Chinese Import Tariffs Should Lift Pig Prices – in Theory

We’ve had another week of static pig prices with processors quoting from a low of €1.38c/kg up to €1.42c/kg. All main European markets seem to have stabilised following a few weeks of dramatic pig price increases.

The Irish pig price has not improved since the consecutive decreases in January this year, despite the much-improved market for pigmeat.

Chinese tariffs

This week’s news that China is to impose tariffs on many products, including pork originating in the US, should in theory help European pigment exporters such as Ireland.

The Chinese market, which has become an important market for Irish pigmeat products in the past 4 years, particularly lower value cuts and offal, has unfortunately remained stubbornly sluggish in the first quarter of 2018.

Demand has improved, but price sensitivity has been an issue. All factors combined, the current pig price undervalues the Irish pig at €1.40c/kg and is therefore entitled to an increase.

EU Pig prices

Ireland’s percentage of the EU price has improved and is currently 95% of the EU average price as reported to the EU Commission for the week commencing 19/03/2018.

Factory pig throughput in Republic of Ireland export plants for the week ending March 31st 2018 was 69,326 head which was 7,895 head more than the previous week and 6,031 more than in the corresponding week in 2017.

Export Plants: Top prices on a flat rate basis </= €1.40c/kg in Kepak, Rosderra, and Stauntons and </= €1.42/ €1.44c/kg in Dawn Pork and Bacon and Cookstown.

Sows: 65– 75c/kg DW.

Weekly Slaughterings: Week-ending 31/03/2018 Pigs: 67,692 Sows: 1,634


Irish price €1.38kg

EU–27 average price €1.45kg

(Grade E pigs – 55% to 60% lean meat excluding VAT but including transport and bonuses).

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