Dear readers,

Let’s see some good news:

  • The current U.S. farm bill expires in September. At a farm bill listening session in Minnesota this week, House Agriculture Committee Chairman GT Thompson (R-Penn.) said he plans to include language in the new farm bill to nullify the effects of California’s Proposition 12 on other states. The California law placing restrictions on pork, veal and egg production was upheld in a May Supreme Court decision after a challenge by the National Pork Producers Council. “The bill would prohibit states from imposing a standard or condition on the preharvest production of any agricultural products sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce” in another state.
  • In the first half of 2023, China imported more pork and by-products than in the same period in 2022. The import volume including by-products increased by around 180,000 t or 13% to 1.54 million t. An even larger increase of 31% to €3.46 billion is reported for import expenditure:
  • The Netherlands pork export to China increased by 37 percent to 143,900 tons
  • Spain, the main supplier, increased its total sales below average, namely by 2.4% to 35%
  • The government of Canada is investing  C$944,340 to the Manitoba Pork Council through the African Swine Fever Industry Preparedness Program (ASFIPP) to help Canada’s pork industry prepare for the possibility of African swine fever (ASF) entering the country. The Manitoba Pork Council will undertake several projects that aim to enhance efforts to control wild pigs in the province, develop an integrated response plan that focuses on animal welfare, disease response and sector recovery, and encourage the adoption of best management practices to improve biosecurity measures through targeted awareness campaigns, according to the statement.

Never Ending Story

Typically, august is the month in which nothing happens. This time, it started in a different way. The dramatic decrease of 10 cents in the German reference quotation was unexpected. The Netherlands paved the way a week earlier and , with some large meat companies working on both sides of the German-Dutch border, the continuation came naturally. As almost always, most of the other markets follow the German quotation, even at a different pace. Noticeable, Denmark did not change the reference prices and this could affect the piglet sales. Also, the Italian market continues to rise the pig price, while the Spanish price decreased only with a minimal 2-3 cents.

The position of the players in the pig business chain depends pretty much on the type of the business. An integrated model, with large number of pigs and no own store is under the pressure of the market chains, as it is also the case of the big slaughterhouses. Everyone gets the same story:

  • inflation is affecting the consumption
  • bad weather is affecting the grill season
  • high pig prices do not support export
  • China is not buying pork

Obviously, pig producers challenge this statements. Like I also showed in the beginning of the article, China increased it’s pork import and Spain continues to be the largest exporter, while The Netherlands also managed to increase their market share. At this point, we should also think about the fact that China was a market for the European overproduction and, mainly, for byproducts. I strongly doubt that Europe still has a large overproduction, while the byproducts from a pig are just a few percent and could get also different utilization.

Export should be profitable for all the production chain, again not a real argument for reducing pig price.

What about inflation? This is an issue. but why market chains are not reducing their large margins on pork? Several times I have cited articles and market players complaining of the dominant position of the market chains. When they use it, slaughterhouses push the price decrease on the pig suppliers, whom have no way out, but to accept . It’s a never ending story…

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

GERMANY2,40 HW88/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS2,17-2,44 HW74,5/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,75 L71/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,85 HW93/25 kg 
FRANCE2,288 L   
ITALY1,96 L 115kg, 2,28 L 160kg, DOC133/30 kg   
SPAIN2,0-2,02 HW88-97/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,44 HW95/25 kg 
POLAND1,76-2,09 L90-135/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,05-2,7 HW110-118/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,04-2,09 L  110-131/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,35 – 2,43 HW77-82/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,92 -1,97 L110-113/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,9 – 2,02 L110-113/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,9 – 2,02 L110-113/25kgPartner info; no quotation

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