Update on EU Pork Private Storage Aid

From March 8 through March 30, the volume of pork enrolled in the European Union’s private storage aid program totaled 43,523 metric tons (mt). Product from Spain (9,545 mt), Denmark (8,947 mt), Poland (6,717 mt) and Germany (6,359 mt) combined for 73 percent of the total volume.

The list of eligible products does not include fat or lard. A large percentage of the product enrolled – 27,214 mt or 62.5 percent – is leg meat (or hams). Product can be stored for 90 days, 120 days or 150 days. The breakdown to date is as follows:

  • 90 days: 30,440 mt (70 percent)
  • 120 days: 3,325 mt (8 percent)
  • 150 days: 9,759 mt (22 percent)

EU hog carcass prices

The regulation does not include a volume limit or an end date, and participants must notify the European Commission twice per week about the details of the product stored. As USMEF has previously noted, the available aid is lower than during the last program in 2011, and smaller volumes are expected to be enrolled this time. In 2011, private storage aid was open from early February through early March, and 142,685 mt were stored. It was mostly “boned meat,” and the largest users were Germany and Spain; followed by Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland.

EU pig prices were basically steady in the first week of April averaging $69.18/cwt, down 11 percent year-over-year in euros and down 30 percent in dollar terms. EU prices were 20 percent higher (or $11.65/cwt) than those in the United States – a similar premium as seen in 2010-2012.

EU piglet price was 44.48 euros (or $48.04) per head. Revisions to the average piglet price mean EU prices have been steady-to-higher for the past 10 weeks, but prices were still down 12 percent year-over-year and just 1.6 percent higher than the previous month.