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EU Pig Meat Export Refunds Proposed

by 5m Editor
26 November 2007, at 12:19pm

EUROPE - European Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, is to take steps to introduce export refunds for pig meat carcases, cuts and bellies as a response to the difficult market situation.

The proposal will be presented to the Commission's Agriculture Management Committee this week. Refunds would be payable for exports to all destinations.

At the same time, the Commission will suspend the Private Storage Aid scheme set up last month. Mrs Fischer Boel will inform agriculture ministers of her proposal at today's Agriculture Council.

At the Council meeting on 22 October, the Commissioner informed ministers that the Commission would continue to monitor closely the market situation.

Following the difficult situation in the EU pig meat sector resulting particularly from high feed costs, a private storage scheme (APS) has been in place since 29 October. Operators have shown a lot of interest in the APS scheme. Since 29 October, aid has been requested for around 85,000 tonnes, of which 16,000 tonnes in Spain, 14,000 tonnes in Italy, 12,500 tonnes in Denmark and 12,000 tonnes in Germany. The Commission said that this seems to have stabilised prices, but margins over feed costs have dropped by approximately 65-70 percent in 2007 compared to the 2002 -2006 average.

The sharp drop of the US$ has also seriously reduced the competitiveness of European exporters, whose main competitors are the US, Canada and Brazil. As such, the private storage measure appears insufficient to remedy to the difficulties faced by European pig producers.

5m Editor