German pig prices down as Chinese fall pressures world markets


German pig prices fell sharply this week as a slump in Chinese prices undermined international markets, industry sources said on Friday.

German pig prices fell to 1.48 euros ($1.76) a kg slaughter weight from 1.57 euros last week, the association of German animal farmers VEZG said.

China’s pork and hog prices have fallen over 50% so far this year.

“The impact of the price fall in China can be felt worldwide,” said a market report from German slaughterhouse and meatpacker Toennies.

U.S. hog futures also dropped by their daily limit on Thursday.

German pig prices have firmed so far in 2021 after being hit last year by widespread import bans on German pork by China and other countries after African swine fever (ASF) was found in Germany.

This led to trade displacement, with other EU countries including Spain raising exports to China, while German sales inside Europe have increased.

“The European pork market is dependent on exports, especially to China, so falling Chinese prices are reflected here,” a German trader said.

German farming association DBV said the positive picture in the domestic pork market should support prices.

“Factors such as the tight supply of slaughterhouse pigs, the current European football championships and the good barbecue weather offer the best preconditions for a rising market,” the DBV said.

Major sporting events in the summer traditionally increase pork demand in Germany for barbecues.