EU pig prices back to 2017 levels
High demand for pork from China has increased the prices in the EU market, with Spain and Germany benefiting most of this situation. Although the EU pig production is lower than in previous years, a clear intention to rebuild the herd in the near future can be seen in the piglet prices which have grown from €20 to €35 in the last 12 months, according to a Genesus global report.
"The previous years trend for lower summer prices has been broken al around Europe. A rise of 7 € cents/ kg in Germany with a price of 1,850€/kg of the carcass (US 93.01¢/lb). We also observe higher prices in Denmark, Belgium, and Italy. The EU pork supply is inferior to other years. In the first quarter of 2019, the EU market has processed 350,000 hogs less than in the same period of 2018. Spain production has increased by just over half a million processed hogs, while Germany has dropped by 1 million hogs. There are fewer hogs, but more weight is sought," explains Mercedes Vega, Genesus General Director for Spain, Italy and Portugal.
High demand from China from the last couple of weeks is helping Spanish packing plants to empty their chambers after a few months of atony as the current liveweight price in the Chinese market is double compared to the average in the Spanish market. At this moment, producers are trying to reach higher weight to maximize their profits but the need for rebuilding the herd is felt in the piglet prices. "perhaps the most important marker of the market, is the piglet price. Currently a year ago the base price of Mercolleida was € 20 ($22.20) and this year it is € 35($38.75), the sale price in August 2018 with premiums was € 37($41) and now it is € 58 (US $64.21), the highest price ever recorded this time of the year! This price indicates the optimism and confidence for the future of the industry. The piglets that are entering now in the feeder’s facilities are those that will be marketed mid-November- past years price was € 1,038/kg liveweight (US 52.14¢/lb) and € 1,028/kg liveweight (US 51.64¢/lb)in 2018 and 2017 respectively. This big price difference shows where the market is today," added Mrs Vega.
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