LIVESTOCKS => AGRI-NEWS => Topic started by: mikey on January 30, 2009, 03:23:42 AM

Title: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on January 30, 2009, 03:23:42 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009Print This Page
QSM Anniversary: Gordon Ramsey Quote
UK - The following is a quote by Gordon Ramsey to BPEX on the 10th Anniversary of the QSM (Quality Standard Mark).


It goes without saying that I'm committed to using the best quality ingredients in all of our restaurants for all of our menus.

It's also more straightforward for people in my position to be able to demand the best and know that our suppliers are equally committed to those standards. For the general public, though, quality marks play a vital role in guaranteeing the quality of the products concerned.

In the case of British pork and pork products, there is the added confidence of knowing that animal welfare, production methods and quality control are amongst the highest possible when you see the Quality Standard Mark.

Therefore, I'd like to add my congratulations to BPEX on the 10th Anniversary of the Quality Standard Mark. And I'm especially pleased to be able to do so following the industry's very successful campaign - Pigs Are Worth It. It's important that the standards embraced by British producers are universally embraced and all of us in the supply chain have an important role to play in that regard.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on January 30, 2009, 03:25:38 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009Print This Page
NFUS Praises Waitrose's 'Buy British' Plea
SCOTLAND - NFU Scotland has praised Waitrose for urging its shoppers to buy British pork, echoing the sentiment that buying British is the best way to ensure that animals are reared to high welfare standards.


Waitrose yesterday urged shoppers to buy British after new research has revealed that nearly three quarters of Scottish consumers are unaware of the poorer welfare conditions that the majority of imported pigs are reared in.

In addition, 82 per cent of consumers are unaware that well over half the pork consumed in the UK is imported from other European Countries. NFU Scotland has regularly highlighted the fact that the welfare standards that three quarters of these pigs are reared in would be illegal in the UK.

NFU Scotland, through it’s What’s On Your Plate? campaign for food and farming, has long been urging shoppers to buy Scottish – or British – food and drink in order to support local farmers, the high animal welfare standards that they adhere to and all of the other work they do to benefit the countryside and communities.

Anna Davies, NFU Scotland’s Public Relations Manager, said:

“We are fully in support of Waitrose and their buy British messages. Since 2007, our What’s On Your Plate? campaign has been promoting Scottish food and farming and it is really encouraging to see that the messages are reaching not only consumers but also retailers.

“The standards to which Scottish – and British – farmers produce to are superb and must not be undermined by cheap, poor quality imports which don’t meet the same strict standards. That is why we encourage shoppers to read labels and make sure that they are buying Scottish or British products, whether it’s milk, chicken, beef, lamb or bacon that they are putting into their trolleys.

“The labelling issue is therefore critical. All too often I see labels in supermarkets that don’t make it clear where food and drink has originated. Consumers want to know where the food that they are eating has come from and so it’s time that all retailers met this demand by providing clear and unequivocal labelling.

“Please ‘Back Scotland and Buy Scottish’!”

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on January 30, 2009, 03:29:20 AM
Thursday, January 29, 2009Print This Page
Jamie Saves Our Bacon
UK - Jamie Oliver's hour-and-a-half long programme Jamie Saves Our Bacon will be aired tonight on Channel 4, starting at 9 PM.

The programme will be wholly supportive of British pig production. It will have a significant, and enduring, impact on demand for British pigs.

Jamie Oliver (To continue reading this article please click here

Waitrose, which has a genuine British pork supply chain in place, is poised to reap the benefits. Tesco, with its Polish supply chain for value lines, is less well placed.

Pig producers will need to watch labelling carefully in the weeks ahead and blow the whistle on instances where imported pork is passed off as British.

A YouGov poll published today of 2,200 British adults, on behalf of Waitrose, shows 85 per cent of consumers want clear labels on pork to provide information on the conditions the pig was reared in and to identify the country of origin.

Waitrose is today calling on shoppers to support high welfare standards and buy British, after its research reveals 70 per cent of Brits are unaware of the poor conditions the majority of imported pigs are reared in.

82 per cent of consumers are unaware that well over half the pork consumed in the United Kingdom is imported from European countries with lower production standards.

In the run-up to the Jamie programme vegan groups have been hawking pig unit video footage around the Press but have found no serious takers as past investigations by independent auditors have discredited such footage, taken under cover of darkness.

Over the past few weeks and in the weeks ahead, British pig producers will see the not always edifying spectacle of a multitude of organisations attempting to use Jamie's campaign to attract attention to their own agendas.

Compassion in World Farming, which many producers consider to be habitually unhelpful to the British pig industry, has launched a campaign to ban farrowing crates. Sainsbury's has also highlighted farrowing crates in recent, carefully timed, publicity material.

Whilst tonight's Jamie programme will wrong-foot the Danes, another programme—to be shown on More4 on Tuesday February 3—will have a much more hard-line agenda, concentrating on Smithfield's production methods.

You can find out more about Jamie's programme by clicking here.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 02, 2009, 08:34:04 AM
Saturday, January 31, 2009Print This Page
And Everyone Asked for More...
UK - The long awaited Jamie Oliver Channel 4 programme broadcast on Thursday evening proved to be every bit as much of a tonic for the British pig industry as we had dreamed for, says Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary.

His passionate belief in the much higher welfare levels associated with the domestic product backed up by a whole cross section of different clips, views and opinions from many well known faces served to underline just what a good product we are producing and how unfair it is for price comparisons to be made against low welfare imports.

Widespread confusion over labeling was underlined by the inability of many shoppers to work out if the pigmeat products they purchased were reared here, abroad or on the moon.

As a result retail customers, retailers and processors are all talking about the show and this had a direct effect on the spot market which staged significant price rises across the board despite the € losing almost 5 per cent in value over the past seven days.

Most spot bacon quotes opened in the 138–140p range, but premiums of 2-5p above this were available in some areas as the day wore on, but in some cases on a fairly tight spec. This compares with the DAPP which in horseracing terms seems to have been got at or nobbled.

Although the DAPP is designed to reflect and to some extent track market prices, many producers were puzzled (and some incensed) by the fact that during the first five weeks of the year the DAPP has only risen by 0.15 per cent from 131.23p to 131.38p, whereas spot prices which opened at 134p are now 140p plus, over 5 percent up.

The AHDB is reported to have received a number of calls from producers crying “foul” and currently it is difficult to see how such a minuscule rise can be justified in the face of the overwhelming evidence provided by the spot market.

Another grey cloud that is slightly overshadowing the market has been the recent fall in the value of the euro which has dropped from 94.4p last Friday to trade at 89.7p today.

This effectively takes 5 percent off the cost of imports posing more of a threat to the commodity end of the UK pigmeat prices, despite all the good work done by Jamie Oliver and Co.

Currency fluctuations have also impacted on the cull sow sector with some traders opening offers as low as 112p, but a shortage of numbers in the system meant that in many cases bids were only a couple of pence below last week’s levels with 116p (and more) available for larger loads.

There is no doubt that weaner supplies are continuing to tighten and this remains a seller’s market with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average creeping ever upwards and now standing at £46.48/head, but once again significant premiums out there from buyers looking to fill empty units.

The industry needs to continue to build on the publicity and general public interest stimulated by the Jamie Oliver programme in the weeks ahead, but as prices normally move up from February onwards this is certainly a case of “so far so good”.

A few “thank you” emails to Jamie from pig producers to show our appreciation would not be a bad idea.
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 03, 2009, 05:18:38 AM
Monday, February 02, 2009Print This Page
Old-Breed Pork Must Be the Real Thing
UK - In a decision that will have a major impact on both supermarkets and producer-retailers, Trading Standards officers have been told to clamp down on misleadingly labelled old-breed pork.

They have been that food labelled with a breed name must be derived from animals bred from pedigree parents of the same breed.

In future, if the label says 'Gloucester Old Spot' than both parents must be Gloucester Old Spot pigs. (Image source:NPA)
If only one of the parents is the named breed, then the product must be clearly labelled as being from a cross-breed. The advice comes from Lacors - the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services.

This means that if a piece of meat is, for instance, labelled ‘Gloucestershire Old Spot’ or ‘Berkshire’ consumers will know they are buying pork from pure-bred animals.

'This is a huge breakthrough in protecting the integrity of meat from Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs,' said Andrew Robinson, chairman of the Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders’ Club.

'From a situation 30 years ago when they were close to extinction, numbers have built on their reputation for producing delicious pork and bacon and it is only right that demand should not be met from cross-bred stock with lesser eating qualities.'

