Bonn, Hanover Farmers feel the current closure of restaurants, canteens and catering services. For example, producer prices for meat are currently falling. The milk market is divided into two: the dairies that serve the food retail trade are doing well; those who deliver to bulk consumers are under pressure.
The price distortions that farmers suffer from do not go down well with private individuals: consumer prices for fresh food this April are almost ten percent higher than in the previous year, says Thomas Els, market expert from the Agrarmarkt-Informationsgesellschaft (AMI) in Bonn. This is not only due to Corona: worldwide demand for pork plays a role, for apples the harvest, which was scarcer last year.
The division of the milk market in two is extreme, says Frank Feuerriegel, managing director of the Lower Saxony Dairy Industry Association. For the dairies, which concentrate on supplying large consumers, sales have broken off from one day to the next.
This also affected the farmers who have contracts with these dairies: on average, the payment prices in Lower Saxony for the liter of milk in March were 32 to 34 cents. “Some dairies have already announced that they want to lower the payment price if the situation does not improve,” says Feuerriegel. The crisis hits the dairy farmers in a difficult time, because after two years of drought, the farms are not doing well anyway.
The farms had to buy feed because of the poor harvest. A field mouse infestation is added to the northwest. Dairies responded by first storing products such as butter or powdered milk for later sale.
The drought of the past two years has had an impact on producer prices for cattle farmers for a long time, explains AMI meat market expert Mechthild Cloppenburg from Berlin. Because of the lack of feed, many farmers had to reduce their livestock.
In the corona crisis, the missing sales market for restaurants and canteens once again had an impact. “The demand is so weak there is nothing going on,” said Cloppenburg. The important Easter business and celebrations such as communion or confirmation were missing and with it the demand for beef fillet or roast beef.
The pig fatteners also feel a significant drop in the slaughter price, which is currently 1.75 euros per kilo. A few months ago it was over 2 euros, says Cloppenburg. The crisis-related decline in Asian business, particularly with China, also had an impact here.
The high demand for meat from China had given pig fatteners high producer prices last year. But because of the Corona outbreak there, sales had dropped.
In the meantime, however, the Chinese business is slowly starting up again, said Ulrich Pohlschneider from the interest group of the pig farmers in Germany (ISN) in Damme near Vechta. The farmers noticed that because of Corona, the flow of goods had also stalled in Europe, especially to Italy.
The game dealers hardly buy venison nationwide because the cold stores are full. The reason: The restaurants as main customers are currently failing.
According to a trader, the prices for game have dropped to half to a third of the usual level. A hunter receives one instead of three euros per kilogram of deer or red deer, and only 50 cents for wild boar.
AMI expert Els says that there was a 27 percent surcharge for vegetables in April compared to the same month of the previous year. Cabbage vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower, which is harvested in France and Spain at this time of the year, are primarily responsible for this.
There could be a shortage of harvest workers behind the price increase due to travel restrictions.
More: Consumer prices rise more slowly in the corona crisis. It is becoming more difficult for statisticians to collect data.