The purpose of this paper is to analyse the competitive performance of the EU countries for the prepared swine meat sector during the period 1990-2003. This sector has been chosen for the role that traditional products play in most EU countries. To assess competitiveness, the analysis evaluates several trade indices to compare the trends over the last fifteen years: Revealed Comparative Advantage, the Vollrath indices, Net Export Index, and Grübel-Lloyd index. The data source was the Eurostat data base, considering intra-EU export and import data referred to 17 sub-sectors with 8 digit codes. Moreover, cluster analysis has been applied to highlight groups of countries with similar features. Good competitive performance in the prepared swine meat sector is observed in Italy, Spain, Ireland and Austria, all of which were found to be specialised in the sector and export oriented. Germany and France show positive competitive performance, but a high level of intra-industry trade and low specialisation is also revealed. Denmark is characterized by negative dynamics of competitiveness even though there are high exports in the sector; a similar trend is observed in Belgium and the Netherlands. The rest of the countries show weak competitiveness for the analysed sector. Moreover, the type of exported product varies greatly: Italy and Spain export dried or smoked swine meat, whereas Germany and Denmark export mainly sausages and preserved swine meat.Alessandro Banterle is associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Economics at University of Milan. Teaching commitments include Food Safety and Quality Economics at University of Milan and Agricultural Policy at University of Brescia. Laura Carraresi is graduated in Food Sciences and Technologies at University of Milan. She has a collaboration with the Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Economics of University of Milan.