Mixed impact across EU as German price stabilises following ASF export bans

There has been a mixed impact on markets across Europe from the export bans imposed on Germany following the discovery of African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar in the Brandenburg region, according to AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins. 

The German VEZG pig price remained unchanged for a third week, at €1.27/kg for the week ended 23 September.

“There are undoubtedly challenges in the supply chain with marketing products that are less desirable in the EU and are traditionally exported to Asia,” Ms Wilkins said.

“Reports indicate some products are going into storage because of this. There is perhaps some optimism in Germany that the international market may eventually begin to accept a regional approach to ASF-related trade restrictions.

“The farmgate price does not seem to be experiencing further downward pressure at this time, suggesting supply and demand are reasonably balanced overall for now.

“Slaughter is still limited by slaughterhouse operations, although (looking at reports from AMI) it now seems there is also an intentional effort to slaughter fewer animals due to the slump in demand. Of course, this will ultimately add to a backlog of pigs that will need to be slaughtered eventually.”

Elsewhere in Europe, the effect on markets has been somewhat mixed, she added, as other EU exporters are still able to benefit from strong demand for pork in China.

Reports indicate that there is particular demand in Spain from slaughterhouses with China approval. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the Vion 54% price actually increased by 3 eurocents to €1.47/kg for the week ended September 27.

“Nonetheless, most prices seem to be broadly stable overall. It remains to be seen how attractive low-priced German pork will be to other European importers,” Ms Wilkins said.

A number of countries, including China, Singapore, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and South Africa have now imposed ban on German pork imports, AHDB analyst Bethan Wilkins said. German pork was also already banned from the Philippines because of ASF fears in mid-2019.

Germany was the third biggest source of pork for China, shipping nearly 200,000 tonnes there in the first four months of 2020 and supplying about 14% of China’s pork imports so far this year. German exports to China worth around €1 billion (£910 million) annually. Some of the other countries on the list also import large volumes from Germany.

 

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.