Dear readers,

Let’s start the week with positive news:

  • The Spanish pig market leader Vall Companys Group has closed an agreement for the acquisition of 15% of the Porcisan company’s shares. In addition, it has also become a shareholder in its subsidiary, Vitalus Distribución Alimentaria, with 30%.Porcisan’s livestock farms are in Castilla-La Mancha, the Valencian Community, the Region of Murcia and Andalusia. Its turnover is around 120 million euros in its livestock branch. It has about 250 workers and its livestock farm includes 32,000 breeding sows. Vall Companys Group is one of the main Spanish companies in the pork, poultry and flour sector in Spain with a consolidated turnover of more than 3,010 million euros and generating more than 12,000 jobs. 
  • U.S. Arizona State Representative David Marshall, Republican, and four co-sponsors have introduced House Bill 2121, prohibiting cell-cultured animal products. The state is authorized to impose a civil penalty on violators of not more than $25,000 in addition to attorney fees and costs with total actual damages not to exceed $100,000.The bill allows a “person or organization whose business is adversely affected by a violation” to file a civil action for declaratory and injunctive relief and actual damages “against the person that violates this section.”
  • Abraham Shaked, MD, PhD, of the U.S. Penn Transplant Institute and the Eldridge L. Eliason Professor of Surgery, building on findings from a previous study with porcine kidneys, leads the study that works on using an unique pig liver developed by eGenesis, which has been genetically engineered to deter rejection and improve compatibility with humans for human transplant. During the experimental procedure, which took place in December, the donor’s circulatory system and breathing were maintained after examinations determined they had experienced brain death and their organs were not suitable to be donated to others. The donor’s own liver was kept in place, while a porcine liver was connected to the body using blood-carrying tubes to evaluate its potential to serve as a perfusion vehicle. The porcine liver showed no signs of liver inflammation during the 72-hour study period, while the donor’s body remained physiologically very stable. The promising results will be followed by more research on the topic.

Events calendar

  • The 51’-th edition of the Iowa Pork Congress, organized by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, will take place in Des Moines, between 24-25 of January, 2024.


Meanwhile our industry’s most feared natural enemy, the African Swine Fever, just reached another country in Europe. Montenegro has detected A.S.F. in wild boars, the first case of the disease on record in the country. The disease was confirmed in two wild boars found dead by local hunters on the territory of the western municipality of Niksic, close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Besides disease, we also have politics. From next year, new husbandry requirements will apply to pig farms in the Dutch animal welfare label “Beter Leven”. Sows and fattening pigs must then be kept in larger groups, all stables must have daylight and keeping them in crates is no longer permitted. The business consultancy DLV Advies estimate, based on surveys and practical examples, what a closed operation with 500 sows would have to invest in order to meet the requirements: around €300,000. Wageningen University calculated last year that the production costs in the Beter Leven farms are around €2.10 per kg of slaughter weight or €68.50 per piglet. So another increase on the cost will drive out of business the participating pig farmers, as long as there is no financial support for this program.

Vion Food Group, one of the largest slaughterhouse operators in Europe, has just announced stopping operations in Germany. The competitors will easily take over the pigs from the Emstek pig slaughterhouse, but they also used the opportunity to decrease the reference price. Will the lowered price last? As piglet prices did not follow the downward trend, I don’t think so! German quotation increases regularly in week 7-9, we will see soon the outcome.

German green party is proposing a way for financing the increasing costs of the new animal welfare and environmental regulations by introducing a tax. The levy would amount to: 40 cents per kilo of meat, 2 cents per liter of milk, the same amount per kilo of eggs and 15 cents per kilo of butter and cheese. The levy should generate a total of €3.6 billion per year. The idea is not new. Some studies already have shown that consumers appreciate increased anima welfare standards, as long as the don’t have to pay for them. In a free European market, this tax would also create an easy access for the competitors to access the German meat market. For the German pig industry this tax is useless.

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

GERMANY2 HW73/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,83-1,92 HW69,5/25 kg 
BELGIUM1,43 L67/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,58 HW80/30 kg 
FRANCE1,78 HW   
ITALY1,75 L115kg, 2,09 L160kg, DOC124,5/30 kg   
SPAIN1,64 -1,65 L 84-93/20kg 
AUSTRIA1.97 HW94/31 kg 
POLAND1,32-1,73 L78-120/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA1,9-2 HW97-102 / 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA1.95 L 110-117/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,02 HW69-74/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,65 -1,75 L92-97/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,58 – 1,72 L92-97/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,6 – 1,8 L92-97/25kgPartner info; no quotation

Related news