Cull sow prices in major EU markets have reached the highest levels since records began in 2014.
Throughout 2019, prices increased by around 75% and they have continued rising since the start of December, following the trend in the finished pig market.
With most GB cull sows destined for the export market (particularly Germany), domestic quotes tend to track German price trends, but at a lower level. This relationship has continued over the past year, AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins said.
“However, market reports suggest GB prices more than doubled during 2019, a relatively larger increase than that on the German market. Some of this effect will have been mitigated in sterling terms though, due to the weakening of the euro against the pound,” she said.
Since the turn of the year, prices have generally lost a few cents. Pork demand overall has been more subdued, with some cooling off in export trade reported.
In Germany, market pressure is reportedly exacerbated by the ongoing threat of ASF, with cases now found within 12km of the border. Despite this concern, in the first three weeks of the year, Germany slaughtered 13% fewer sows than a year earlier.