BELGIUM, Brussels. The re-start of the Tönnies plant at Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany, was also received with relief in other EU countries.
This was particularly true for pig farmers in Belgium, who now hope to be able to sell more animals abroad again. After sharp reductions in the previous weeks, slaughter pig prices in Belgium have remained stable recently. In the Netherlands, too, the fall in prices came to a halt last week. In France, pig marketing was disrupted by the national holiday on 14 July, but there were no major surpluses. With quite good demand for meat, the Marché du Porc Breton quotation fell by "only" 1.1 c to €1.293 per kg cw compared to the previous week. In France, however, there are fears that the resumption of pork production at Tönnies with a simultaneous export ban to China could burden the EU meat market.
In Austria, the largest pig slaughterhouse in Lower Austria had to close its doors last week due to frequent corona infections of employees. According to the Association of Agricultural Processing Producers (VLV), the weekly slaughtering of about 5,000 animals could be diverted to other farms without market pressure, however. The quotation in Austria remained unchanged at €1.50 per kg cw with a largely balanced live market.
Denmark's market leader Danish Crown (DC) reported that the European pork market is slowly calming down again after a month of unrest. There was a large supply on the domestic market, but meat prices were now partially stabilising. In third country trade, DC reported good sales to Japan and steady deliveries to China. The company left its purchase price for slaughter pigs unchanged.
In Spain, on the other hand, the price on the Mercolleida fell by 2.2 c to €1.30 per kg live weight (lw). The Mercolleida reported that a seasonally decreasing supply of live pigs was countered by difficult international meat sales with aggressive price offers from competitors in the EU. The situation on the meat market and the growing price difference to other member states in recent weeks were the main reasons for the drop in quotations. Only Italy was able to report a price increase for slaughter pigs last week, with a premium of 2.5 c per kg lw. However, according to analysts there, the latest price increases met with increasing resistance from slaughterers, as their profit margins have now shrunk considerably.
In the week ending 12 July, market turbulence throughout the EU due to the Tönnies closure still made itself felt with significant price reductions in several Member States. According to the EU Commission, slaughter pigs in the E class earned an average of €153.88 per 100 kg sw in the Community; this was €5.04 or 3.2% less than in the previous week. Compared to the previous year, the fatteners received a good 13% less money for their animals. In the week under review, slaughter pig prices in Germany and Belgium fell by a good 5% each; in Poland, the minus was even 6.2%. In addition, producers in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Romania and Austria had to cope with reductions of between 2.2% and 3.7%. In Spain, on the other hand, the payment performance of slaughterhouses remained unchanged. French marketers of ready-to-slaughter pigs were able to enjoy a moderate increase of 0.7%, with Italy posting the highest increase in Europe at 2.9%.