IFA National Pigs Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty said continental demand has helped push prices ahead again this week.
He said demand from China continues to prove hugely beneficial, with an 80% increase in EU pigmeat exports for the first quarter, year-on-year.
Top prices on the home market have gone to 152c/kg at export and pork slaughter plants, and in Northern Ireland.
The price for sows has advanced to 60–65c/kg deadweight.
The buoyant Chinese pork imports which are supporting global pig prices are likely to persist at least until the end of 2016.
China is expected to import 12-13% of its pigmeat requirements this year, compared to only 1% in recent years.
Weak prices which persisted into early 2015 prompted herd cutbacks and a drop in pork supplies. Chinese pig farmers have struggled to reverse the trend, despite the strong rebound in values since March of last year.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities are reported to have closed, relocated, or restricted thousands of small pig farms, particularly those near urban areas, in an anti-pollution drive.
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