Dear readers,

            Quite typically we see seasonal price increases in the piglet prices in an increasing number of countries and increasing pig prices especially in the east of EU. Let’s get some other good news from the industry:

  • Fifth-generation family owned pork producer Hord Family Farms completed the acquisition of Horizon Farms, a farrow-to-finish swine operation located in Pipestone, Minnesota, consisting of  five sow farms, six nurseries and 60 finishing farms, located across southwest Minnesota, eastern South Dakota, and northwest Iowa. The farms will be managed by the existing leadership team. 
  • Smithfield Foods has donated $1 million to launch the SEED apprenticeship program in North Carolina, providing high school students with career pathways, college education, and on-the-job training. The program aims to prepare students for the workforce.
  • The European Commission will allocate €185.9 million in 2024 to fund promotion activities for sustainable and high-quality EU agri-food products at home and abroad. The amounts available for campaigns selected in 2024 are split between promotion in the EU internal market and in third countries, with €81.3 million and €85.1 million respectively.

Events calendar:

  • Many cities around the world start the traditional Christmas Market in this period and pork is the star!
  • The renowned International Feed, Livestock, and Meat Industry 2023 exhibition returns for its 10th edition, involving over 110 local and international stakeholders from 14 countries through Informa Markets Malaysia. Livestock Malaysia 2023 event will take place from 29th November to 1st December this year at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
  • In our region, the 10-th edition of “About the pork” festival takes place in Oradea, Romania, on 2-3 of December

Pay Me My Money Down

               The seasonal demand for pigs and pork is running up. Weather also cooled down and preparation of “home-made” sausages and hams is starting. In more and more areas, due to the changes in animal husbandry, this is done with raw material purchased from shops. Still, especially in the east of Europe, it is a large number of backyard pigs coming to the market in this period. It does not pose a threat to the market hog price, but it is a real danger for the spread of some diseases.

            Speaking about diseases: a new case of African Swine Fever in  Hong Kong, again on the border area with mainland China, determines the culling of close to two thousand pigs. I don’t know the approach of the inhabitants there, but I faced in the last days large protests of Croatian farmers stating, among other claims, that there is no ASF, it’s a conspiracy. For me is not a surprise, I have seen this in all the countries with high number of backyard farms. By the way: pig farmers going around with tractors and boots used in their farms will not help biosecurity…

            PRRS is also a major concern, showing up again in the US, while is also still generating loses in Spain. I hear several times, while discussing with European farmers, that we lost competitiveness with the US on the Asian markets. This is true, but it also costs an average loss of 20-30 USD/market hog on the farmer’ side, while the profit is made on the packer side. Fellow farmers, do we need this?

We only have partial results by now, but it can be estimated that European pig production will decrease considerably in 2023, with probably more than 10%. Recent data from France shows a decrease of 8% compared to 2023, while the reduction is of 14% compared to 2014.

Danish pork industry decrease is estimated to close to 20%, no wander that the main pig farmer shareholders of Danish Crown slaughterhouse determined the change of the management of the meat operations.

Reliable sources from the German market report that the quotation will not change until the second week of January 2024, but bonuses are paid for the less-and-less available market hogs. No wander that Spain managed to increase it’s pork meat export to Germany by 57%!

For the pig farmers, especially on the non-self-sufficient east of Europe, it is the best time to say: pay me my money down!

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

GERMANY2,1 HW71/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,98-2,12 HW64/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,52 L57/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,73-1,76 HW78/30 kg 
FRANCE1,763 HW   
ITALY1,97 L115kg, 2,31 L160kg, DOC114/30 kg   
SPAIN1,64 -1,65 L69-78/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,07 HW92/31 kg 
POLAND1,58-1,9 L77-117/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,0-2,2 HW95-100 / 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA2,3 L105-117/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,1 HW69-74/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,72 -1,79 L90-95/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,81 – 1,92 L90-95/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,8 – 1,93 L90-95/25kgPartner info; no quotation

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