January 21, 2004
EU Introduce Export Refunds To Halt Pigmeat Price Slide
In a bid to halt falling pig prices, the European Union (EU) is set to intervene by introducing export refunds for the first time in three and a half years, which should help to reduce surplus pigmeat.
This comes on top of the recently introduced Private Storage Scheme, which has also stabilised prices to some extent.
But the export refunds are likely to be attacked by Third World countries and could frustrate the ongoing World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks.
EU prices of 70-80p/kg caused the UK Adjusted Euro-Spec Average (AESA) to shed 0.52p/kg in the w/e 10 January.
It now stands at 99.3p/kg, with the GB Deadweight Average Pig Price (DAPP) almost 2p ahead of this, at 101.13p/kg.
Although lighter cutter weight pigs are holding up reasonably well at 108-112p/kg, demand for baconers has proved more selective and the majority of spot quotes are at 98-101p/kg.
Despite the Euro slipping to 69.1p against the Pound on Friday (16 January), the cull sow market seems to have stabilised in the 56-58p/kg range.
Weaner prices remain static despite reduced supply due to infertility problems last summer/autumn, with the Meat and Livestock Commission 30kg average at £32.38 ex-farm.