‘EU pig prices reach highest level since September 2014’

EU pig prices continued to rise throughout June and July, taking the reference price to €162.54/100kg for the week ending July 24, the highest level since September 2014, according to AHDB Pork.

That is an increase of over €18 compared to the same point last year. The figures from the AHDB show that over the past four weeks the EU average reference price has increased by over €7/100kg.

Irish pig prices have increased by €4.15/100kg over the past month, while the German price increased by over €8 in the same period.

Meanwhile, pig prices in Spain increased by close to €10/100kg, with the increase in the Dutch market well below that at just €2.27/100kg.

Furthermore, export demand, particularly to China, continues to hit record levels. Earlier this month a Rabobank report predicted that pig prices will peak in the coming months. 

The strong demand from the Chinese market will drive pork prices in the third quarter of this year, with imports into China likely to exceed 2m tonnes in 2016, the report goes on to say.

However, both the increasing momentum of the EU market, coupled with the weakening pound following the Brexit vote, meant that the UK reference pig prices continued to fall behind the EU price.

As of the week ending July 24, the EU average price stands at just 136.07p/kg, 9p/kg more than the UK price.

The strengthening pig prices is due to increased demand coupled with tightening supplies, according to the AHDB, with supplies tightening in some member states earlier than expected.

The AHDB placed the increase in domestic demand in the EU over the last four weeks down to the tourist season in the south of the continent.