EU pig prices slump as coronavirus slows China import demand

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EU pig prices are continuing to fall and as import demand from China cools, due in part to the coronavirus crisis gripping the country.

In the four weeks ending February 2, EU pig prices fell by over €10 (approx £8.40) to average €182.54/100kg (approx 153p/kg).

AHDB analyst Duncan Wyatt suggested this was largely due to a fall in demand from China, which for a long time has underpinned strong EU prices, due to a combination of stocks being released from storage and the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

“In late October, the Chinese government intervened to reduce wholesale pork prices. This involved releasing government stocks and encouraging imports. Reports suggest that this led to high volumes of pork in commercial store, which made moving volumes difficult,” he said.

“Import demand in the run-up to Chinese New Year was therefore dampened, influenced by these logistical difficulties,” he said.

“After the holiday period, it was thought Chinese import demand would pick up again. However, the coronavirus outbreak led to an extended holiday period. Logistical difficulties, including temporary restrictions imposed on transporting meat between provinces, have reportedly delayed the delivery of imports.”

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