 1% in the first half of 2013, but the decline is expected to be larger in the second half of the year.

According to forecasts, throughputs in the second half of this year are set to be between 3-4% lower than in the same period last year. This is largely the result of the decline in the breeding herd that has contracted due to a combination of poor profitability and new welfare regulations.

Reduced slaughterings are expected to continue into the first half of 2014, although with a smaller fall of 1% forecast.

The working group also considered the likely impact on pig prices and, given recent price falls, the overall view was that prices would remain subdued in the short-term as cash-strapped consumers switch from pork to chicken.

Prices are expected to stabilise towards the end of the year and into 2014, before beginning to rise again, although this is partly dependent on the weather being better than it was in spring 2013.

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