Pig import prices soar

By FWi staff

IMPORT prices for pigmeat from the Continent have risen by about 50% since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth, according to a leading consultant.

“Movement restrictions in the UK have created a huge shortage of meat in the retail sector which is having to be sourced from abroad,” says independent expert Peter Crichton.

Imports have risen about 60p to 180p/kg deadweight, for killed sides, across Europe purely due to a supply and demand situation, adds Mr Crichton.

“In Holland, values paid to producers are up 30p to 127p/kg and in Germany and Denmark prices are up 18p and 13p.

“UK supplies are starting to trickle back, but throughput is still severely restricted, and it remains to be seen how long this situation will continue.”

However, the Dutch Meat Board said that prices had been moving up significantly before the foot-and-mouth crisis.

“The latest problem to hit the UK has just added pressure on the market,” says managing director Robert Smith.

“Indeed there have been rises due to the nature of supply and demand, and there will inevitably be panic buying.

“But there are a number of other issues that have influenced the pig market since the start of the year, not least BSE.”

In Ireland, export values of lamb and cattle to the UK have also risen significantly. Lamb prices have soared by 70p/kg and cattle by 13-15p/kg.

“Ireland is a key supplier to the UK under normal circumstances, but the current crisis has created extra demand,” says a spokesperson for Bord Bia.

“It is mainly the multiples that are requesting bigger volumes, which has created the surge in values.”

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