Policy instruments for the pigmeat sector
The objectives of the EU policy instruments are to structure and safeguard the stability of market prices in the sector, to facilitate the marketing of products and to establish the rules in the trade with third countries, providing stability for the European producers and processors.
Pigmeat belongs to the products covered by the Single Common Market Organisation Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/ 2007.
As a cereal based product, pigmeat had never been subject to coupled payments or production quota. Only in very limited cases a private storage schema was applied to stabilize the pig market in crisis times (last time being the dioxin incident in 2011).
Carcass classification/price reporting
The EU wide system of carcass classification provides the basis for objective grading of carcasses in slaughterhouses and fair payment to producers.
Every week Member States notify their representative prices to the Commission.
Export licences/export refunds
Granting refunds for pigmeat is intended to enable exports when world market prices are lower than EU prices. Since April 2012 all export refund in the pigmeat sector were put at zero.
Import duties/tariff quotas/licenses
Pigmeat imports from third countries are subject to import duties. Common Customs Tariff duties ensure that EU pigmeat is able to face the competition on the internal market with third countries. Within the framework of international and bilateral trade agreements the EU operates a system of import quotas with specific country allocations or open for all (erga omnes).
At the monthly Management Committee on Agricultural Markets the Commission presents the market situation in the pig sector.
The trends on how the market for pigmeat is expected to develop can be found in the Commissions short term and mid-term reports.