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EU pig market - fears and hopes unveiled

The overproduction of pigs has brought the whole of Europe into a survival threatening situation, according to German market analysis association ZMP.

The European Commission has ruled out pig price increases in the first quarter of 2008. Restrictions in pig production will only set in during the course of 2008, returning profit slowly.

Lower prices
In the main pig producing countries - Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain - the pig prices will clearly be lower in the last quarter of 2007 in comparison to the same period a year ago.

For producers in Finland, Sweden, Greece and Poland, somewhat higher prices have been forecasted.

In total, pigmeat prices for 2007 in the EU are around 10% lower than last year.

Why the lower prices?
It's simple - supply has outstripped demand. ZMP estimates that pig production within the 25 EU countries is around 22 million tonnes this year - nearly 3% more than in 2006. In addition, 365,000 tonnes of pigmeat from the EU accession countries Romania and Bulgaria must be considered.

In Eastern Europe, the reaction towards the high feed prices is strong. Pig production in Poland, for example, is expected to decline by 6% in the first half of 2008.

Hungary and the Czech Republic are counting on at least a 5% decline in production.

Pig production, however, combined in Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy, in the first half of 2008 is unlikely to be significantly less than in 2007.

Related websites:
• European Commission

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