The premium received for pigs in the UK over the EU average remained relatively stable during March at the equivalent of £27.76 per 100kg according the latest EU trends analysis by BPEX.
Noting that the recent stabilisation of the euro is likely to have contributed to the similarly stable price gap, BPEX added that the March trend could be expected to continue during the next month as currency markets wait for the result of the UK general election.
The overall picture for the week ending March 29, saw average prices, as reported to the European Commission, up slightly on the week at just under 141 (£103) per 100kg. However, this was almost £1.50 down on the price reported four weeks earlier, with the slight strengthening of the euro in March reducing the fall in sterling terms.
“Since prices were rising last March, this has increased the year-on-year difference in prices to 16 (£11.70) per 100kg, although this is well below the annual falls recorded from the autumn through to early 2015,” said BPEX.
“The latest fall in prices is being attributed to an increase in supplies coming to market due to the reduced number of slaughter days during the Easter period, while demand for pigs has been limited by the cooler weather in Northern Europe.”
As usual, German finished prices were the main driver of price trends, falling by more than £4.35 per 100kg during March, with Dutch, Belgian, Austrian and Polish prices also down by around £3.
Not all prices followed the German trend, however, with prices in Denmark, France, Spain and Ireland all recording increases.