EU pigmeat Private Storage Aid Scheme closes
After just three weeks, the European Commission has called a halt to a scheme to take surplus pigmeat off the European market.
The latest round of the Private Storage Aid (PSA) scheme saw almost 90,000 tonnes, representing around 4.5% of the monthly EU slaughter taken off the market for up to five months. However, the commission took the decision to suspend the scheme given that “the current decline in EU prices has halted and there are signs of a modest recovery”.
Rabobank has issued a new report suggesting that the reopening of the PSA scheme is crucial for the recovery of EU pigmeat prices in the coming weeks. Brussels is also facing calls to reopen the scheme with French officials stating that they will be raising the issue at this month’s Farm Council meeting.
Commenting from a Northern Ireland perspective, Ulster Farmers Union deputy president, Ivor Ferguson, said: “Since the beginning of the scheme, the average price paid to NI pig producers has fallen from 111 pence a kilo to 106 pence a kilo and we are concerned by what will happen to prices now this scheme has been suspended. Additionally, whilst removing this amount of pigmeat from the market has stabilised European prices for now, it is important that this does not end up as a temporary fix that serves to make things worse when the pork currently in store comes back onto the market during the summer.”