Dear readers,

Let’s start with the good news:

  • U.S. Iowa Attorney General is leading a 13-state coalition fighting for pork producers. Together, with 12 other states, Iowa is opposing Question 3, a new Massachusetts law that bans states from selling or shipping pork through Massachusetts if they do not meet strict hog-housing requirements. According to the coalition, this law is even stricter, than the already famous Proposition 12 of California.
  • Poland is one of the EU-s most ASF affected countries. The Polish Minister of Agriculture announced a pilot program for the pig population reconstruction.
  • In the Netherlands, pig farmers who want to stop docking pig tails can receive a subsidy that can vary from a minimum of 125,000 euros to a maximum of 500,000 euros. The interested farmers must form a partnership of at least 5 pig farmers, a slaughterhouse and a sales channel for the meat. A fattening pig farmer can participate in the scheme if he purchases piglets from a sow farmer who also participates in the partnership. Excluded from participation are: organic pig farmers and pig farmers who have already marketed pigs with whole tails in the year before the application. The total available budget that the RVO has reserved for this subsidy is 2,500,000 euros. The pig farmers who participate in the partnership will receive at least 60 percent of the allocated subsidy amount.
  • No wild boar infected with ASF was found in the past three weeks in Germany. ASF restrictions have been lifted in several regions in recent weeks. 

Events calendar:

  • Farmexpo and Moldagrotech, the main industry event of Moldova, will take place in the capital city of Chisinau, between 19-22 October. It’s a good opportunity to learn about a raising market.
  • The largest international food exhibition of the republic of Armenia, ArmProd Expois held in Yerevan,  between 20-22 of October.
  • The Romanian Association of Veterinarians Working in the Swine Industry is organizing it’s 4-th annual event at the Veterinary Faculty of Cluj, between 20-21 of October. Join us!


I promised some data and info from the Anuga fair, but first some comments on the starting news.

Iowa accounts for approximately 1/3 of the U.S. pig industry, their interest in leading the coalition is obvious. But Proposition 12 of California is already producing effects on the consumers, too. A research done on behalf of USDA shows that the average sales price of pork ribs and loins were 25% and 43% higher, respectively, in California, in August, compared with prices in June. Meanwhile, in the rest of the U.S., the average prices for pork ribs and loins were 6.4% higher and 5.4% lower over the same period. Also, total volume of fresh pork purchased in California decreased by 23% and August 2023 retail volumes in California were 37% less than the average volume sold in California in August from 2020-2022, pandemic years.

Now let’s have some comments on the Anuga Köln fair from last week.

Plain figures: 7,850 companies from 118 countries  on an exhibition space covering 300,000 m². The share of foreign exhibitors was 94 percent. Around 140,000 trade visitors from 200 countries , the foreign share was 80 percent.

The 2021 edition was held under Covid rules. Visitors were at half on the actual number and some participants considered it as the end of fairs. Well, for the moment, show still goes on.

Now let’s get to the pig industry. Almost all of the many friends and partners met at the fair commented the presence of the fake-meat producers in the halls designated fore the meat producers. Please: do not pretend that you belong to the meat industry and take your spot at the fruits and vegetables sector!

Second, chronologically: the last day of the fair, Wednesday, coincided the decrease of the German pig quotation. Some reasons for it: Dutch farmers came up with some inside info from the Vion group. The German division lost 108 million € in 2022 and the farmers supplying the units from the Netherlands consider that the lower pig price from the Dutch slaughterhouses is used by the group to support the losses from Germany. Even more, it is supposed that the group will announce this week the closure/sale of its German division. This would mean approximately yearly 6 million hogs getting on the free market…

As all German slaughterhouses are working way below capacity, it is enough place for them. But all the big players in Germany are asking pig producers to reduce the price because the plants are loosing money. Well, the main reason is that the capacity is higher, than the availability! Maybe there are to many, to big slaughterhouses for the current state of the pig industry!

Facts: between 2015 and 2022, pork production has decreased by 19.2%, imports by 18%, exports by 20.8%, domestic consumption by 17.6% and per capita consumption by 19 %, while self-sufficiency was 145.3% in 2022. Last year, the German market imported 1 million tons of pork and exported 2.40 million tons, Germany is still the 3rd largest world exporter of pork , only behind Spain and the US.

I also did some “store check”. Some friends provide offers from the German gross market for the pork meat. Well, the shelf price checked at a few German retailers is, at least, double. We are facing the same issue: the slaughterhouses are not able to get a fair share from the margin made by the retail chains.

How German retail is supporting our industry?

Lidl wants to nearly double the share of plant-based protein by 2030. In the fiscal year 2022, the ratio of plant-based to animal-based protein sources was 11 to 89%. By 2030, Lidl wants to change its range of plant-based products to 20%, with 10% of dairy alternatives. „This is costing us money at the moment, but it is a first step.” On average, the retailer has reduced the price of its vegan products by 23% to bring them in line with products of animal origin. The purchasing manager states: „We want to encourage customers to try plant-based alternatives without price being the deciding factor.” So, price is not a deciding factor, but we are asked to reduce it… This is now the pig industry status in Germany!

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

GERMANY2,1 HW 70/25 kg  
NETHERLANDS1,98-2,12 HW 61/25 kg  
BELGIUM1,5 L 53/20 kg  
DANEMARK1,65 HW 70/25 kg  
FRANCE1,944 HW    
ITALY1,99 L115kg, 2,32 L160kg, DOC 119/30 kg    
SPAIN1,74 -1,76 L 62-71/20kg  
AUSTRIA2,12 HW 93/25 kg  
POLAND1,5-1,84 L 68-114/20-30 kg Partner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,05-2,25 HW 95-100 / 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,36 L 110-120/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,1 HW 69-74/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,67 -1,77 L 90-95/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,67 – 1,83 L 90-95/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,73 – 1,89 L 90-95/25kg Partner info; no quotation

Related news