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 04, 2009, 01:33:48 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009Print This Page
Britain Sees Improvement in Pig Incomes
UK - Average farm business income is forecast to increase substantially in 2008-09 on specialist pig farms, according to the latest government national statistics report for the United Kingdom.

This reflects in part the low incomes seen in 2007-08 but also higher pigmeat prices throughout 2008 caused by tighter supplies and weaker sterling against the euro.

Although input costs are also forecast to increase, particularly for fuel and feed, these are expected to be more than offset by increased output from pig enterprises, says the report.

  03/04 04/05 05/06 06/07 07/08 08/09 (prov) Annual change
At current prices 36,900 25,900 30,300 24,500 6,300 71,300 1032%
In real terms at 2008/09 prices 43,600 29,700 33,800 26,400 6,500 71,300 997%

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 05, 2009, 05:06:00 AM
Wednesday, February 04, 2009Print This Page
EU Welfare Labelling: Good, Bad or a Waste of Time?
UK - Can Britain’s high-welfare pig producers expect help from Brussels... or must they rely on Jamie Oliver to help them recoup their extra costs of production?

It is expected we will know the answer to this question by summer, because the European Commission’s directorate general for Health and Consumer Affairs is currently preparing a communication on animal welfare labelling.

At this stage, it is unclear whether Brussels will come up with a basic scheme that merely indicates European minimum standards, or something more grandiose involving higher welfare standards — as applies in British pig production for example.

Perhaps producers should not expect too much, because the Commission’s over-arching aim will be to give European producers an advantage over third country producers.

Brussels might not wish to be the architect of a scheme that gives one European country — such as Britain — an immediate marketing advantage over another European country—such as Denmark.

Here are some of the ideas that have been floated so far and that might be included in the Brussels communication.

A mandatory labelling scheme showing that products meet the European Union’s minimum welfare standards.

And/or a higher, voluntary scheme for producers who exceed minimum European standards.

And/or a grading system for higher welfare production, where stars are used to indicate the level of welfare.
This latter idea was well received when it was proposed at a conference on the subject March 2007. It was at the same conference that former Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou suggested a two-tier labelling scheme—standard and higher.

One fear is that Brussels will propose a compulsory logo denoting minimum European welfare standards, and retailers could use this to push other, more deserving logos off packs of meat. If this happened, far from improving animal welfare, the Commission could reduce it.

If that happened, it would not be the first time Brussels law-makers have fallen foul of Hutber's Law ("Improvement means deterioration").

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 06, 2009, 03:57:11 AM
Thursday, February 05, 2009Print This Page
Parliament Promises to Look at Pig Industry Again
SCOTLAND - The Rural Affairs and the Environment Committee in the Scottish Parliament has decided to give further attention to Scotland’s pig industry, following yesterday’s discussion on the sector, to which NFU Scotland submitted evidence.


The gesture follows a concerted effort by the industry to get the Scottish Government to re-consider its unsatisfactory ‘pigs package’, which was produced following a report by the Scottish Pig Industry Taskforce in the summer of 2008. The Taskforce’s recommendations were largely ignored, much to the chagrin of the Taskforce’s committee members and the wider industry.

NFU Scotland is committed to working with the Scottish Government on the alternative package of measures that it subsequently announced.

Peter Loggie, NFU Scotland’s Pigs Policy Manager said, "The Rural Affairs Committee expressed its intentions today to hold an evidence-taking session with representatives of the pig industry and Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead."

"Members of the Committee pointed to a number of difficulties which the industry is currently facing, namely volatile returns; declining sow numbers; animal welfare legislation which puts British producers at a disadvantage with their European counterparts; the prospect of expensive investments to meet Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) legislation and the difficulty of applying for schemes under the Scotland Rural Development Plan (SRDP). NFU Scotland would welcome discussions on all these issues," Mr Loggie said.

He said the Committee also acknowledged the findings of a recent House of Commons report on the English Pig Industry, which recommended that Defra and the Scottish Government engage in discussions on issues facing producers in England and Scotland. "The Scottish Government’s Pigs Package allotted funding to study labelling and this is an issue on which there is certainly scope for movement by the UK and the EU as retailers are still labelling pigmeat which has been reared in the EU as British, simply because the meat has been processed on UK soil," Mr Loggie added.

"We congratulate the Committee for standing up for Scottish pig producers as they are confident of little else at the moment. We look forward to working constructively with MSPs and the Scottish Government to restore faith and viability to Scotland’s pig industry," he concluded.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 06, 2009, 03:58:56 AM
Thursday, February 05, 2009Print This Page
BPEX: Healthy Pork Message Gets Through
UK - The message that pork is a healthy option is increasingly getting through to consumers, according to a new report from BPEX.


The ‘Pork and Healthy Eating’ report, highlights that more than 4.3 million people everyday eat pork and they are increasingly doing so within a balanced diet.

When fresh pork is considered, consumers instinctively regard it as ‘good’ food.

BPEX Research and Insight manager, Richard Cullen, said, "This is a huge positive for pork and is particularly encouraging at a time when health remains high on the agenda for so many consumers.

"It is important the industry continues to drive home the healthy attributes of pork through packaging and promotions."

The report also makes it clear that red meat including processed products such as bacon and sausages are actually a low overall contributor to fat in the diet.

While households purchase on average 71.7kg of fat a year only 2.7kg – less than 4 per cent – of that comes from fresh meat (much less than comes from yellow fats or savoury home cooking products).

When it comes to saturated fats, slightly more than 4 per cent is accounted for by fresh meat but less than 2.5 per cent by sausages.

Mr Cullen said, "Meat is usually eaten as the main part of a main meal, the contribution it makes to our total intake of salt and fat is much less than many would imagine.

"Overall pork is perceived as healthy and this is a great platform for the industry to capitalise on."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 07, 2009, 04:03:24 AM
Friday, February 06, 2009Print This Page
A Double First for Roundhouse Building
SCOTLAND, UK - Roundhouse Buildings Solutions Ltd (RBSL), the makers of the innovative, award winning Roundhouse livestock building, has recently completed its first dual installation site for Strathmore Farming Company at Glamis, Angus, Scotland.


It is also the first major Roundhouse installation on a conventional pig farm, although there is also a building at the well known organic farm at Sheepdrove, in Berkshire, which houses finishing pigs from time to time.

Each of Strathmore’s Roundhouses will house around 260 of the farm’s dry sows, with the building chosen because of its ease of stock management, excellent visibility and welfare friendly nature, says Strathmore’s Farm Director David Soutar. The animals quickly adapted to the new environment and are extremely happy and contented, he reports.

“As soon as we saw the Roundhouse we realised that it would be ideal for housing dry sows. They would still be on deep straw with plenty of ventilation, but compared with moveable housing outdoors in paddocks the management and staff welfare would be much improved without compromising our Freedom Foods accreditation,” he adds. “Tangible benefits such as feed savings, easier handling and improved breeding performance are expected to make the investment sound.”

The building has a 30.25m diameter, a 95m circumference, and normally a combined area of 720m2, which can be split into as many as eight segments. However Strathmore has “stretched” the area available by utilizing the space to the outside of the roofed area, which wouldn’t normally be done for cattle, and which gives an area of 900m2. At Freedom Foods stocking densities this allows for 250 sows, although the stocking rate for “conventional” sows could be more.

Beef, dairy, pig and deer farmers are all becoming increasingly attracted to the building, says RBSL’s managing director Geoff Simpson. This is because of its stock friendly environment, and because the ease of management of the buildings allows more animals to be managed without a significant increase in labour. Its round shape allows a stockman to walk into the centre of the building, where he will then have a 360 degree view of the stock. An integral, but optional, handling system in the centre of the building also simplifies management.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 08, 2009, 06:06:44 AM
Saturday, February 07, 2009Print This Page
A Look at Life's Brighter Side
UK - Demand proved to be warmer than the weather with prices anywhere between a universal stand on and in some cases an extra penny or two was available from some buyers still short of pigs, writes Peter Crichton in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

But much will depend on the spec (not just the price) with 140p to 90kg on a 14 probe in some cases better than 143p to 78kg on a 12 probe… i.e. “less is more”.

Evidence continues to emerge over further pig shortages in the pipeline indicated by sharply rising weaner values (see below) as well as virtually every United Kingdom abattoir operating at under capacity with hardly any cases of pigs being rolled, except in those parts of the country where killing throughputs have been affected by the awful weather.

