Dear readers,

Let’s start with some good news related to our industry:

  • Swine flu poses a threat not only to the pork industry but also to human health, as pigs can transmit different strains of swine and bird flu to humans. Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have successfully completed a live hog experiment, paving the way for a safe and effective vaccine against swine flu that provides long-lasting protection, using the Epigraph algorithm to analyze numerous amino acid sequences of various viral variants and create a vaccine “cocktail” comprising the three most common epitopes, which are specific parts of viral proteins that trigger an immune response. This breakthrough could lead to the development of a universal flu vaccine, which is at least 75 percent effective.
  • Monogram Foods has closed on $8 million in new financing to fund expansion and new equipment at its Martinsville, Virginia. facility, according to a statement from the processor. The expansion, which is in response to increased demand for Monogram’s jerky and meat sticks, will increase the facility’s capacity by 80% and create 156 jobs.
  • A group of U.S. senators introduced a bill aimed at combatting California’s Prop. 12.”The government of a State or a unit of local government within a State,” the proposed legislation reads, „shall not impose a standard or condition on the preharvest production of any agricultural products sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce if the production occurs in another State.”
  • While aerosol transmission of ASFV has been previously reported under experimental conditions, no reports have described it under field conditions. In a case study, aerosol-associated samples were collected over a monitoring period of 24 days in an ASFV-positive farm. A complete and clear chain of ASFV transmission through aerosols was observed. You can read the abstract at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37323846/

Get Up Stand Up

          When watching the evolution of the pig industry in Europe, I have mixed feelings.

            Certainly, the unprecedented level of prices have to be considered a long awaited positive trend for our industry. But, if we look deeper on the reasons to this, we should be more careful with the cheering. The increase is not really our merit! We get more money for our pigs, because the market starts to get below self-sufficiency in Europe.

            Market is always about demand and supply. What happened lately in the main pig producing countries in Europe? Some numbers where already presented in last week’s article. Let’s add other significant figures:

  • In Spain more foreign piglets where imported in the first quarter of the current year than in the same period last year. According to figures from the Confederation of Danish Agriculture and Food Industry (L&F), more than 873 thousand piglets were imported, which corresponds to an increase of 50%. Import from The Netherlands increased by 45.5% compared to the first quarter of 2022 to 621 thousand animals. Belgium delivered 134,000 piglets, much smaller in terms of quantity, but with a six-fold increase in the delivery volume. Far behind them, Denmark with 48,400 and Portugal with around 43,000 animals took third and fourth place. Fifth is Germany: a drop of 5,700 animals was recorded with a delivery quantity of 19,000 animals.

The reason: Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) of the Rosalia virus strain. The consequences are devastating: high suckling piglet losses and sometimes massive performance losses in the sows.

In Germany the slaughterhouses have tried to compensate for the lack of German pigs by purchasing imported animals. In the first four months of this year, around 500,000 pigs where brought in, an increase of 23% compared to the same period of the previous year. The imported pigs came mainly from the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium. However, the increased live imports were not nearly enough to compensate for the loss of more than 1.4 million pigs from domestic stalls. Here the reason for the reduction seems to be the permanent pressure of the “green” policies: pig farmers are reducing or quitting activity, as the current government puts pressure on the animal husbandry.

And there is a third way to reduce the production to the level below self-sufficiency: doing nothing against African Swine Fever!

At least, this seems to be the case of Romania. ASF entered in the country in July, 2017. How did slaughtering numbers evolve since then? According to the Romanian Carcass Grading Committee, for week 23 the numbers were:

  • 83.168 in 2017
  • 56.137 in 2022
  • 45.814 in 2023

For someone from the industry, the numbers could speak for themselves. Not for the authorities. In the last 6 years I have participated in many round tables or debates on the subject. We got many promises and also the permanent excuse of the “specificity” of Romania: the largest number of backyard pigs is Europe is in this country and it is votes against industry. Every spring a drastic reduction of the declared number of ASF outbreaks was hailed by the National Veterinary Authority.

In May, 2 large outbreaks needed the euthanizing of over 28.000 pigs. Friday a new outbreak has been declared, affecting an 11 thousand sow farm with a total number of over 53 thousand heads.

How much more does it take to get up, stand up for your rights?!

European pig and piglet prices: HW= Hot weight; L= live weight;

GERMANY2,43 HW91/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS2,20-2,48 HW79/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,8 L76/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,85 HW93/25 kg 
FRANCE2,234 HW   
ITALY1,76 L- 115 kg, 2,08 L- 160 kg, DOC137/30 kg   
SPAIN2,02-2,05 L95-105/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,37 HW100 /25 kg 
POLAND1,88-2,15 L92 -137/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,10-2,6 HW108-121/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,1-2,2 L115-131/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,36 – 2,49 HW78-87/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,95 -2,1 L108-119/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,98 – 2,20 L108-118/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA2,08 – 2,27 L108-118/25kgPartner info; no quotation

Related news