For the week ended 20 June, prices were back to €163.66/100kg, the lowest level in four weeks. Overall, the EU average pig reference price still increased by nearly €3 over that period, but there was more than a €2 decline in the latest week. Nonetheless, prices remain above year earlier levels, as has been the case since late May.
The recent weakening in the market is primarily driven by demand-side factors. There are reports of subdued meat markets in several Member States, when there had been expectations of growth as foodservice restrictions ease. In southern states, a limited tourist season is also having an impact. At the same time, export demand has been stalling, with sales to China now reported as lower than had been expected. Although live pig supplies are apparently not particularly large, it seems the limitations on demand at the moment mean numbers are more than ample to meet demand.
Not all of the EU’s major producers have seen a falling market, yet. In the latest week, the sharpest falls were recorded in Poland (-€6) and Germany (-€5). The Dutch price also fell by nearly €3. Other players saw stable or slightly rising prices.
The latest downward movement in the EU market means that the EU average price has increased its discount to the UK reference price in the latest week. The difference has actually been growing throughout June, as our prices showed stronger gains. In sterling terms, the EU average price for week ended 20 June was about 140p/kg, more than 17p lower than the UK reference price.