Analysis Pigs & Pork

Final push still missing in tight pig market

June 7, 2024 - Wouter Baan

The head of June has been taken off, but the pig prices still show no sign of going up. Moreover, unrest has crept into the market now that African swine fever has been detected on a large pig farm in Germany. This also has consequences for slaughterhouses in the region that have suspended production.

Even now that the broken slaughter weeks are behind us, the German pig price continues to move stoically unchanged. For the fourteenth week in a row, VEZG notes €2.20 per kilo. The market has experienced stable periods in the past, but they often did not last as long as now. It's not a record yet, but it's getting close. In the winter of 2018/19, the price remained stable for sixteen weeks in a row.

German ceiling
Dutch pig prices have recently risen somewhat, but are currently hitting a ceiling. All of pig-loving Europe is waiting for prices to rise in Germany. The question is when this will happen. Especially now that a pig farm in Vorpommern-Greifswald has been hit by ASF this week. This may not be the most intensive pig farming area in Germany, but the scare is still real.

Especially since pigs from the affected farm were delivered to Tönnies in Weißenfels this week. Production at that location has been suspended for the time being, and it is not yet known when it will resume. This should not be a problem for the already tight pig supply in Germany.

Relatively cold weather
The pig supply is also limited in the Netherlands, as in many other European countries. Unfortunately, the slaughter figures from last week in our country are missing, but they are likely (even after the broken week with Pentecost) well below the 300,000 mark. However, the tight supply alone is not enough to get the market moving. An increasing demand for meat must give the final push, but the obstacle for this is the relatively low temperatures. Although the heavy rainfall is over, it remains cool in Northwestern Europe. This is likely to continue in the coming weeks, so there is still no mass barbecuing.

EURO 2020 kicks off
In a week, the European football championship starts in Germany. Perhaps then the demand for meat will rise, but at the moment the conviction is still lacking in the meat market. Insiders also warn against too high expectations, due to the persistently weak export outside Europe. However, in the coming weeks, some progress seems possible, which is desirable especially for pig farmers as compensation for the high piglet costs.

The DCA Exchange Price 2.0 for slaughtered pigs remains at €2.15 per kilo for now and the price of live pigs at €1.69 per kilo. Last year around this time, pig prices rose quite rapidly, but that momentum is still missing.

Click here for an explanation from DCA Market Intelligence on the 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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