GERMANY, Hannover | Muenster. Last week, for the first time in a long while, Germany's three largest slaughter companies, Tönnies, Westfleisch and Vion, did not accept the price recommendation for slaughter pigs issued by the Federation of Livestock and Meat Producers' Associations (VEZG). This is regarded as the leading price in Germany.
The three companies paid their own house prices of € 1.54 per kg of slaughter weight instead of the producer organization's recommended price of € 1.57 kg. This caused displeasure and criticism on the part of pig farmers. "The supply of slaughter pigs in Germany has become noticeably tighter due to the many farm closures in recent months. The logical consequence would therefore be significantly rising producer prices - and and no self made prices," emphasized on Monday in a joint statement by the President of the Westphalian-Lippe Agricultural Association (WLV), Hubertus Beringmeier, and the Vice President of the Landvolk Lower Saxony, Jörn Ehlers.
Both presidents pointed out that Germany, as a major consumer of pork, had occupied top positions in the European price comparison for decades. Now the local pig prices formed the tail light in the European comparison. Due to the difficult economic situation of many pig farmers, they demanded a change of course: "We call on Tönnies, Westfleisch and Vion to pass on the costs they have incurred as a result of the abolition of work contracts and higher wage agreements to the food trade instead of depressing producer prices." He added that the upcoming barbecue season is providing an important boost and that the corona-induced restaurant closures have been eased in many places. "Self made prices, on the other hand, are a fatal signal to producers and meet with no understanding whatsoever," Beringmeier and Ehlers said.
The head of live cattle purchasing at Tönnies, Dr. Robert Elmerhaus, had pointed out in his market assessment last Friday that prices on the slaughter pig market were moving further and further away from the sales situation in meat sales. "Currently, there is an oversupply of pork worldwide. Exports to China have slowed significantly, and meat suppliers are pushing into the EU market," Elmerhaus said. In addition, he said, cold storage facilities are full and the revival from the restaurant industry has been a long time coming. Other analysts noted that the export ban on pork to many third countries due to African swine fever (ASF) is also limiting sales opportunities for local suppliers.