September 27, 2010


Drop in French pork prices is highest in two years


French pork prices slumped 3.9%, the most in almost two years, after trading was postponed earlier this week as farmers and slaughterers failed to agree on a price that would cover rising feed costs.


The price for a kilogramme of pork fell to EUR1.153 (US$1.54) from EUR1.20 (US$1.62) on September 16, according to the Marche du Porc Breton. That was the biggest slide since October 30, 2008.


Pigs are normally traded twice a week at France's only hog exchange. Trading was postponed on September 20 after it became clear "quite quickly" there would be no price agreement, Benoit Monin, the market's head of sales, said this week.


Plerin pork prices have declined in the past seven sessions, the longest falling streak since October last year. The price has dropped 7.5% from this year's peak of EUR1.247 (US$1.68) per kilogramme on August 26.


At yesterday's market, 77,232 pigs for slaughter were traded, the Marche du Porc Breton said. Pigs are transported straight from farms to slaughterhouses after the lots are traded at the exchange.


French pig farmers are facing higher feed costs after drought reduced grain production in Russia and Ukraine this year, pushing up prices. Corn futures have risen 56% this year on NYSE Liffe in Paris.


France is the third-largest EU pig producer, with a hog population of 14.8 million animals at the end of 2009, behind Germany and Spain with 26.7 million and 26.3 million pigs respectively.

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