The previously static DAPP is now a better reflection of the spot market by moving up from 131.38p to 133.34p, but is still an estimated 7p behind the equivalent spot quotes which were generally in the 140–143p region with lighter weights worth 4–6p above this.

The DAPP recalculation followed major concerns expressed by several producers, further details of which were printed on the NPA News page yesterday.

It is a point worth remembering that an incorrect DAPP does much more than just affect finished pig returns because virtually every weaner contract is also traded on a DAPP linked basis. The same also applies to some pig unit rents, bonus payments and the like.

Although European Union cull sow prices have held at roughly similar levels, the weakening € has taken 2–4p off quotes with export abattoirs opening their bidding at circa 112–114p/kg, but premiums are still available for larger loads more due to a shortage of numbers than any particular improvement in value.

The weaner market remains a reliable indicator of future pig supplies and although the AHDB 30kg ex farm average quote has now risen to £46.90/head, this is still some £2-£4 behind recent spot prices.

Just to cheer up the “glass half empty merchants” out there, this time last year the DAPP was 110.5p, spot bacon quotes were circa 100p, sows were worth 72p and the € was only worth 74p at a time when feed wheat was trading on an ex-farm basis at £176/tonne, so in the words of the Monty Python song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”!


Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 11, 2009, 04:08:30 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009Print This Page
Regional Disease Eradication Gains Momentum
UK - Pig producers and vets are increasingly lending their support to the idea of regional disease eradication, and are offering their own ideas into the mix.

Already, a producer-driven initiative is under way in East Anglia to control and then, maybe, to eradicate swine dysentery. And there should soon be an announcement that phase one of a Yorkshire and Humberside plan is to be rolled out, with help from public funds.

In due course the Yorkshire model may be adopted by other regions. The next bid for regional development funds is likely to be in East Anglia.

Even if in some areas funding is available only for phase one of the plan—the-mapping of disease status on pig units—it will be of immense value to producers, said BPEX and NPA chairman Stewart Houston.

Just by knowing the health status of your neighbours’ units helps with biosecurity, he said. “Currently there are some producers who would like to destock and repopulate but they are reluctant to proceed because they don’t know what is around them.”

Interestingly producers and vets have become more supportive of regional eradication plans now it is known there will be a gently-gently approach.

“I think initially we frightened people a bit by talking straight away about the end game," said Stewart Houston. "Everyone seems to be much happier with the idea that disease reduction and elimination is something that will have to take place in stages, and will take several years to accomplish.”

Producer Richard Lister made a similar point at the last meeting of NPA Producer Group when he said, “The likely outcome is that eradication will work in small circles and ripple out from there.”

Last week a meeting of the big players in East Anglia—David Black and Son, BQP, Bowes and M. J. and J. A. Easey—was universally supportive of BPEX’s disease eradication initiative.

Some useful points emerged. For instance, disease control is not just about stopping disease coming onto a unit. “We all think about disease coming in but in future we are going to need to look at producers also taking responsibility for not letting disease out,” said Stewart Houston.

People had tended to lose faith in biosecurity measures during the peak of PMWS but as a result of the success of BPEX’s PCV2 project they were now seeing big improvements in health and were beginning to think about biosecurity measures again, he said.

Another point raised was the need to look harder, as an industry, at properly washing down wagons between batches of pigs.

“This was a compulsory measure during foot and mouth and classical swine fever, but for it to become vigorously and uniformly practiced during normal times we will need to persuade the abattoirs to invest in better facilities.

“We can’t expect a lorry driver who is trying to earn a crust to use washing facilities that are inadequate and time-consuming.”

Stewart pointed out that improved health status would help abattoirs as well as producers, with more clean plucks and fewer offline carcases caused by pleurisy and mange. And in due course a reduction in the use of medicines on farms would be attractive to retailers.

Once regional disease eradication plans are in place and mapping of pig units has taken place it will become necessary to decide which diseases to target.

This will be a fairly complex procedure which will involve identifying the diseases to be considered and then to ask how economically damaging they are, whether they would be easy or difficult to eradicate, and whether eradication would prove costly or not.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 11, 2009, 04:09:56 AM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009Print This Page
Atypical Case of PCV2 Reported
UK - The December 2008 Monthly Disease Surveillance Report from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency includes an unusual case of porcine circovirus disease (PCV2), which had affected the liver and caused jaundice in a single pig six months old.


Alimentary Tract Diseases
Brachyspira pilosicoli
The problem of a low grade scour spreading through a group of approximately 300, 14-week-old growing pigs was investigated by Langford. It was reported that at least 40 were affected. Brachyspira pilosicoli was isolated from a typical faecal sample.

On another unit, swine dysentery was confirmed following the isolation of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae from a faecal sample collected from 16-week old pigs with diarrhoea. Twelve out of 50, 16-week-old pigs were said to be affected.

Enteric colibacillosis exacerbated by environmental factors was suspected to be the cause of wasting and scour affecting 200 of 1,600 six-week-old pigs in outdoor tents in groups of 90, the scour was seen from four and a half weeks of age and ten deaths occurred. Four live and two dead pigs were submitted to Bury; all were hairy and dehydrated and in poor or very poor body condition. Three of the pigs had gross evidence of enteric disease and profuse growths of a variety of enteropathogenic E.coli were isolated. The body condition of the pigs suggested that problems began soon after weaning and environmental factors such as chilling may have played a role in predisposing to, or exacerbating, disease. No involvement of PRRSV or PCV-2 was identified.

Porcine proliferative enteropathy
Bury diagnosed porcine proliferative enteropathy as the cause of wasting from 17 weeks old onwards in a 550-sow indoor breeder finisher unit. Approximately eight pigs were affected in each batch of 400, and about half of these died. Post-mortem examination of six affected pigs revealed thickening, reddening and corrugation of the distal third of the small intestine of varying severity and intracellular acid-fast curved rods were visible in MZN-stained smears from the small intestinal mucosa, consistent with PPE. No evidence of PCV2-associated disease was found.

Atypical PCV-2 associated disease
An unusual manifestation of PCV-2 infection was described by Winchester affecting a single six-month-old pig on an outdoor unit. It was profoundly jaundiced with an enlarged orange-coloured liver. Immunohistochemistry confirmed severe and widespread PCV-2 infection of hepatocytes, the jaundice thought to be due to hepatocyte swelling and necrosis with mechanical obstruction of normal bile flow.

Respiratory Diseases
Haemophilus parasuis and PRRS
A single fresh pluck was submitted to investigate coughing in growers arriving on a rearing unit two to three weeks earlier; 10 had died from a group of 200. The submitted pluck showed a lobar pneumonia with generalised fibrinous pleurisy and pericarditis suggestive of Glasser’s disease, which was confirmed by the isolation of Haemophilus parasuis. In addition, PRRS virus was detected by PCR in lung tissue and histopathology revealed a subacute severe diffuse bronchointerstitial pneumonia with alveolar necrosis and type 2-pneumocyte hyperplasia suggesting that the PRRSV was significant in the respiratory disease.

Other Diseases
Three lactating gilts in a batch of 120 on an outdoor breeding herd showed malaise and diamond-like skin lesions which responded well to antibiotic treatment. Most of the piglets in two of these litters died rapidly and one two-week-old pig was submitted to Bury for post-mortem. The necropsy revealed marked purpling of the skin of the snout and ear extremities, subtle multifocal pinpoint haemorrhages in the subcutis of the abdomen, a mottled slightly enlarged liver and fibrin stranding in the peritoneal cavity. Pure growths of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae were isolated from the liver and spleen consistent with swine erysipelas.

Streptococcus dysgalactiae equisimilis
Swollen joints and fading pigs at 17 to 20-days-old was described in an unspecified number of litters on an outdoor breeding unit. Three dead pigs were submitted to Bury and post mortem revealed all to have arthritis with excess turbid synovial fluid. One pig also had omphalitis and vegetative endocarditis affecting the left atrioventricular valve. Streptococcus dysgalactiae equisimilis was isolated in pure and profuse growth from lesions and internal sites.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 12, 2009, 05:21:28 AM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009Print This Page
The Jamie Effect Kicks in with a Vengeance
UK - The Jamie Oliver effect has kicked in with a vengeance after he urged everybody to buy higher welfare pork.


He spotlighted lesser known cuts on his programme Jamie Saves Our Bacon and afterwards TNS data showed consumer purchases of pork shoulder roasting joints were up by 75.3 per cent last week compared to the previous week.

