Pig prices in the EU increased week-on-week throughout May, with the latest average pig price in the week ending May 29 at €140.76 (US$160) per 100 kg.
This was the highest level recorded since October 2015, according to AHDB Pork, adding much of this price buoyancy has been exacerbated by the increasing demand from China, where export levels from the major EU producing states are now at record highs.
"Encouragingly, this volume growth has not been at the expense of value, due to the current high Chinese pig price. This increasing demand from China has also helped to absorb the extra pork released onto the market, which was stored in the Private Storage Aid initiative in January", the pork division of the UK Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said. The pigmeat private storage aid scheme was devised to ease pressure on the EU market, which was struggling from the Russian ban on imports from February 2014. Eighteen member states participated in the scheme, which involved storing certain pigmeat products for periods of three to five months.
All major producing member states recorded a positive movement in prices, with the German price rising by over €14 ($15.90)/100kg since the start of May, and the Dutch price over €13 ($14.76)/100kg in the same period.
In sterling terms, the EU pig price has also risen, and now stands at 107.65p ($156.25)/kg for the week ending May 29. This level was last recorded in September 2015. While both the EU and UK prices have been improving over recent weeks, the EU price has done so at a greater rate. This has resulted in the UK price premium falling to 8.5p, the lowest level since September 2013. This could mean that there is less demand for imported pork, and potentially support the UK market further, AHDB Pork said.-Rick Alberto