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LAMMA 2021

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Chinese import demand helps pig prices hold firm

Pig prices are about 10 per cent higher than a year ago, according to the latest market commentary by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

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Chinese import demand helps pig prices hold firm

Producer prices have also been remarkably stable throughout 2020 but this firmness has not been repeated elsewhere.

 

Stuart Ashworth, director of economics services at QMS, said: “European pig farmers are typically seeing prices 7-8 per cent lower than this time year with larger falls reported from Brazil, the USA, Canada."

 

The firmness in the UK market has been achieved despite slaughter statistics showing a small increase in both the numbers slaughtered over the first third of the year and increased prime pig carcase weights.

 

“Market demand has been strong for bacon and sausages, although the market for pork roasts has been more challenging,” said Mr Ashworth.


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Imports

 

“Market sentiment has also been helped by continuing firm demand from China and reduced imports.

 

“All major pig meat exporting countries, all have reported considerable growth in exports to China despite the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

“The European Union, for example, reported exports to China in the first quarter of 2020 were 75 per cent higher than the same period last year.

 

"Similarly, and despite trade tensions between China and the USA, the US reported exports to China in the first quarter of the year nearly five-fold higher than a year earlier.”

 

The longer term effects of African swine fever in China are expected to result in continued firm demand from China for pigmeat well into 2021. However, recent indications are that import prices paid may not remain as firm as they currently are as Chinese producer prices, although about double the levels of a year ago, have fallen more than 20 percent over the past quarter.

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