Dear readers,

The best news for the pig farmers in Europe are the rising prices, but there is more to cheer on:

  • US agri-food giant  Cargill has acquired two meat processing facilities from retail giant Ahold Delhaize. The transaction, took place on February 7, 2024,  the financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.
  • “You need meat, OK?  We are going to have meat in Florida.  We are not going to do that fake meat.   Like that doesn’t work. I know the Legislature is doing a bill to protect our meat” stated Ron DeSantis, Florida governor. House Bill (HB) 435 and Senate Bill (SB) 586 would suspend any Florida establishment’s restaurant or retail license in the lab-grown meat trade.
  • Sow numbers moved back above 82,000 head (+7.5%) in the Czech Republic. The same is true for total number of pigs: the Central Registry sets the final figure for December to 1.41 million pigs (+7%). In 2023, an average of 33.3 piglets were born and 29.5 piglets were weaned per sow. This compares to 5.5 fewer piglets born and 4.5 fewer piglets surviving a decade ago .
  • US December pork exports increased nearly 10% from a year ago to 268,399 metric tons (mt), while export value increased 11% to $765.8 million. Main destination is still Mexico for both volume (105,451 mt) and value ($233.8 million), followed by the Dominican Republic and Malaysia.
  • Japanese quarantine officials are using sniffer dogs to stop travelers bringing in meat products to Japan as part of stepped up measures to prevent an outbreak of African swine fever that is sweeping Asia.
  • The European project  VAX4ASF  —New Technologies for African Swine Fever ( ASF )—has begun with the objective of developing an ASF vaccine. The project, led by pharmaceutical company  Hipra  and supported by the European Union under the  Horizon Europe programme , brings together 17 partners from European Union countries, the United States and Kenya : Spain (Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Sabiotec, Anprogapor, Interporc, Hipra, Zabala Innovation), Germany (Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich), United Kingdom (The Pirbright Institute), Kenya (International Livestock Research Institute), Sweden (Swedish Veterinary Agency), Italy (In3diagnostic), the Netherlands (Wageningen Bioveterinary Research), Hungary (Mate University Institute of Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation, Prophyl), Romania (Timisoara University of Life Sciences), Poland (PIWet National Veterinary Research Institute ) and the United States (Kansas State University).

Nine Million Bicycles In Beijing

The farmers protest continue in Europe, shifting trough the countries with relevant agriculture, affecting also the supply of meat and livestock. On the other side,  climate activists hurled soup at a Monet’s „Le Printemps” (Spring)  painting on Saturday, February 10, in a museum in Lyon.

New data show the decrease of pig numbers in Europe: Spanish slaughter in November 2023 amounted to 4,964,606 animals, 3.56% less compared to November 2022. In tonnage, the decrease is smaller, -2.73%. The number of slaughtered pigs in the 11 months amount to 48,763,167 animals (-5.54%) and carcass weight is 4,461,285tn (-3.10%).

Exports of piglets from the Netherlands during the first 4 weeks of 2024 amount to 419,041 animals, 4.8% less, than in the same period of 2023. Three countries accounted for 93.6% of Dutch piglet exports

  • 47.2% of piglet exports went to Germany (197,873 animals),9.8% less.
  • with 162,394 piglets, exports to Spain grew by 2.6%
  • Belgium imported 31,991 Dutch piglets, a decrease of 17.8%.

As elections are approaching, German meat and livestock issues start to be approached slightly different by the coalition. Green Agriculture Minister Özdemir indicated last week that an amount of 10 cents/kg pork meat tax could be at stake. „What I would need now are much smaller sums, ten cents would be enough at most,” he said when asked about the Borchert Commission’s concept, which had estimated 40 cents at the time. Özdemir argued that the lower level would now also be socially responsible. The Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) did not directly reject an animal welfare tax, while he did not have a concept at the time. He was also skeptical as to whether a “meat tax” could easily be implemented under European law.

Chinese New Year, The Year of the Dragon, started Saturday, 10 of February. Happy New Year to all of you celebrating!

The Chinese pork meat consumption was the game changer for the pig prices around the world for the last two decades. Many of us followed the pig market information from the worlds largest producer and consumer, but lately is almost impossible to find reliable resources related to this. I am not even sure that there are nine million bicycles in Beijing…

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

GERMANY2,1 HW78,5/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,79-1,88 HW70/25 kg  
BELGIUM1,51 L67/20 kg 
DANEMARK1,58-1,6 HW84/30 kg 
FRANCE1,79 HW   
ITALY1,71 L115kg, 2,06 L160kg, DOC130/30 kg   
SPAIN1,64 -1,65 L 84-93/20kg 
AUSTRIA2,04 HW94/31 kg 
POLAND1,34-1,74 L81-124/20-30 kgPartner info; no quotation
CROATIA1,8-2 HW103-108/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SERBIA1.84 L 110-117/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,06 HW69-74/ 25 kgPartner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,6 -1,65 L98-103/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,6-1,7 L98-103/25 kgPartner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,56 -1,62 L98-103/25 kgPartner info; no quotation

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