Analysis Pigs & Pork

Slaughter weight reveals decreasing pig supply

May 17, 2024 - Wouter Baan

The pig market is currently in a transitional phase with the focus slowly shifting to the summer period. A recovering market could be possible in the coming weeks, but some luck is needed for that. It is noticeable that the supply is visibly decreasing. 

The most remarkable thing this week was the corrective price movement at Compaxo, Westfort, and Pali. They increased purchase prices after they had decreased a few weeks ago without direct reason. According to traders, Vion has partly compensated the difference with the weekly surcharge. Only Van Rooi kept the payout price unchanged, gaining goodwill. This could come in handy later this year when pigs become scarce.

These signals are becoming more visible. Traders indicate that slaughterhouses are asking for more pigs as meat sales are going more smoothly. Some traders claim that the shortage will be exposed in a full slaughter week, but this is camouflaged by the absence of a slaughter day on Whit Monday. With an average slaughter weight of 99.50 kilos, it is still relatively high, although the trend is rapidly declining. Until recently, the line of 2024 was above last year and also the long-term average, but now it is below. A clear signal that the supply is drying up. 

Some mixed signals are coming from the meat market. Sales have improved somewhat in recent weeks, but not convincingly. The sale of barbecue parts like necks is going well, but this is not the case for hams, which are a heavyweight within the carcass and therefore crucial for valorization. It is a matter of waiting for the demand in the southern parts of Europe to increase as the tourist season kicks off there. Some luck is needed to gain momentum in the market. Much will depend on the weather. Consumption rises in sunny and warm weather, while growth slowdown occurs simultaneously.

DCA Market Price
Partly due to the absence of a slaughter day next week, traders do not always see a reason to adjust the DCA Market Price 2.0 (Market). However, the average ends up with a small increase, which should serve as a prelude for the Market in week 22. The price for slaughtered pigs thus amounts to €2.13 per kilo, an increase of €0.01. The price for live pigs remains unchanged at €1.68 per kilo. 

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

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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