Slaughter pig prices in Germany are likely to increase soon but the annual mean is set to remain below the average over the past 20 years. This is at least what market analyst Markus Fiebelkorn of the Danish Pig Producers' Association (Danske Svineproducenter) is anticipating. According to the forecast he delivered during EuroTier, the average slaughter pig price in Germany in 2021 could be in the 1.40 euro/kg range over the year as a whole. It is unlikely to be any higher due to the embargos imposed on German pork by third countries due to African swine fever (ASF). However, this does not rule out the possibility that the 1.40-euro mark may perhaps be surpassed occasionally in the summer, for instance.
According to Fiebelkorn, other countries with high exports to third countries, such as Spain and Denmark, are benefitting from Germany's absence in this sector. The price differences for slaughter pigs are therefore high. According to data published by Interessengemeinschaft der Schweinehalter Deutschlands (German pig farmers' interest group, ISN), this difference currently amounts to 33 cents and 35 cents per kilogramme slaughter weight compared to prices in Denmark and Spain respectively. This is also attributable to the current pig 'backlog' in Germany; the actual difference due solely to the ban on exports is likely to be around 20 cents to 25 cents.
From the second to the fourth quarters of 2021, the analyst is anticipating an annual piglet price level of around 45 euros per animal in Germany. The supply of piglets throughout the remainder of the year is likely to be slightly lower than demand, particularly as Danish producers have recently acquired additional customers in Poland and the Dutch producers in Spain. Ultimately, however, the flows of goods are regulated by the price.
Fiebelkorn expressed scepticism about whether Germany might soon be rid of ASF unless Poland were to significantly step up its fight against the animal disease. The outbreaks there are widespread rather than localised. In terms of global pork exports, the analyst assumes that Germany's market shares will decline in the longer term. In comparison with Spain and non-European competitors, populations are likely to decrease further, and the producers' production costs are already higher than those of producers in Denmark and Spain and far outstrip costs in Brazil and the USA. These costs are also rising due to the increasing number of regulations and higher wage costs in the meat industry.