Measure to aid European pig industry takes effect

The European Commission has adopted a measureproviding aid for private storage measures for the EU pig meat sector, with themeasure effective March 9.

The European Commission has formally adopted measures providing aid for private storage measures for the EU pig meat sector, with the measure going into effect March 9. Under this standard market support measure, the commission pays for part of the costs of storing pig meat for 3 to 5 months.

The measure was proposed by European Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in February.

Past experience has shown that this move to temporarily reduce supply on the EU market eases market pressure and thus tends to help prices pick up. The sector has been under pressure since the Russian ban on pig meat imports from the whole EU in February 2014 linked to an outbreak of African swine fever in East Poland and the Baltic Republics, according to a European Commission press release.

Although traders have managed to find alternative markets for most products and animal feed costs have been lower than usual, the lengthy squeeze on margins is being felt, with many producers having previously made substantial investments in order to meet new EU animal welfare rules. The measure was discussed and voted on by member state experts in the Common Market Organisations (CMO) Committee on February 24, and was recently published in the Official Journal.

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