As far as the EU pig sector is concerned, high prices until the end of 2011 and cereal prices coming down have brought back the theoretical producer margins to the 5-yearaverage.
The sector is facing a continuing process of concentration to larger production units. The sow herd slightly reduced. Nevertheless, the increasing trend in production continued in 2011, and the total production grew by 1.7%. As regards exports, 2011 was an exceptional year. For the first time in its history, the EU exported more than 3 billion t of pig meat, an increase of over 20% against 2010 and representing nearly 12% of the domestic production. Hong Kong and China became the first export destination (30% of EU pig meat exports), followed by Russia (27%). Pig meat imports into the EU further decreased to 36 000 t in 2011, 13% down compared to 2010. Switzerland remained the main origin accounting for almost half of all EU imports. Pig meat consumption is estimated to remain stable in 2011, whereas the per capita consumption would fall to 41.2 kg.
The 2011 EU average carcass price at 153.2 Euros/100 kg was 13 Euros/100 kg more than the year before. Aid for private storage was introduced for a period of three weeks in February 2011 to stabilise the market after the dioxin incident in Germany.
March 2012/ DG Aricultura and Rural Development/ Europaen Commission/ European Union.