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Analysis Pigs & Pork

Pork market comes to life after long silence

May 30, 2024 - Matthijs Bremer

The silence on the pork market has finally been broken in the last two weeks. Both slaughter prices and meat prices have risen. Especially a greater demand for pork is driving prices up, although the supply also seems to be on the tight side. Meanwhile, the German prices are not moving, although this seems to be a matter of time.

The price of pork has risen in the last two weeks. In week 20, the DCA Market Price was €2.12 per kilo. In the following two weeks, the price increased slightly. In week 22, the market price had risen to €2.15. It is noteworthy that the German pork price remains the same at €2.20, reducing the difference to five cents.

The higher slaughter prices are mainly driven by a greater demand. In recent weeks, very wet days alternated with sunny days. Especially on weekends, the weather was good, allowing for barbecuing. This gave a boost to the hospitality industry where terraces attracted plenty of visitors, and there was also a lot of barbecuing. This had a clear impact on the meat market. Across the board, meat prices have risen slightly in the last three weeks. In total, the carcass price increased by €4.72 on average.

The market's expectation is that prices will continue to rise. Mid-June marks the start of the European Football Championship. Generally, such large-scale sports events give a boost to the pork market, as a sausage remains a popular snack during the match. Consumption in the Netherlands and Germany is particularly important. If these countries progress far, it could further drive up prices.

Supply remains weak
While demand is increasing, the supply remains low. It is heard in the market that slaughterhouses are finding it a bit more difficult to obtain pigs. This is reflected in the Dutch slaughter figures. It has been a while since the slaughter figure was around 300,000 pigs. In week 13, more than 298,000 pigs were last slaughtered. Since then, the slaughter figure reached its highest point in week 20 since that earlier week, with over 286,000 pigs slaughtered. This is not much, considering the fact that the week before that included Whit Monday.

 

For now, the German market lags behind the Dutch market, but it is only a matter of time before the pork market in our neighboring country picks up. Not only the Dutch, but also the Belgian and Polish pig quotations are rising. This is a sign that prices in the entire Northern European pork market will increase.

Given the higher slaughter prices in the import markets, it is very likely that the leading German pork market will move up. The fact that the German prices have not moved yet is probably due to a public holiday in the Catholic states this week. Thursday, May 30 is Corpus Christi. On that day, some German states have a day off. It is expected that in the next full working week, the tight pig supply will be exposed and the German VEZG quotation will rise along with the neighboring markets.

Matthijs Bremer

Matthijs Bremer is a market specialist in pork, beef, and poultry meat at DCA Market Intelligence. He also monitors the protein transition, keeping an eye on developments in cultured meat and meat substitutes.
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