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Weekly Overview: European Commission Proposes Support Measures for Pork Sector

14 September 2015, at 12:00am

ANALYSIS - An estimated 6,000 European farmers brought Brussels to a standstill last week when bureaucrats formulated strategies to stabilise the sector.

But farm leaders have warned the European Commission’s Comprehensive Package of Measures is “far from sufficient” to have a noticeable impact.

They are concerned that the €500 million promised will not compensate for the loss of €5.5 billion pulled from EU farmers through Russia’s imports ban.

As part of the proposed Package of Measures, pork products should benefit from an increase in promotion package funding, a new Private Storage Aid scheme and the opening of new markets, including bilateral trade agreements and reducing non-tariff trade barriers.

Reporting on the global pork market, AHDB Pork revealed that the market has been at its weakest for some years.

Following the high levels seen last year, global pork prices fell to $2.51 per kg in April, 24 per cent lower than in the same month last year. Since then there has been a modest price increase in May and in June it averaged at $2.64 per kg, still one quarter less than a year earlier.

In disease news, African Swine Fever has been reported on more pig farms in Russia, Latvia and Ukraine.

There were also cases in wild boar in Estonia.

ASF has resulted in over a quarter of a million pig’s lives (dead and destroyed) in Europe since the beginning of 2014 with most of the deaths in Russia. But, in 2015, the cases have increasingly been in the Baltic States and Ukraine.

Providing an update on the ASF situation in Eastern Europe, pig veterinarian Dr John Carr said that the number of cases this summer have dramatically increased with the Baltic states taking the brunt of the new cases.

There is also little information coming out of Belarus so it is hard to know the extent of the outbreaks there.

IMAGE NAME/DESCRIPTION
The distribution of African Swine Fever cases in Eastern Europe.
The red circles indicate cases the pink area is the authors area of concern
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