This equates to an extra 100,000 roasting joints and, in total, pork sales were up by 15.8 per cent in volume - an additional 500 tonnes.

BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston said: “This is fantastic and more than we could have hoped for.

“Jamie has achieved a great deal for our high welfare pig industry and this is a solid platform on which we plan to build.”

Future plans include

Continuing the campaign for clear and unambiguous labelling, a point highlighted by Jamie
Working with public procurement to increase their use of high welfare pork, bacon and ham
Moving forward on the recommendation made in the EFRA Committee to set up a pig industry task force
The programme highlighted the fact that around two thirds of imports do not conform to UK minimum welfare standards and would be illegal to produce here. Shoppers who want to support higher welfare production should look for the QSM.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 13, 2009, 04:14:18 AM
British pig organisations focusing at Asia 12 Feb 2009
The British Pig Executive (BPEX) and the British Pig Association (BPA) have teamed up in efforts to get breeding pigs and pork into Far Eastern markets.
They will have a major presence at six international shows as part of joint marketing programme, supported by UK Trade and Investment.


Both organisations together with major British pig breeding companies will attend the VIV Asia exhibition in Bangkok in March. At the event, delegations from six Far Eastern countries have been invited for presentations and discussions on British breeding pigs.

Hong Kong
In May, a strong British representation will attend the exhibition of China Animal Agriculture Association in Chengdu and a forum on British breeding stock and in June pork will be will be presented at the Hofex exhibition in Hong Kong conference.

The World Pork and Meat Congresses and an exhibition organised by China's Meat Association in Qindao in early September will be attended by delegations from BPEX, BPA and the British pork sector. Here a British pavilion and a specialist seminar is aimed at enticing Chinese buyers.

Finally, the sector will be represented in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in October.

BPEX head of exports J.P. Garnier, said: “China and the Far East are the most vibrant regions for the trade of pork and pig genetics at the moment. We already are the undisputed market leaders with pig genetics on these markets and have recently won some major contracts in the region. Exports of pork to Hong Kong have more than tripled in 2008."

“The UK has a very good image with local buyers that we want to build on the high reputation for the quality of our products. We are also planning buyers' visits from Taiwan to England in the autumn. I can happily say: success breeds success."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 15, 2009, 07:50:29 AM
Saturday, February 14, 2009Print This Page
Prices Surge Ahead
UK - Friday the 13th has certainly proved to be a lucky rather than an unlucky day for pig sellers, writes Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary.

Spot quotes today continue to move sharply higher and in horseracing terms the field was greatly helped by a couple of pacemakers which meant that others in the race had to get their whips out to keep up.

As a result although some spot bacon buyers were hoping to buy at circa 140p, earlier mid-week phone calls had indicated that the market was unlikely to move ahead by much more than this.

Most spot bacon sellers were able to achieve a minimum price of 143p on wide spec contracts and as the day wore on prices 2–4p ahead of this were available, although in some cases these were tied to a generally tighter weight/grade spec.

Rumours were also circulating that one or two shrewd sellers might have agreed deals at circa 150p, but this proved to be exception rather than the rule.

A feature of the trade is that “a one price pig” seems to be the order of the day with some processors also prepared to move up their weight ranges. This was confirmed by Woodheads going up from 85kg to 90kg and attracting a growing share of the market with positive buying tactics from their new Spalding abattoir, which is conveniently situated almost midway between East Anglia and Yorkshire.

A glance across the Channel however reveals a somewhat different picture with many European Union mainland producers either breaking even or making a loss, whereas United Kingdom sellers are continuing to benefit from a strong euro and the Jamie Oliver effect.

For this reason imports remain a threat and will become more so if the £ gains in value.

But when compared with deadweight lamb quotes of circa 370p/kg and beef over 280p/kg, pork is still a very good value alternative at the meat counter.

The DAPP which took another upward step this week now stands at 134.97p and is also expected to make significant upward progress in the weeks ahead reflecting much better spot prices with lower proportion of contract pigs being included in the sample.

Cull sow quotes have now started to edge ahead after several weeks of falling prices and have been helped by something of a recovery in the value of the euro, which on Friday closed at circa 89p.

Export sow abattoirs remain very short of throughput and because of this were generally tendering improved prices in the 116–118p range according to load size and specification.

The weaner market has always provided an early indicator of what lies ahead and further reports of shrinking numbers due to a mixture of infertility problems last summer/autumn, the recent cold snap and further reductions in the size of the United Kingdom herd, have all conspired to continue to tighten weaner supplies.

The AHDB 30kg weaner average of £46.90/head is still lagging behind recent trades and the £50 weaner has now become a reality.

On a more serious note swine dysentery is once again rearing its ugly head (or backside) on some East Anglian units.

Any producers who are not members of the East of England Swine Dysentery Producer Charter should sign up and they will then know where the outbreaks are and be able to tighten up on their bio-security, livestock haulage and carcass collection arrangements, all of which can spread this deadly bug.

So to avoid to saying “bloody hell” one morning, pig producers should check their pigs and if they have any suspicions (however remote) that their units are affected, get the vet in to have a closer look.

Abattoirs could also help to break the link between pigs and haulage by improving their lorry washes and moving away from the garden hose and watering can era by upgrading their washes to very high pressure systems and plenty of disinfectant.

Bowes of Norfolk are one on the best in this respect, but in school report terms many others “could do better”. Unless livestock trucks are biologically clean there is probably no way in which further infections can be avoided.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 18, 2009, 02:45:30 AM
Tuesday, February 17, 2009Print This Page
NFU AGM REPORT - Agriculture Must Produce More
UK - The UK agriculture industry has to start producing more while at the same time taking care of the environment.


National Farmers' Union president, speaking to the annual meeting and conference said that agriculture in the UK is already making as large contribution to the country's income.

"Last year Britain's GDP fell by 1.8 per cent. By contrast, total income from farming rose by 36 per cent and our contribution to GDP increased by 38 per cent," he said.

"We are in a new era when we must produce more and at the same time impact on the environment less. That is the new agenda for farming."

He said he wanted to see British farming put back into the centre of the economy during 2009 "not just neglected on the margins."

"Farming needs to be seen as part of a much bigger economic fabric," Mr Kendall said.

"It lies at the centre of a rural economy that turns over £300 billion a year and employs 5.5 million people.

"It is part of the food industry that in manufacturing terms far outweighs such traditional industries as steel, shipbuilding or cars.

"Taken as a whole the food chain is an impressive and vital part of the country's economy, contributing £80 billion, employing 3.6 million people and exporting a record £13 billion of goods in 2008."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 23, 2009, 12:09:01 PM
Saturday, February 21, 2009Print This Page
There'll be More Good Days Like This, Euro Willing
UK - Another good day for sellers although prices tended to be closer to stand on than push on and in horse racing terms some of yesterday’s front runners tended to be back on the bridle today with the result that it was quite hard to reel in the odd 150p quotes that were rumored to have been made and most spot based bacon prices tended to be in the 146p region with some variations according to region and specification, writes Peter Crichton in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

But later in the day a few of these front runners came back into the fray.

The DAPP also helped to improve contract price returns and now stands at 136.4p, but a DAPP plus 4p bid remains some 5p–8p adrift of the spot market, although the gap may be closing slightly.

Many large scale buyers and sellers are watching the currency markets like hawks as these may well dictate any further price movements in the week ahead and although the € looked as though it was losing value early on this week, it closed on Friday worth circa 88p.

As a result cull sow quotes remained at generally stand on levels with 114p widely quoted as base price and modest premiums available for larger loads.

The weaner market continues to reflect a major shortage of progeny pigs in the system following on from a combination of summer infertility and the numbers of sows that were slaughtered early in 2008, which are no longer part of the production chain.

Further evidence to back this up has been provided by reports of much longer gaps between emptying and filling contract rearing and finishing units and for the first time for many years there is more space available in this sector. Unless pig numbers recover, some of the poorer performing contract sites may have to be closed down.

The wide gap between the spot and contract finisher prices is also being reflected in the weaner market and although this week’s AHDB 30kg ex farm weaner price of £48/head has jumped up by £1.10, spot quotes well ahead of £50/head are now being reported with circa £55 being achieved in some regions.

Provided that finished pig returns do not flop in 12 week’s time, even though weaners look eye wateringly dear, if they stay healthy and grow well a reasonable margin can be earned and probably better than when weaners cost £35/head, but baconers only came to £80/head.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 25, 2009, 04:22:39 AM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009Print This Page
Dramatic Rise in Pork Exports Compared to 2008
UK - Pork exports have shown a dramatic rise over the last year according to new figures from BPEX.

