Dear readers,

some positive developments from our industry:

  • Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development approved the nationwide use of two vaccines for African swine fever. The two approved vaccines are NAVET-ASFVAC, co-developed by Navetco Central Veterinary Medicine and scientists from the United States, and AVAC ASF LIVE developed by AVAC Vietnam JSC.
  • Almost immediately Bureau of Animal Industry in Manila has recommended the Vietnam-manufactured AVAC vaccine for ASF to the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.
  • Also the Dominican authorities reported their plan to launch the administration of the NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine. The plan is to start on a smaller scale with pigs aged 8 to 10 weeks and gradually expand. The vaccines were obtained through a cooperative effort with the Vietnamese government.
  • The Black Sea port in Constanta, which is being modernized by Romania, is currently the best option for Ukrainian agricultural companies due to its proximity and costs. The government restored the closed rail link with Ukraine , and is working to acquire much-needed pilots to guide ships through the Sulina Canal to Ukrainian ports on the Danube. The number of pilots on the Romanian river canal will gradually increase to 60 from the current 40 in August thanks to returning retired navy officers and captains , increasing the canal’s capacity by 50%.
  • Smithfield Foods has built a new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system to replace a majority of the existing system at its pork-processing complex in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The new $45 million wastewater system adds additional treatment processes and capabilities to meet new and more stringent permit limits on nitrates and ammonia and will reduce Smithfield’s overall nitrogen load to the Big Sioux River by two-thirds or more.
  • The governments of Canada and Manitoba announced an investment of C$2.4 million ($1.8 million) over the next two years to support a C$52.8 million capital project at Winkler Meats. The company will use the funds in a joint venture with Johnsonville Sausage, which sources some of its hog supply from Western Canada. The expansion will quintuple the company’s contribution to Manitoba’s gross domestic product to C$23 million ($17.4 million) annually. In terms of animal welfare and sustainability large quantities of live animal exports to the United States will be diverted, reducing transport stress and  freight-related greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Nedap Livestock Management is withdrawing from pig farming, but this is not the end for the much appreciated products. The company will hand over its products and customers to AgriHub and AgriSys in the coming months. To this end, the parties involved signed a letter of intent last month. In the pig sector, Nedap is particularly well-known for its Nedap PorkTuner, the Nedap SowSense, the Nedap Pig Performance Test (PPT) and the Nedap Sorting Fattening Pigs system

Some fun: last week Berlin and Brandenburg were in alert due to a lion observed in the city. The “king of the jungle” turned out to be a wild boar!

            Pigs can’t fly(yet) but pizza does. Inspired by Elton John’s “Rocket Man” pizza giant Domino’s made headlines at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK by trailing their first-ever delivery by a jetpack designed to keep both the pilot and the pizza warm. Ham, bacon  and salami are popular pizza toppings, let’s hope that also this items will have sky-high sales!

Events calendar:

  • AMVEC (Mexican Association of Specialized Swine Veterinarians) celebrates its 55th national congress between 1-4 August in Acapulco, Mexico. The exhibition and events will take place at the complex of Mundo Imperial where an estimated 1,500 congress participants are expected.

A Better Future

            While the ASF vaccine seems to be a major breakthrough, there are still some issues in the world wide application of it.

According to Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Paul Sundberg says Vietnam’s nationwide approval of the two ASF vaccines is „…also a small step in relation to all that needs to follow.” There may still be questions surrounding manufacturing capacity and distribution, as well as where and when to use the vaccines „because the antibodies from the vaccine can’t be differentiated from the antibodies from ASF infection so in control programs there isn’t a way to differentiate vaccinated animals from animals that have recovered.”

The recent ASF outbrakes in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina determined the authorities to hold a common meeting of the veterinary authorities last week, let’s hope they will find a way to cooperate against this common enemy. Meanwhile over 35 thousand pigs have been already euthanized in the affected regions.

In the recent years, the pig and pork market has been strongly affected by the Chinese ASF situation. The largest pork consuming nation  does not have a really free market and the politics are overruling the economy by intervening in the market. The push for fast recovery of the national pig herd changed the top of pig producing companies in the world, with many Chinese companies reaching an unbelievable number of sows in a short period. The downturn is the sharply decreasing pig price. Zhengbang, previously China’s No. 2 hog producer, embarked on a rapid expansion during 2020, but reported annual losses of almost 19 billion yuan (€ 2,41 billion) for 2021, the worst performance among all of its listed peers, and began restructuring last year. Now a consortium led by major Chinese pig feed producer Twins Group will lead the restructuring of Jiangxi Zhengbang Technology. The investor group, named Twins Xinda Consortium, was selected from 10 applicants involved in a court-led restructuring of Zhengbang, according to the announcement filed to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Twins Group sold 11 million metric tons of feed in 2021, according to the company’s post published on its official website. But is it an issue of management, or is it politics that have to change?

Politics are having victims also in Europe’s pig industry: in an online survey (topagrar.com and Instagram) by topagrar on the status of the conversion planning for the breeding centers, almost half of the 525 participants stated that they wanted to get out of sow husbandry by February 9, 2026! Only 8% of the survey participants confirmed that they had already converted the breeding stall. 19% are currently planning the conversion or have already submitted the concept.

Netherland’s slaughterhouses managed to reduce the pig purchasing price with 4 cents. It’s easier to fight pig farmers , instead of market chains. But Dutch pig can easily go to the neighboring Germany and a cooperative already paved the way to the much better paying market. With the Germans expecting the lowest pig numbers in autumn, this could end up on the way around, slaughterhouses in The Netherland having to pay more, for getting the Dutch pigs back. I hope for a better future!

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

GERMANY2,50 HW93/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS2,21-2,54 HW77,5/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,83 L75/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,85 HW93/25 kg 
FRANCE2,353 L   
ITALY1,92-1,94L 115kg, 2,25-2,26L 160kg, DOC134/30 kg   
SPAIN2,02-2,05 HW91-100/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,44 HW103 /25 kg 
POLAND1,81-2,14 L90-135/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,10-2,8 HW110-123/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,04-2,09 L110-131/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,48 – 2,52 HW82-88/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,96 -2,02 L110-118/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,93 – 2,09 L110-118/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,92 – 2,05 L110-118/25kgPartner info; no quotation

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