We started the year with the Spanish price at €0.947/kg LW. After three months the price is €0.950/kg LW. Three long and absolutely awful months.
After Christmas there was a pocket of delayed livestock that has ballasted our price from then until now. Somehow, it has been managed together with the abattoirs, that have gone full steam ahead during the weeks without holidays. The Spanish market ended Easter with new delayed pigs, and that explains the half cent lost in the last market session of the month, but the black clouds that hang over the Spanish market are not so black nor thick.
- All the markets, from America to Europe without exception, report an excellent export activity to the Asian markets.
- It has been recently known that in January 2016 there have been 21% more exports (meat + offal + processed products) that in January 2015. A total of 160,000 tonnes in a single month, a record for January.
- We are in Spring. Massive barbeques are expected in northern Europe, and with them an improvement in the EU home market. Good weather means increase in consumption.
- We have such a low price that it can only rise. One cannot fall when it is at its lowest.
From now on, we are facing a calendar with many weeks without holidays. The abattoirs are slaughtering at their maximum capacity, and it is not expected that this slaughtering flow will be interrupted. In fact, it is essential and indispensable that the slaughterings keep their record levels (let us remember that in 2015 Spain slaughtered 7% more pigs than in 2014: production has grown a lot). The only recipe is to slaughter and export as much as we can.
Probably, the first two or three weeks of April will be useful for absorbing the delayed pigs, and by the end of April the price will be able to rise, step by step, to more decent levels.
We are still in a full bloom crisis (very long and profound this time), but from now on we can only get better (or alleviate the problem, and that's saying a lot).
As the Catalan writer Noel Clarasó said: "In every sunrise there is a live poem of hope, and when we go to bed, let us think that the sun will rise again."