UNITED KINGDOM, London. EU pig prices have been recovering so far this year, but the situation was more stable in April. Following some improvement in prices early in the month, a combination of limited slaughter and subdued demand meant that prices eased back.
Public holidays and coronavirus infections have both limited slaughter levels in Germany in particular. Poor weather is also reportedly dampening demand, as this delays the onset of the “barbeque season”.
The EU average price had been at the highest level since last July in mid-April, at €157.5/100kg. However, in the subsequent week ended 24 April the average dropped back to €156.48/100kg. The outlook remains cautious at present and will depend on developments with the Covid-19 pandemic, the weather, and tourist trade.
Prices on the key German and Spanish markets have followed different trends in recent weeks. The German price was broadly stable in early April but fell sharply in the latest week. Meanwhile, the Spanish price rose sharply at the start of the month and has since increased more slowly. Aside from Germany, the only other key market to show a declining trend over the past month was Poland. Prices have been rising noticeably in Denmark and France.
Some weakening of the pound against the euro during April meant that in sterling terms, prices still rose overall. In the latest week (ended 24 April) the EU average price was 135.55p/kg. Nonetheless, the gap between UK and EU prices has still increased slightly, as price growth here has been stronger. In the latest week the difference stood at about 10p/kg, although this is still a relatively small difference in historic terms.