Exports of fresh and frozen pork have risen by 20 per cent over the year, up nearly 20,000 tonnes to 118,300. Bacon exports also showed a big jump, going from 12,000 tones to more than 33,000 tonnes.

Offals showed an 18 percent rise hitting 19,000 tonnes with nearly 40 per cent of that going to the Netherlands and almost 30 per cent to Hong Kong.

The value figures are even more impressive with fresh and frozen pork up 42 per cent, worth an extra £33m while the value of offals is up 63 per cent, worth almost £3.5m more.

In total, exports of pork, processed pork products and offals were worth £160m to the British industry.

"Exports are vital to the industry which is why BPEX is keen to expand the number of markets into which we sell. They have a very important role in adding value to both producers and processors,:" said BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan.

"These impressive figures show that although sow carcase exports increased, the biggest rise was recorded for prime pork cuts. This is particularly encouraging following the restrictions put in place during the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2007.

"It also demonstrates the value of the export recovery programme conducted by Defra and BPEX in early 2008. It is particularly true for pork offal which was an important element of the programme.

"With the value of sterling more competitive compared with the euro and other currencies, we hope to see further growth in exports in 2009."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 01, 2009, 08:42:08 AM
Saturday, February 28, 2009Print This Page
A Pause for Breath
UK - Since the start of the year the DAPP has gone up from 131.23p to 138.05p, but like people of a certain age there is a need to pause for breath after such a long climb from the ground floor to the bedroom, according to Peter Crichton in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

This is probably no bad thing as signs are emerging that the widening gap between United Kingdom and European Union pigmeat prices was encouraging yet more imports to head this way with some importers claiming that they could now buy the foreign equivalent at up to 15p/kg cheaper than its British counterpart.

Despite the wonderful benefits of the Jamie Oliver programme and support by some of the upmarket retailers for United Kingdom pork, the lower end of the market remains much more price sensitive and easily tempted by cheap imports.

Spot quotes on Friday tended to range 143–148p according to specification with one or two reports of slightly higher prices for cutters and light bacon, but generally a “one price pig” seems to be a feature of the trade.

The strength (or otherwise) of the euro will continue to dominate the fortunes of British pig producers and this week the euro ended almost exactly where it started worth 88.8p.

With the stockmarket still in retreat owing due to ongoing disarray in the financial and banking sector where the bonus and pension schemes seem to be working in reverse, pig producer’s are hoping that confidence in sterling will remain low, favouring the euro.

Cull sow prices this week remained at almost universal stand-on levels with a minimum of 116p payable in most regions, but premiums still available for larger loads with throughputs reported to be well below capacity.

Sharply rising weaner prices also appear to have levelled with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average now quoted at £48.99/head, but several deals are breaching the £50/head mark.

A look back to this time last year however reveals that feed wheat which is now trading at £102.50/tonne ex-farm was valued at £181/tonne twelve months ago when the DAPP was 111.75p and spot pigs were worth £110… so some clouds have a silver lining.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 02, 2009, 02:57:04 AM
UK/EU Pig Statistics - January 2009
This article provides an overview of the latest statistics relating to pigs in the UK and Europe and includes slaughter figures, carcass weights, pig meat production and trade. The information is extracted from the data published as spreadsheets by Defra.


All data given by Defra for the current period is provisional.
UK slaughterings of clean pigs in 2008 stood at 9,193,300, 0.9 per cent below the figure for 2007.
Slaughterings of sows and boars in the UK in 2008 totalled 235,100, 12 per cent more than the previous year.
Figures for EU slaughterings are available only to the end of September 2008. In that month. 21.085 million pigs were slaughtered across all 27 EU countries.
The average killed and dressed pig carcass weight in the UK in 2008 was 76.6 kg. This continues a gradual upward trend: in 1987, the average weight was 62.2 kg, while it stood at 76.2 kg in 2007.
The average for sows and boars was 151.3 kg, almost the same as last year.
Total pig meat production in the UK in December 2008 was 55,000 tonnes, of which 45,000 tonnes was pork and 10,000 tonnes of bacon. In the same month in 2007, volumes were 58,000, 47,000 and 11,000 tonnes, respectively.
The UK's home-cured bacon and ham production in the fourth quarter of 2008 totalled 49,000 tonnes. Of this total, 28,000 tonnes (58 per cent) was from pigs killed in the UK, and 20,000 tonnes from imported pig meat. These figures bring the total production for 2008 to 184,000 tonnes, of which 108,000 tonnes (58.7 per cent) was from UK pigs.
The UK imported 27,500 tonnes of pork in September 2008, the latest month for which the figures are reported. Of the total, the great majority (26,700 tonnes) came from other EU countries and just 800 tonnes for elsewhere. In the same month, 10,500 tonnes of pork was exported – 7,800 to the EU and 2,600 tonnes to other countries. For bacon and ham, all UK trade was with other EU countries, with 24,900 tonnes being imported and 4,400 tonnes exported during the month.
The surveys of pig populations in the European Union – which take place in all countries in November and December – have not yet been published.

February 2009
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 05, 2009, 01:41:38 AM
Wednesday, March 04, 2009Print This Page
NADIS Veterinary Report & Forecast - February 2009
UK - This is a monthly report from the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS), looking at the data collected from their UK farm inspections.


National figures over a number of years have shown that the average piglet mortality levels in all pig herds are in the region of 11 – 12 per cent of all pigs born alive.

NADIS figures for 2007 from selected herds reported upon by NADIS veterinary surgeons dipped below this level through the summer and autumn before rising in the winter. However, in 2008 losses were fractionally higher (Graph 1).

More interestingly following collection of 2 year’s data, is the apparent 2 phase cycle of losses within the year. The most distinct trough occurs in the summer months with a noticeable peak in the spring. Furthermore there is a suggestion of a further trough in winter preceded by another small peak. If these patterns are genuine and repeatable, it may suggest that the more variable temperatures typically experienced in spring and autumn have an hitherto unrecognised adverse effect within farrowing areas. Interestingly, the perception in outdoor herds, which make up approximately 25 per cent of this data, has historically tended to suggest higher losses in summer (litter desertion) and winter (hypothermia).

Breakdown data indicates higher losses in breeder-weaner farms than in all other types of unit (Graph 2) but this cannot be accounted for by herd size given that larger herds tend towards lower mortality (Graph 3) – breeder-weaner and breeding only farms will tend to be larger.

Between system, variation is small with very little differences measured between mortality rates recorded indoors and outdoors or between batches and continuous flow systems. The latter might suggest that the benefit of being able to concentrate staff attention during the farrowing period in batch systems is offset by the higher work load (Graph 4).

There is however a marked numerical difference in mortality rates recorded between herds farrowing on slats against those farrowing on straw, with the latter experiencing more than 20 per cent higher losses than slats. Again, if this is a genuine and repeatable observation it raises serious questions marks over the perceived benefits of straw based systems in farrowing areas. Given that outdoor herds will all be straw based, this observation suggests serious problems in straw based indoor systems.

Regional data (Graph 5) shows very little difference in losses recorded between the 2 main pig keeping areas of NE England and East Anglia (The high mortality levels recorded in S & SW England must be viewed with caution as herd numbers are low.) Previous observations have linked straw and slat differences (e.g. in health) with regional favouring of one or other system. This is clearly not the case with respect to piglet mortality.

As a final note, pre-weaning scour prevalence in 2008 appears to follow roughly the pattern of mortality (i.e. lower in summer with peaks in spring and late autumn) which is not necessarily surprising. However, a sharp rise in scour at the end of 2007/8 was surprisingly not reflected in an increased mortality.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 06, 2009, 01:04:54 AM
Thursday, March 05, 2009Print This Page
More Imports in the Months to Come?
UK - Producers took the brunt of the cost-price squeeze in 2007 and this year it will be the processors' turn, predicts NPA chairman Stewart Houston.

"In fact it has already started," Mr Houston said yesterday, "And it signals problems for producers because it could mean more imports in the months ahead."

The problem, he said, is that some retailers are starting to use their disproprotionate buying clout to put unreasonable pressure on processors to hold down prices.

"This is bad news for processors because it puts them in an awkward position, and of course it is potentially bad news for us," he said. "Who would have thought that this year we may have to start doing battle on behalf of the middle link in the chain?"

