Analysis Pigs & Pork

Pig Price does not yield to pressure from slaughterhouses

April 26, 2024 - Wouter Baan

The pig market has been quite shaken up in recent days by the downward pressure from a few large slaughterhouses in our country. The question is whether the slaughterhouses that have lowered their prices will stick to their guns, or if they will correct them upward again next week.

The slaughterhouse prices in our country usually move quite uniformly, with a sharp eye on the German market. However, this week those rules did not apply. While Van Rooi was the only one of the major slaughterhouses to keep its prices unchanged, others lowered theirs by 2 or even 4 cents. In the case of Vion, 3 cents had to be cut from the weekly surcharge. Meanwhile, the German market remains unfazed, even though price pressure seemed to be emerging there.

What happens next is the big question. It is not expected that Van Rooi will choose to lower its prices next week. The German market also appears quite steady. With the current knowledge, it is more likely that the other slaughterhouses will correct their prices upward again, although it is not guaranteed that this will happen.

Broken weeks
With 283,018 slaughtered pigs last week, the supply in our country does not seem excessively high, although this should be seen in the context of unambitious slaughter plans. Meat consumption in Europe remains sluggish and slaughterhouses are partly processing for the cold store. This explains where the price pressure is coming from, as it certainly does not come out of nowhere. With rising temperatures in Europe on the horizon, this could give a boost to meat consumption. At the same time, a number of broken weeks are coming up, causing some delays in the live market. However, meat consumption does not take a break. This could potentially relieve meat stocks.

Overall, it is a remarkable market situation that few insiders had foreseen. Pig traders meanwhile continue to have reasonable confidence in market recovery, it is said. Despite some lower estimates, the DCA Beurs Price 2.0 in The Netherlands remains at €2.12 per kilogram for slaughtered pigs. The price for live pigs also remains steady at €1.68 per kilogram.

Click here for an explanation from DCA Market Intelligence on the price listing.

Wouter Baan

Wouter Baan is the editor-in-chief of Farmerbusiness and a market specialist in dairy, pork, and meat at DCA Market Intelligence. He also tracks developments within the agribusiness sector and conducts interviews with CEOs and policymakers.
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