GERMANY, Hamburg. German pig prices held firm this week as strong sales inside Europe helped markets to recover from import bans on German pork imposed by Asian buyers including China, traders and industry sources said this week.
German pig prices remained at the high of € 1.50 a kg slaughter weight hit last week, up from € 1.21 in February, German animal farmers' association VEZG said.
Asian countries, including China, banned German pork imports in September 2020 after African swine fever (ASF) was found in wild boars in east Germany, not farm animals, causing falling pig prices. This changed trade flows.
Justin Sherrard, global strategist animal protein, at Rabobank commented: "There is trade displacement, with other EU countries such as Spain selling more to Asia after import bans on German pork. German pork is being sold more strongly inside the EU to replace European supplies exported to Asia. There are also signs that some importing countries are accepting the regionalistion concept and will again allow pork imports from Germany.”
Vietnam and several other countries have agreed to import German pork by accepting the regionalisation concept, meaning imports are stopped only from the region of a country where ASF occurs, replacing blanket bans on all pork imports. Sherrard said expectations that restaurants may start to reopen in Europe in the second quarter as lockdowns ease could also support prices and Germany’s pig supply situation is also tightening.
German slaughterhouses and meat packers were disrupted by Covid-19 outbreaks, with slowdowns causing a backlog of pigs on farms waiting to be slaughtered. But this backlog is being dealt with, he said.