Pork prices in the European Union, which suffered due to an African swine fever-related trade impasse with Russia now in its seventh week, stabilized over the past week and even showed some unexpected upward movement. Prices improved in the major pork-producing member states including a sharp increase in Germany (+.13 euros/kg, or about +$0.08/lb). In the first week of March, ahead of this recent recovery, prices in Germany were down 16 percent from a year ago and the EU average was down 10 percent (at $97.65/cwt carcass basis).
Analysts cited several possible factors for the recent strengthening of prices, including:
- Lower first-quarter pork production
- Strong domestic consumption, driven in part by favorable weather
- Concerns in the international markets over PEDV-related declines in North American production
Meanwhile an EU management committee is scheduled to review a draft regulation that would provide market support measures in Lithuania and Poland, for producers hit directly by ASF-related restrictions.