After 20 weeks of consecutive decline, the EU average pig reference price started to lift slightly in the run-up to Christmas, rising to nearly €133/100kg by the week ending 19 December.
AHDB lead analyst Bethan Wilkins pointed out, however, that while this is the highest level since the start of October, it is still very low by historical standards.
“Prices were also low in 2020, and this latest price is actually nearly €4 higher than in the equivalent week the year before, although this is more than €60 lower than two years ago,” she explained.
Most of the key producing Member States saw a rise in prices during the weeks before Christmas, except for Spain which saw a more volatile price trend. Dutch prices were also stable.
Over the latest 4-week period, the largest price increases were in northern Europe, with the Danish and German prices both up by around €3. Polish prices also saw a strong recover from mid-December.
The UK, by comparison, has continued to see falling prices, closing the price difference between the UK and EU average, which has narrowed from €44/100kg to €37/100kg over the latest 4-week period.
“Nonetheless, this price differential remains large by historic levels, and so although they’ve increasing, comparatively low EU prices may continue to exert downward pressure on UK prices in very near term,” Ms Wilkins added.