By Philip Clarke, Europe Editor

BELEAGUERED pig producers have been cheered by news this morning that Brussels is to increase export refunds, starting next week.

Whether this leads to better prices in the face of chronic supply pressure remains to be seen. But NFU pig adviser Ann Peterson said it should at least restore a bit of confidence to the trade.

The decision follows weeks of intensive lobbying by most pig producing member states, which have seen prices slump by over 30% in the past 12 months.

As such, the commission agreed today to a 50% increase in export refunds for most bone-in cuts, and to reintroduce the subsidies for boneless cuts from next Tuesday.

The details are:

  • Fresh and frozen bone-in carcasses, legs, fore ends, shoulders and loins:
    Refund increased from 13.54p/kg to 20.3p/kg
    (Deposit increased from 2.0p/kg to 4.1p/kg)
  • Fresh and frozen bone-in bellies:
    Refund increased from 8.8p/kg to 12.9p/kg
    (Deposit increased from 1.4p/kg to 2.7p/kg)
  • Fresh boneless legs, fore ends, shoulders, loins and cuts:
    Refund introduced at 20.3p/kg
  • Frozen boneless legs, fore ends, shoulders and cuts:
    Refund introduced at 20.3p/kg
  • Fresh boneless bellies and cuts:
    Refunds introduced at 12.9p/kg
Export refunds for carcasses and bone-in cuts were first introduced this year in May, as prices collapsed following an extended strike in the Danish abattoirs.