Grade E pig prices for the week ending 28th March was 181.49c/kg. This is an increase of 41c/kg (29%) on the same week last year with prices currently sitting beneath the EU Grade E price, which has seen a 2c/kg drop in the past week back to €1.86/kg.
However, the latest German price reported shows no change this week, this indicates that the European trade may be starting to stabilize on the back of exports to International markets resuming more normal activity, especially in China where transport difficulties have started to ease as the country shows positive signs of recovery from Covid 19. Strong International demand throughout 2020 should help underpin European trade as regions in Asia in particular continue to struggle with African Swine Fever, with Covid 19 restrictions also disrupting some potential recovery in pigmeat production. Demand for pigmeat is mixed in Ireland at the moment, the best trade reported is for products such as ham fillets, pork, bacon backs and sausage meat for the retail channel. However, foodservice demand has almost ground to a halt, with some secondary processors who have significant exposure to this channel both in Ireland and the UK severely impacted.
A total of 70,710 pigs were sent for processing during the week ending 28th March 2020. This was a sharp increase in the throughput figure compared to last week, rising by 11,400. So far for 2020, pig throughput levels are currently running slightly below 2019 levels, with 863,989 pigs sent for processing in the Republic so far this year. This is a 1% decline in throughput levels compared to 12 months. (-6,684 on the 2019 figure).
ASF virus located just 10km from the German Border:
News has broken that the ASF virus has been located in Poland just 10km from the German Border. The first Pig farm in Poland has also been confirmed to have the ASF virus. 135 pigs had died in recent days, with the remainder of the herd being culled as a precaution. Over 1600 wild boar have been found to be infected with the virus in 2020 alone. If the virus was to get into Germany. There would likely be a ban on live exports into the country. With the Netherlands and Denmark sending a large number of weaner pigs for finishing to Germany, it would likely have a disastrous consequence on trade.