24 November 2023

In a pig farm, in Confrançon (Ain), November 24, 2022.

Fini the pig’s nightmare. Breeders are living a waking dream. “If you had told me a year ago that the price of pork was going to reach 2.17 euros per kilo, I would not have believed it.a », said with a smile François Valy, installed in Ruffiac, in Morbihan, vice-president of the interprofession Inaporc. The pig costs the bacon of the cat, in other words, the eyes of the head…

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The needle of the Breton pork market in Plérin, in the Côtes-d’Armor, has been panicking since the beginning of the year. While it still indicated 1.80 euro in the first days of January, it jumped Thursday, February 16, at the close, to 2.17 euros, crossing a historic threshold. A session to mark with a pink stone for pig breeders. A stark contrast, when just a year ago they were more than gloomy.

In January 2022, the clock market needle was caught, conversely, in the downward spiral. The price of pork was close to the alert rating of 1.25 euro per kilo. At the very time when the expenses flew away with the outbreak of the price of cereals and soybeans. Strangled, the die asked for help. The State then broke its piggy bank for the pig. Recovery in spring, strong improvement in summer, cold snap in autumn, 2022 was a sporty year for pork. “In the end, it was not as catastrophic as expected”recognizes Mr. Valy.

Production jerk

But this roller coaster ride still caused a part of the herd to soar. It has melted by 2%, to 22.7 million animals. The financial lifeline launched by the government cushioned the blow. In the other European countries, the decline is more marked, by 5% on average. This production jolt is being felt now and is fueling the rise in prices. Especially since the French have not quibbled over the chipolatas. In 2022, consumption of pork and charcuterie increased by 1.8%.

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In this context, the pork trade balance deteriorated a little in 2022, while remaining in surplus. It is difficult, however, to talk about food sovereignty for this sector. The fate of the pig, where everything is good as the saying goes, is to complete the puzzle way. To satisfy the tastes of the French, you have to import an abundance of hams, sausages and filets mignons. When we export, for Chinese gourmets, fat belly and pig’s trotters.

Faced with this rise in pork prices and energy costs, manufacturers want at all costs to defend their piece of fat against the big brands. They obtained a 10% increase in their prices, in June 2022, and are now hoping for 15%. Provided that the distribution does not make a pig’s face…

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