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 07, 2009, 04:29:35 AM
Friday, March 06, 2009Print This Page
Farm Survey Shows Need for Urgent Action
SCOTLAND, UK - The Scottish government’s farm survey figures show a decline across every main sector in Scotland and must serve as a wake-up call to politicians and the supply chain on the shrinkage taking place amongst the nation’s primary producers and the likely ramifications for the Scottish food industry, says NFU Scotland.

"The decline is rectifiable and we are working on a number of policy areas which, if given political and supply chain support, could turn around Scottish farming’s fortunes," says NFU Scotland.

When comparing December 2008 figures with those of a year earlier, all parts of the livestock sector show further significant reductions in the numbers of stock being kept. The results also reveal the effect of last year’s dreadful weather on the cereals sector with the area planted in winter crops cut dramatically.

Compared with December 2007:

Cattle numbers are down by 2.7 per cent
Pig numbers are down by 15 per cent
Poultry numbers are down by 3.5 per cent
Area of wheat sown is down by 22.4 per cent
Area of winter barley sown is down by 9.5 per cent
Area of winter oilseed rape sown is down by 11.7 per cent
The Scottish agricultural workforce fell by 4.6 per cent
NFU Scotland president, Jim McLaren, said that there are undoubtedly specific problems in certain sectors, notably with upland and hill livestock, dairying and pig farming and NFU Scotland is pursuing policies with the Scottish and Westminster governments to address them.

"Scotland’s ambitions for its food and drink sector are dependent on a sustainable supply chain, with fair rewards for all. It is in the hands of processors and retailers to provide the proper incentives to Scotland's food producers to continue producing. The need for a Supermarket ombudsman has never been greater and the mechanism to help deliver that is in the gift of Westminster," Mr McLaren said.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 11, 2009, 12:46:35 AM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009Print This Page
Alternatives to the Farrowing Crate?
UK - Which way for farrowing crates? A possible peep into the future was provided for pig producers by an independent Swiss pig adviser, Thomas Zanotelli, at a packed meeting of the Suffolk Pig Discussion Group, sponsored by Quality Equipment.

Michael Mattmüller (left) of Quality Equipment with independent pig adviser, Thomas Zanotelli, at the Suffolk Pig Discussion Group.Following the ban on sow stalls in the UK, increasing attention is now being focused on the use of farrowing crates. Switzerland’s small, but efficient, pig industry has to comply with some of the tightest welfare regulations in Europe and employs a range of ‘freedom’ farrowing systems, designed to protect piglets without confining the sow.

Giving the event a distinctly international flavour, Mr Zanotelli, who speaks little English explained through Quality Equipment’s Michael Mattmüller, who acted as interpreter, that Switzerland has a national pig herd of 1,634,800 with 150,000 sows. There are 11,200 farms with pigs so these are mainly small herds on family farms.

Feed is expensive because the government protects Swiss production with heavy subsidies, and this includes levies on imports. So finisher diets cost about £322 per tonne. Pigs are finished at around 102 kg liveweight and fetch £190-£200. All farms have to comply with strict welfare codes, but there are premiums of up to £15 per pig produced on farms that are especially welfare friendly, to encourage such systems. These are paid by the supermarkets which entitles them to use a special label.

Many different designs were shown, some incorporating — as well as straw bedding — unusual features, such as rough, ridged walls against which the sow can lean to lower herself down gently to avoid flopping on her piglets. Vertical bars incorporated at an angle into the walls of other pens also served a similar purpose, while horizontal rails — similar to ‘farrowing rails’ seen on UK farms in the 1960s and 1970s — were employed to provide safety areas for piglets.

One design provided three separate temperature areas to suit both sows and piglets and many relied heavily on boxed-in, well-insulated and heated creep areas to encourage piglets away from the sow, and the danger of overlying, when not suckling.

Mr Zanotelli pointed out that simply relying on heat lamps meant that the weakest pigs were left to die in the coldest areas, but an even temperature can be maintained with boxed designs, especially those having curtains, which allow piglets to poke their head through for fresh air.

Switzerland has to import meat to satisfy local demand, but unlike ambiguous packaging in Britain, there are strict labelling regulations. The Swiss mark is only allowed on packaging if the animal from which the meat comes, has actually been produced in Switzerland with its strict welfare codes
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 13, 2009, 07:03:58 AM
Thursday, March 12, 2009Print This Page
New Piglet Product Prevents Coccidiosis
UK - The first UK licensed coccidiocide for the prevention of coccidiosis in piglets has seen its UK launch this week.

Baycox is a ready-to-use oral suspension containing the active ingredient toltrazuril, which is already licensed in different presentations for use against the disease in poultry and dairy calves. Baycox 50mg/ml is given as a single oral dose to piglets.

Isospora suis is the main coccidial pathogen in piglets and the most common cause of pre-weaning scours. Clinical coccidiosis manifests as watery, yellow/cream coloured scour between 10 and 21 days of age. Piglets may also appear depressed, anorexic and develop rough coats.

Typically, mortality is low – around 5 per cent, but morbidity is high – around 70 per cent. Coccidial infection also predisposes piglets to secondary enteric infections such as E.coli or rotavirus, which can increase pre-weaning mortality rates by up to 30 per cent. The legacy of coccidiosis is retarded growth before and after weaning and uneven bodyweights within litters.

According to Bayer Animal Health, the company behind the product, performance improvements through administering a single dose of Baycox metaphylactically have been demonstrated on farms with a history of coccidiosis. In one study, Baycox-treated piglets had gained approximately 20 per cent more weight than the control group at 25 days of age.

The company says that Baycox kills all intracellular developmental stages of I.suis without impairing the piglet’s ability to develop immunity.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 20, 2009, 06:31:09 AM
Thursday, March 19, 2009Print This Page
New Focus for Pig Meat Supply Chain
UK - Pig farmers, meat processors, retailers, and the Government have agreed to work on areas of common concern for the benefit of consumers and the industry itself.


The seventeen members of the new Pig Meat Supply Chain Task Force, set up to identify the biggest challenges faced by the industry and suggest solutions, met for the first time yesterday.

The group is working to improve the resilience of the supply chain through:

investigating how a standardised code of practice for clearer labelling could be introduced;
improving pig herd health;
examining how to increase the amount of produce reared to higher British welfare standards bought through Public Sector procurement; and
addressing the regulatory burden on the supply chain.
Farming Minister Jane Kennedy said, "It’s fitting that the Task Force should meet for the first time during Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week."

Ms Kennedy said she's extremely encouraged by the fact that all sections of the supply chain – from producers to retailers – want to get round the table and see what improvements can be made.

"I want the group to improve things for consumers and the supply chain by delivering on issues like clearer labelling, better pig health, and greater public sector procurement of higher welfare products. The industry needs action and results," added Ms Kennedy.

The Task Force comprises:

Jane Kennedy, Minister for Farming and the Environment (Chair);
Stewart Houston, Chairman of the National Pig Association (NPA);
Barney Kay, NPA General Manager;
Richard Lister, producer and Chairman of the NPA Producer Group;
Mick Sloyan, Chief Executive of BPEX;
John Hughes of Tulip;
Bill Thurston of Vion;
Adrian Dowling of Bowes of Norfolk;
Bernard Hoggarth of Cranswick;
Simon Galkoff of Whitbread;
Nick Scrase from ASDA;
Simon Twigger from Sainsbury’s;
Colin Holmes from Tesco;
Andrew Thornber from Morrisons;
Jan Anderson of Yorkshire Forward;
Trisha Henton from the Environment Agency;
Susan Knox representing consumer bodies; and
Ian Platt of Baxter Storey.
The Task Force will carry out its work over the next 12 months. There will then be a review to determine whether it should continue.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 31, 2009, 06:29:51 AM
Contract Sellers Will be Tempted to Send Fewer Pigs
UK - There was something of a gap opening up between the haves and have nots as far as buyers were concerned, writes Peter Crichton.

For those prepared to go the extra mile and get all the pigs they needed, bids tended to be in 155p+ range, whereas contract buyers tended to be operating at a slightly lower level and were not pushing particularly hard for extra spot pigs realising that they were not there in the first place.

With the DAPP continuing to improve and now standing at 142.8p, contract pigs appear much better value compared with spot at the buying end, but producers will be tempted to send only minimum contract numbers and play the spot market with the remainder.

Demand for lighter pigs from the smaller fresh meat wholesalers also met with very little variation in quotes between the different weight ranges.

British abattoirs are still facing a chronic shortage of live pig availability which is the price being paid for last summer’s infertility and further reductions in the size of the national pig herd.

