Dear readers,

       Lets start the week with some good news from our industry:

  •  Two protocols between Austria and China have been signed, thanks to intensive preparations of both sides. In the future, Austrian pork meat producers that are registered with the General Administration of Customs in China (GACC) will be able to supply pork by-products such as offal, feet and heads, which are considered special delicacies in China.
  • The Brazilian government has said 38 additional meat plants have been cleared to sell products to China. China is the main destination for Brazilian exports of beef, pork and chicken, the Asian country imported 2.2 million metric tons of meat valued at more than $8.2 billion from Brazil last year.
  • Swine Cluster 4, a five year just over 20-million-dollar research initiative funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada brings together over 50 researchers from 13 institutions working collaboratively on 18 pork sector research and knowledge transfer priorities.
  • USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA is awarding $9.5 million to 42 equipment-related projects in 27 states and Puerto Rico, through the agency’s Local Meat Capacity grant program.

Events calendar:

  • The Alimentaria in Barcelona, one of the world’s largest trade fairs for food and beverages, serves as a central meeting point for leading manufacturers and suppliers in the industry. This prestigious event, held biennially, is organized at Fira de Barcelona on 4 days from Monday, 18. March to Thursday, 21. March 2024.
  • Anuga FoodTec is the world’s only supplier fair that competently covers all aspects of food and beverage production. As a new sector, there will be an exhibition area for environmental technology and energy. Anuga FoodTec awaits you in Cologne from 19 – 22 March 2024.
  • IFE Manufacturing is an indispensable event for professionals in the food production and packaging industry. It combines a broad spectrum of exhibition topics, outstanding awards, and a first-class location. The IFE Manufacturing will take place on 3 days from Monday, 25. March to Wednesday, 27. March 2024 in London.

You Cant Always Get What You Want

            Two of the good news listed above are related to the Chinese pork market. It may be a little bit confusing, as we heard the incredible recovery of the Chinese pig herd after the massive African Swine Fever outbrakes. As a person who has some experience with the way a communist party deals with statistics, I always had serious doubts related to this “achievement”. Anyhow, the one indicator that was more believable was the financial report of the stock exchange listed Chinese companies, some of the reporting losses of hundreds of millions of euros/dollars. Some interesting figures appeared recently, related to the number of sows established by the party for the next period. According to the government, the nation’s sow population was 40.67 million at the end of January 2024, about 3 million fewer than twelve months earlier. At the beginning of March, the new pig production capacity plan assumes a reduction to 39 million sows. Additionally, the possible downward deviation from this target has been reduced from 95% to 92%. Without government countermeasures, the sow herd could fall to 35.88 million head. May this be the way to admit the REAL size of the sow herd? How soon will then the world’s largest pork consumer increase imports again?

            Meanwhile in Spain the Zamora Agricultural Market has suspended its quotations for the second consecutive week, meaning that prices have been interrupted again in the week of March 12.The previous week the Zamora Market also withdrew contributions from all tables in support of the demonstrations in the agricultural and livestock sector. On this occasion, the organization has not motivated the suspension of contributions. As Spain has several “lonja” listings, we can find also some extreme values, as 109 euros for a 18 kg piglet in the market of Vic! Expensive piglets will reach the slaughterhouses as market hogs, the pressure on purchasing prices will be huge.

            Piglets got so scarce and expensive, that a pig farm in the German Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania area fell victim to thieves. The as yet unknown perpetrators stole 65 piglets from a stable.

            The still reference German quotation is unchanged, even the price span shows a possible extra 5 cents. Farmers were hoping to get this increase in the last weeks, but not it seems that this will happen only in the days after Easter. You cant always get what you want…

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

GERMANY2,20 HW85/25 kg 
NETHERLANDS1,95-2,22 HW79/25 kg   
BELGIUM1,58 L80/20 kg  
DANEMARK1,65 HW93/30 kg 
FRANCE2,026 HW    
ITALY1,71 L115kg, 2,06 L160kg, DOC139,2/30 kg    
SPAIN1,73 – 1,79 L 90-109/20kg  
AUSTRIA2,16 HW106/31 kg  
POLAND1,44 – 1,86 L 91-136/20-30 kg Partner info; no quotation
CROATIA2,05 – 2,15 HW106-115/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SERBIA1,87 L   110-117/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
CZECH R.2,13 – 2,17 HW 70-76/ 25 kg Partner info; no quotation
SLOVAKIA1,7 -1,78 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
HUNGARY1,74 – 1,84 L 107-113/25 kg Partner info; no quotation
ROMANIA1,75 – 1,81 L 107-117/25 kg Partner info; no quotation

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