Dear readers,

We start with the positive news:

  • Scientists from the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, in China, are working on a vaccine against African Swine Fever (ASF), obtained from an attenuated strain of the virus. Animals were divided into two segments, to which high and low doses of the drug were inoculated with the virus after 28 days. The results showed that the specimens from both segments survived the disease and only some of the group that received low amounts of the immunizer exhibited mild and short-lasting symptoms , which could be observed through blood samples but not physically.
  • Smithfield Foods ‘ European operations announced a strategic alliance with Argal Alimentación , a Spanish producer of processed meats and cooked products. Smithfield will take a 50.1% stake in Argal and current shareholders will retain 49.9% of the shares. This strategic alliance is based on an agreement in which the two groups establish a joint management framework, in close collaboration on the part of all shareholders.
  • US pork sales are about 38% higher than the previous year. Cold storage stocks are at an estimated 210 thousand tons at the end of September, marking a 13.8% decrease from the prior year and a 13% drop below the five-year average.
  • The Black Sea Humanitarian Corridor, created by the Ukrainian Navy, resumed its work after a three-day break last week. On October 27, 15 ships used it for exit/entry in Odessa ports. On October 28, 5 more ships with a total deadweight of 163.263 tons arrived at Odessa ports and 4 vessels with a total deadweight of 168.014 tons left the ports of Great Odessa that day.
  • Russian pork giant Miratorg and Van Hessen Group’s Russian subsidiary have launched the Geparinus factory in the Kursk region, investing $16 million. This high-tech project processes pork mucosa, previously exported to Europe, to produce pharmaceutical heparin and hydrolyzed feed protein. Geparinus aims to reduce Russia’s reliance on imported heparin and expand Miratorg’s product range, enhancing profitability.

Events calendar:

  • The 2023 Sow Summit, provided by Iowa Pork Industry Center is held on  November 1.at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames.
  • Exhibitors and visitors meet for the 17th time on the AgroWorld and FoodExpo Kazakhstan on 3 days from Wednesday, 01.11.2023 to Friday, 03.11.2023 in Almaty.
  • The WorldFood Ukraine takes place for the 26th time on 3 days from Wednesday, 01.11.2023 to Friday, 03.11.2023 in Kiev.


It seems to be a truce between the pig producers and the meat industry in Germany, and this provides a temporary climate of peace also in the other markets, as everybody still follows the German cotation in evolution.

Still, pig producers complain about the decrease of reference prices in both piglets and pigs. While feed cost should decrease, there is huge uncertainty on the new legal provisions of the animal husbandry. Also, as pointed out several times, as long as pig price decrease comes Wednesday and piglet price decrease follows Friday, many fatteners keep the barns empty, afraid of further decreases. It would only take a switch between the announcements to maintain the flow in the pig farming chain.

European pork producers complain that the high price of pigs is creating a disadvantage for competing with the American producers on the Asian markets. That is true, but so is the fact that North-American pig producers are losing an estimated 30 $/pig and the money is made on the packer side. Are we looking for this?

Chinese market is a permanent target for the pork exporters, but we know less and less about the reality and the possible evolution of the production and the market. New vaccine research results look promising, but also could determine a new wave of vaccinations with unsafe products and spread different disease, as biosecurity is still a challenge in the Chinese pig farms. Also, it looks like all major producers were loosing money on the current pig price levels, so economic decision would be to reduce production and/or push for higher prices. But both ways will have to be supported by political decision, too!

In this context, the movement of WH Group is intriguing. As pointed out before, one step is the preparation of the return to the US stock market. The other step is to return to Spain, 10 years after selling their shares in Campofrio. Does this mean that European pork meat is again needed in China? Perhaps…

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

GERMANY2,1 HW70/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,98-2,12 HW60/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,5 L51/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,68 HW71,5/25 kg 
FRANCE1,841 HW   
ITALY1,99 L115kg, 2,325 L160kg, DOC115,5/30 kg   
SPAIN1,68 -1,70 L63-72/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,07 HW90/25 kg 
POLAND1,5-1,9 L67-112/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,0-2,2 HW95-100 / 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,1 L105-115/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,1 HW69-74/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,67 -1,77 L90-95/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,70 – 1,89 L90-95/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,75 – 1,85 L90-95/25kgPartner info; no quotation

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