Pork export prices hit two-year high

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

Costly EU pork exports were less competitive than the US in the second quarter
Costly EU pork exports were less competitive than the US in the second quarter
Global pork export prices are now at their highest point in over two years, driven by high-cost European pig meat.

Exported pork prices continued to inflate in the second quarter of 2017 and are now at their most expensive since January 2015, according to UK levy board the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The average value of traded pork is based on the prices from the four largest pork exporters – Brazil, Canada, the EU and the US. In June this year, the price hit $2.75 per kilogram.
This is 9% higher than it was at the same point a year earlier and, as mentioned, is the highest level since January 2015.

Sharp price increase

But what has caused the price increase?

Inflation was largely driven by the continual increase in the value of EU pork during April and May 2017. The two-month rise followed what AHDB Pork described as “steep increases​” in European farmgate prices during the second quarter that reflected a tightening pig supply across the bloc.

This meant EU pork prices were, on average, the highest out of the big four pork exporters over the six months of 2017. And in May alone, the prices were 6% above the overall pork trade price average.
Higher prices may sound like a good thing, but it is not necessarily the case. For example, if two supermarkets sell the same pork at drastically different prices, the consumer would be likely to select the cheaper option. The same is true for countries importing big volumes of pork. Why import from Europe if you can get a similar product elsewhere?

The price of EU pork over the second quarter meant product was at its least competitive since February 2014, according to AHDB Pork.

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