On-the-Ground Updates

The European market ran out of pigs and prices soared

Frozen Pork Ham & Shoulder
Market & Price Trends
Ricardo Lopes
Published Mar 12, 2021
Suddenly, the European market became short on pigs to slaughter, and prices soared across Europe in the first half of March. In Portugal, the price rose to 0.17 € / kg carcass, representing an increase of about 15 € per slaughtered pig. Slaughter weights have fallen, and slaughter pigs' demand remains at a good level, being slightly higher than the supply. For weeks of Lent, the market is very active and fluid, allowing foreseeing good prospects for Spring - Summer.

On the other hand, in Portugal and mainly in Spain, pork is still very much in demand in China, which gives a huge boost to business and prices. After the Lunar New Year celebrations and consequent reopening of the Chinese market, purchase proposals were high, with demand exceeding expectations. One of the reasons for this was the massive slaughter of sows back in January and February due to the “reappearance” of outbreaks of African Swine Fever (PSA) on a large-scale farm. The data shows a reduction in the breeding stock of between 6 and 7 million sows. That is the equivalent of the breeding stock in the United States.
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