EU pig prices continue to fall in October

Continuing a trend which began in June, the EU average pig reference price continued to fall into October.

In the latest week ended 24 October prices stood at €129.44/100kg, the lowest figure since February and over 20% lower than the peak in June, according to a report from AHDB senior analyst Bethan Wilkins.

“The current price levels are particularly weak, standing 16% lower than the five-year average for the time of year,” she commented, noting that the market reports continue to suggest that the number pigs available exceeds buying interest.

The previously strong Chinese export market has diminished, leaving more pork to be traded in the domestic market where demand remains low.

“Without some stimulus from the export market, it is difficult to see the situation changing significantly in the short to medium term,” said Ms Wilkins.

EU average pig reference prices chart for 2019-2021

Danish prices have been relatively stable compared to other Member States, however prices fell more sharply earlier in the season.

The UK has not seen prices fall at the same rate as the rest of the EU across the second half of the year, and so the gap between UK and EU average pig prices has significantly widened.

Ms Wilkins noted difficulty for the price-competitiveness of British product, meaning UK prices may come under more pressure in the coming weeks.

In Spain, prices have continued to fall more than the overall EU average, dropping by 10% in the latest 4-week period. The latest average for the week ended 24 October is €130/100kg, a stark contrast to the €190/100kg figure achieved during the summer peak.

“Spain is a key exporter to non-EU destinations, and this highlights the impact of the weakening Chinese market,” added Ms Wilkins.

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