EU pig prices are surging ahead of those in the UK as a result of a weak pound and strong demand on the continent.
The EU reference pig price is now nearly 9p/kg higher than the UK reference pig price, after gaining a further 0.39p/kg in the week ending 25 July to 136.07p p/kg.
In the same week last month, the price gap was just 0.69p/kg. But since then prices on the continent have gained 14.63p/kg, while the UK reference price has increased by just 6.61p/kg.
The EU reference price is now the highest it has been since September 2014, according to AHDB Pork.
Reference prices in week ending 25 July 2016 (p/kg)
Tighter supplies in some member states had occurred earlier than forecast and domestic demand had been supported by the barbeque season in northern Europe and the tourist season in the south, said the levy board’s senior analyst Vikki Campbell.
Strong export demand, particularly from China, was also putting pressure on supplies.
Spanish and German producers in particular enjoyed high price rises since the end of June – up 16.55p/kg to 136.90p/kg and up 15.52p/kg to 141.93p/kg respectively. However, prices in Denmark and the Netherlands reached 125.60p/kg and 125.29p/kg – both behind those in the UK.
This increased momentum in the EU market coupled with a weak pound however, had left UK prices trailing behind, said Ms Campbell.