Unfortunately this is forcing some of the larger retailers and pigmeat users to look abroad, but providing the euro stays firm at current levels closing worth circa 93p on Friday, the cost of foreign imports will continue to be well supported.

In mainland Europe pigmeat prices have remained relatively static, although some European Union countries are showing slight improvements as the holiday season approaches. The viability of the British pig industry remains in the hands of the currency speculators and any signs of a sharp drop in the value of the euro will be bad news for the pig business as a whole.

European manufacturing pigmeat values provide a ready barometer of the health of the industry as a whole and cull sow quotes have remained at generally firm but unspectacular levels with United Kingdom export abattoirs generally offering prices in the 120–124p range, but prepared to lift these for larger loads and to secure shrinking numbers.

As previously, the weaner market continues to surge ahead with the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average now quoted at £51.41/head, but in many cases significant premiums are available above this with reports of northern buyers particularly short of stock prepared to bid over £55/head and more in some cases.

One of the regrettable downsides to the recent spell of high weaner prices is the rising number of pig thefts that are occurring throughout many parts of the country, the most recent and blatant of which was a loss of almost 500 weaners circa 11-12kg from Rob Mercer’s outdoor rearing site near the M42 toll road north of Birmingham.

This goes well beyond a few pigs being carried away in a sack by some migrant workers, but is a highly organised theft on a large scale which must involve hauliers/pig producers as well. If you have any clues on who may be responsible please ring Rob Mercer on 07970 174984 or “Pignickers” at Crimestoppers.

Final reminder for Peter Crichton’s last scheduled auction (for the time being) of pig equipment by direction of W T Pointer and Son at Manor Farm, Sculthorpe near Fakenham.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 31, 2009, 06:31:25 AM
Monday, March 30, 2009Print This Page
Farm Unions Slam Meat Inspection Charge Proposals
UK - British farming unions have branded the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) proposals for a nine per cent rise in meat inspection charges at abattoirs as inappropriate, ill-judged and unaffordable to the meat and livestock sector.

The union comments come in its response to an FSA consultation on proposed changes to the charges for official meat controls carried out in Scottish abattoirs and due to come into force from 29 June 2009.

The preferred option put forward by the FSA is to increase meat inspection charges in June this year by a massive 9 per cent. The lowest cost option proposed by the FSA would still see charges increase by 4 per cent.

The unions said the proposals were developed in a different economic climate and the increased charges were based on an inflation figure that is now vastly inaccurate.

In addition, retailer pressure on the meat sector to provide low cost products during this time of recession, coupled with the still high costs of primary production, places processors in an impossible situation where increases simply are not affordable. Even the lowest proposed increase of four per cent could have a severe impact on the viability of meat plants and the production chain as a whole with the FSA’s ‘preferred’ option of nine per cent being totally unrealistic, the unions said.

Alistair Mackintosh, chairman of the NFU livestock board, believes there should even be a reduction in charging levels throughout the meat supply chain with all unnecessary costs driven out.

He said: "I realise that the official meat controls provide assurances that slaughterhouses, meat cutting plants and game handling establishments produce meat for human consumption that is safe and that animal health and welfare requirements at slaughter are met. We’re fully supportive of the need to protect public health. But there is absolutely no justification for any increase especially in the current economic climate.

"The NFU does agree with the introduction of time-based charging but we don’t want to see any abattoirs, particularly those that are low throughput and in remote areas of the country, experience unnecessary cost burdens. We also believe that there should be a joint Government and industry effort to change EU regulation to remove, where appropriate, the level of official controls needed by external inspection bodies within red meat plants.

"Many of the elements of meat hygiene are for the benefit of the public and it should be within their interest to contribute to the end cost of producing this hygienic and safe meat. This should then be reflected in the tax payer contribution to these controls and not therefore removing the need to force the producers into paying for any additional charges."

NFU Scotland’s Vice-President, Nigel Miller said that Scotland’s abattoirs have been under pressure for a long time, with many plants ceasing trading over the years as a result of increased regulation and costs of compliance. During the current financial downturn plants are more vulnerable than ever.

"There is a need to preserve our remaining abattoir base and, therefore, support the Scottish Government’s own ambitions for a successful food sector. This will require the deferral of such swingeing charges," Mr Miller said.

"That makes this consultation entirely inappropriate at this time. The proposed increases to charges were developed in a totally different economic climate and this consultation should have been withdrawn by the FSA Board and reconsidered in the light of recent economic developments and the need to preserve a healthy livestock production base and meat processing sector," added Mr Miller.

He said the proposed charging increases, first put forward in 2008, now appear ill-judged and are simply not affordable for the industry. To push ahead with this proposal risks further damaging the important but shrinking meat processing sector in Scotland. "It will have a negative impact on Scotland’s livestock farmers as costs inevitably get passed down the chain and will ultimately impact on the wider Scottish economy," said Mr Miller.

"The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS), as operated by the FSA, is currently undergoing a restructuring process and, whilst we recognise that significant savings have already been achieved, there is still a long way to go. Until the MHS has been fully transformed and can be considered efficient, effective and value for money it seems inappropriate for the FSA to consider transferring these costs in full onto industry," he said.

"Whilst the livestock industry recognises the need for meat hygiene controls to protect public health and provide consumer confidence in meat products, these controls should be based on proportionate risk assessments and up to date scientific evidence to show their necessity. Where there is no evidence to show any risk, or where the risk is so small to be almost negligible then it seems unreasonable for the FSA to expect meat industry to bear the full cost of theoretical or minimal risks to human health," concluded Mr Miller.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 01, 2009, 02:23:15 AM
Tuesday, March 31, 2009Print This Page
Plans for Independent Animal Health Body
UK - Decisions about how to handle animal diseases would move to an independent body under proposals announced for consultation by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.


Mr Benn said the proposals would see a new independent board established to make decisions about animal health policy and delivery, made up of members with knowledge, experience and skills in the livestock industry, animal health science and welfare and relevant public health, consumer and wildlife issues.

In a disease outbreak, key decisions such as movement controls will be made by the Chair and Chief Executive of the new organisation, on the advice of the Chief Veterinary Officer.

Mr Benn said: "Livestock owners are worst affected by disease outbreaks, and they also benefit from disease control, where their livestock might otherwise become infected.

"It's right that they should be more involved in making decisions about how we prevent and handle those diseases, and contribute to the costs of collective action to tackle disease threats.

"This new way of tackling animal disease, which builds on how Government and the industry have worked together to deal with bluetongue, will mean that everyon's investment in disease control is more effectively and efficiently used. We should see a reduction in the total levels and costs of these diseases."

The plans will help to reduce the risks and costs of animal disease, improve confidence in animal health policies, and ensure the livestock keepers who benefit from animal disease control measures share the costs of those measures with taxpayers.

The new body will be responsible for dealing with exotic disease outbreaks such as bluetongue, policy on endemic diseases such as bovine TB, advising on the payment rates for animals culled as part of disease control and controlling animal diseases which pose a threat to public health.

The new body would be largely publicly funded, with a levy on livestock keepers contributing to the costs of surveillance and preparedness for exotic disease outbreaks. Views are also being sought on compulsory insurance for livestock keepers to contribute to the cost of dealing with exotic disease outbreaks.

The proposals are in line with recommendations made by Sir Iain Anderson after his inquiry into the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 that those who gain from the eradication of these disease should help to pay the costs of doing so.

The new body would have three main sources of funding: public funding, fees and charges for services provided, and income from a new levy paid by livestock farmers, according to the type and number of animals they keep.

The Government currently spends £400 million each year on animal health and welfare, which increases substantially when there are disease outbreaks such as avian influenza.

The cost to the farming industry is also considerable, but currently the industry has no decision-making powers over these policies and does not contribute directly to the cost of co-ordinating disease control.

Under today’s proposals, these costs would be shared between different types of livestock keeping businesses and between the beneficiaries of the successful reduction of risks and costs – particularly between taxpayers and livestock keepers, taking account of affordability.

The consultation responds to calls from the livestock industry to change the way the Government makes decisions about animal health policy.

The new framework will build on the strengths of the current system including the effective protection of public health, the developing partnership working with industry, the veterinary and scientific expertise of Defra and its agencies, and the delivery capability of Animal Health.

However, the news has hit a raw note with Britain's farmers.

National Farmers' Union President Peter Kendall said: "I am furious that Defra is still trying to get farmers to contribute to their costs when the department doesn't have a good enough handle on its own costs. It wants us to pay for exotic disease but we don’t think they do enough to keep these diseases out of the country.

