Spanish pigmeat prices were 15% higher since August than the average price for the rest of the year, according to ZMP, the German market and price analysis centre.
The variation is due to a lower supply of pigmeat as a result of pig weight loss caused by high summer temperatures. Pigs in Spain are usually at minimum weight – below 80kg in August.
Over the past number of years, Spain has greatly increased its pigmeat production and exports to become the second largest pigmeat producer in Europe. Spanish pigs at the end of 2006 made up 16% of the total EU pigs.
The pigmeat market is different to that of Germany – Europe’s largest pigmeat producer. The top three abattoirs have 20% market share. In contrast, in Germany the top three have a 50% share.There are few independent farmers, with most aligned with an integrated system.
Spain is the highest consumer of pigmeat in Europe with 60kg per head. The first part of this year alone showed a 6.8% increase in pigs slaughtered than in 2006.
As regards feed, Spain imports 55% of its grain needs. Due to the current high feed prices worldwide, the growth in pigmeat production may slow down in due course.
â€¢ Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (in Spanish)