EU Agriculture Ministers are set to examine the difficulties in the pigmeat sector at its Council meeting next week.

At the request of the Polish delegation, the ministers will take stock of the deteriorating situation in the sector.

Since the beginning of 2014, the pigmeat sector in the EU has had to face an outbreak of African swine fever in some Member States and the consequences of the import ban on EU agricultural products introduced by Russia.

Since then, the market has been under pressure with low prices and is still deteriorating.

In this respect, exceptional support for the sector provided for within the framework of delegated regulation provides for temporary exceptional aid to farmers in the livestock sectors.

In order to support significantly the pigmeat sector, the Commission plan to launch a private storage scheme for pigmeat.

Calls have been made for this measure should be implemented as soon as possible because of the difficult situation of the sector.

The Polish delegation fears however that those measures will be insufficient to stabilise the pigmeat market.

€1m aid for pig farmers to be decided shortly – Department

The method of payment of the monies for the pig sector from the direct aid package is to be ‘decided shortly‘, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Of the overall package of €27.4m, the pig sector is to receive €1m.

The Irish pig price fell by 11% in comparison with 2014, with a rapid decline in the last quarter. The estimated average pig price in 2015 was 148c/kg which was significantly below the five-year average (2011-2015) of 162c/kg.

The price of the main pig feed ingredients declined in 2015.

The annual average feed cost in 2015 was 111c/kg, which was 6% lower than 2014 and 7% lower than the 5 year average of 119c/kg.