December 20, 2021
Czech Republic highlights challenges faced by European pig meat sector
The Czech Republic recently informed the European Commission about the challenges facing the pig meat sector in Europe.
This was made known during a meeting involving the Council of Agriculture Ministers of the European Union this month.
Europe's pig meat sector is currently experiencing difficulties as a result of negative trends such as oversaturation of the EU internal market due to high production rates and export disruptions, high feed and energy prices, further outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) and the continuing negative effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, prices for pig carcasses are at their lowest level for a decade, which will potentially have an effect on national economies, rural employment and rural-urban migration. Delegates were calling on the European Commission to take immediate, urgent and concrete actions, and in particular, to introduce exceptional EU support measures in line with the provisions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
According to the Czech delegation, the EU pig meat industry has been affected by spreading of ASF and the repercussions of COVID-19. Both factors have significantly reduced both consumer demand and export possibilities for EU operators. Further economic pressure is caused by rising prices of energy and of agricultural production inputs such as feeding stuffs.
According to EUROSTAT, in the 47th week of this year, the average price in the EU for pig carcasses in cold storage (carcass classes S-E) was €131.1/100kg (US$147.38). This price is 5.4% lower than the equivalent figure for the previous year. The piglet price for the same week was €29.9 (US$33.61) per piglet. In comparison with the previous year, there has been a significant decrease of 16.2%.
Overall, the situation in the EU pig meat sector has been very serious for many months now and the outlook is not positive neither.
Compared to 2017, the current prices of pig meat in the EU are lower by around 30% and stay at a critically low level below production costs, which threatens the very existence of the EU pig sector.
- Consilium (EU)