Private storage aid introduced to help pig market

EU pigmeat market managers in Brussels have ageed to introduce a private storage aid scheme for pigmeat in response to the current difficult situation on the market.
Under the programme, operators who store meat for a period of between three and five months may claim EU aid to cover storage costs.
They can then offer the meat back onto the EU market at a later stage, when the market situation has improved.
Alternatively, they can export the pigmeat to Third countries after two months.
The EU Commission can also decide to prolong storage if the market situation so requires.
“The pigmeat market is entering its usual seasonal drop in prices during the autumn,” said a statement. “However, the situation has been exacerbated by increasing feed costs.”
Feed costs increased by around 35% between September 2006 and September 2007, which has forced down margins for producers.
Brussels puts the cost of storing 100,000t of pigmeat for 3-5 months at about €40m (£28m).
Applications for the private storage aid scheme can be made from 29 October.

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