"I have little confidence in Defra’s effective and efficient management of the current Animal Health Budget and the recent NAO report backs our view. It was very critical of Defra and said that its current procedures could not deliver a 'fair and equitable cost sharing scheme'. We have to remember that the costs we are being asked to cover relate to diseases that are not in this country and I do not think Defra treats the incursion of these diseases very seriously at all and nowhere near as seriously as other governments in places like the US, Australia and New Zealand.

"On top of this we have the 2007 FMD outbreak which clearly came from a Government licensed premises. I find it incredible that ministers can suggest that, in future, livestock farmers should pay half of the Government costs for an incident like this. The failure at these premises cost the livestock sector over £100 million which the industry itself had to cover and they now have the gall to suggest that we should pay 50 per cent of their costs (est. £40 million) as well.

"Farmers will be dismayed by these proposals and they have little confidence in Defra on animal health issues. We have bovine TB reaching epidemic proportions in some parts of the country, wiping out more than 30,000 cattle last year alone, and costing the industry millions. Meanwhile, Defra pins all its hopes on a vaccine which, while being a tool in the box for TB eradication, will never do the job on its own and all the while our farming families wait in despair."

The consultation also proposes that a new independent body for animal health should be established.

Mr Kendall added: "I believe that a new independent body for animal health could deliver a more proportionate and effective animal health policy. However, it must be a genuine partnership between livestock farmers and the Government and must have real powers and be able to deal with the European Commission on animal health issues.

"Under the joint Government and industry governance I believe that an independent body should deliver better value for money for the tax payer and for livestock farmers. Furthermore, it should enhance the position of the wider industry, food retailers and food manufacturers, who all benefit from keeping this country free from animal disease."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 03, 2009, 02:06:48 AM
Thursday, April 02, 2009Print This Page
Lack of Confidence Brings Down Pig Numbers
SCOTLAND, UK - More pig producers will leave the industry, which is in danger of collapsing altogether, if confidence does not improve, NFU Scotland’s Pigs Committee Chairman, Philip Sleigh told MSPs.


Mr. Sleigh was giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and the Environment Committee alongside other industry representatives including Gordon McKen, Managing Director of Scottish Pigs Producers Ltd. and Brian McGonagle, Managing Director of Vion Hall’s.

The panel was succeeded by Stuart Ashworth of Quality Meat Scotland, Professor Christopher Wathes, Chairman of the Farm Animal Welfare Council and Gavin Dick of the Scottish Agricultural College.

The session was called by the Rural Affairs Committee on the back of the pig industry’s continued plight, which has worsened since the Pig Industry Taskforce, which was established nearly a year ago to consider possible actions to help the industry, published its recommendations in August 08

Speaking after the session, NFU Scotland’s Pigs Committee Chairman Philip Sleigh said, “We are grateful to the Rural Affairs Committee for keeping this issue on their agenda and for allowing us another opportunity to explain our concerns about the long-term viability of the industry and how to help producers get out of the mire of regulation and price volatility.

“Sadly the window to implement the Taskforce’s worthwhile recommendations has passed. Prices have improved to some degree, but this is largely due to the fact that the Sterling has fallen so starkly against the Euro. This improvement is also on the back of a ten-year financial low for pig producers, and many of Scotland’s remaining producers are therefore planning to leave the industry in 2012, when the deadline for building costly additional slurry storage in compliance with Nitrates regulations arrives. This huge financial outlay, which will not make businesses more efficient, means many pig farmers will choose to stop production altogether."

Mr Sleigh said it is not too late for politicians to alter the course of legislation which is currently being drafted in order to prevent the Scottish pig industry from collapsing. "We urged the MSPs to encourage their Westminster counterparts to re-introduce capital allowances for new farm buildings, and to advocate that their colleagues in the European Parliament prevent re-drafted rules on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) from getting out of hand," he said.

“Closer to home it is crucial that the review of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) makes it easier for producers to access funding, including for building improvements, which would help pig units become more efficient.

“We learned at the meeting that the Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead, will appear before the Committee later this April in response to today’s session and we shall take the opportunity, following consultation with NFU Scotland members, to reiterate our points, in a formal written document, to MSPs," he concluded.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 04, 2009, 01:40:08 AM
Friday, April 03, 2009Print This Page
Public Urged to Use Less Popular Cuts of Pork
UK - The Government is backing a drive to help struggling domestic farmers by encouraging consumers to buy less popular cuts of British pork.

Promoting cheaper cuts, a voluntary code of practice to stamp out misleading labelling and getting the public sector to buy more British meat can all help the ailing pig industry, says Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

Yesterday the department published its official response to a report by MPs into the industry, where many farmers are struggling to make a living.

Officials said the Government's "clear position" was to support "clearer and tighter country of origin labelling", something the Yorkshire Post's Clearly British campaign has been calling for. A taskforce set up to examine the future of the industry has been charged with drawing up a code of practice in an effort to stop cheap foreign imports being passed off as British.

The department also said a drive to promote cheaper joints of pork – which would driving up prices as more of the carcass is used – was "welcome".

In the week after TV chef Jamie Oliver highlighted the issue on Channel 4, sales of less popular pork shoulder joints went up by 75 per cent, and the Government is keen for the public sector to use value joints of pork.

Defra also welcomed moves by some supermarkets to back domestic producers and be more transparent, but said the situation was "far from ideal".

According to the Yorkshire Post, officials also defended the introduction of higher welfare standards but said the length of time it was taking for continent-wide standards to be raised was "disappointing".

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 07, 2009, 04:37:58 AM
Monday, April 06, 2009Print This Page
Bird Flu in Pigs
UK - Some scientists believe the H5N1 virus may be replicating into weaker variations. One of the reasons they take this view is that the virus appears to have adapted to operate in pig populations.

Pigs have cells in their trachea that allow for both avian and human flu infections. If pigs carry both human and avian strains at a given time replication detail can be traded among the flu species and within the pig host new combinations could arise.

So although the pig variety may be less virulent than its avian-oriented relatives, virologists believe transference to the pig population may be a precursor to human infection.

When H5N1 viruses were isolated from pigs in Indonesia and were tested on mice the pig-oriented variation was found to be much less devastating to the exposed mice than the avian H5N1 species.

In growing in pigs, the virus may have become less harmful to mammals in general but it might also mean the virus is one step closer to turning into a human pandemic strain.

However pig infections are thought to happen only occasionally and it is not clear at present whether the H5N1 virus has truly adapted to pigs.
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 21, 2009, 01:54:12 AM

Yorkshire producers make history as work
starts on health improvement scheme

Funding is now in place to build a healthier, more efficient and more internationally competitive Yorkshire and Humberside pig herd. The target is to give producers the tools to reduce production costs by up to £8 a pig.

“We can’t rely on the current favourable euro-sterling exchange rate for our future profitability,” said NPA and BPEX chairman Stewart Houston. “We have all got to work on our key performance indicators - pigs per sow per year, feed conversion and growth rate - and that is what improved health through the county will help deliver.”

There are two reasons why the English pig industry’s pig health improvement scheme is being rolled out in Yorkshire ahead of other regions.

Crucially, Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, shares producers’ vision of what can be achieved to improve pig health and welfare. And equally important, Yorkshire pig-keepers have, in the words of one producer, demonstrated they are “up for tackling something really big” to improve health status.

The Yorkshire and Humberside project will take several years to complete. It is intended there will be a lasting legacy of information sharing and co-operation which will bring production benefits for generations of pig-keepers to come.

Leading figures in the industry have acknowledged that had the project been in place several years ago it might have been possible to reduce the impact of wasting disease in Yorkshire significantly, by pinpointing how the disease was entering the county and how and where it was spreading.

The majority of producers who have been briefed on the project have been wholly supportive. Others will have a chance to hear about the plans first hand at NPA’s northern region meeting at The Crown at Boroughbridge on Thursday April 30.

Bringing down disease pressure over a whole county presents considerable challenges, say consultants David Thelwall and Sam Hoste who are leading the project for BPEX.

“We need all the input from producers and vets that we can get. Everyone has his or her own view about what can be achieved and how best to achieve it, and the steering group needs to gather all that information.”

Because of its size and scale there are two phases to the project - Planning (this year) and Action (next year onwards). NPA has given its support, as has the British Pig Association.

The planning phase will cost around £300,000, which will come from Yorkshire Forward, as part of the current Rural Development Programme, and BPEX.

It will include the mapping of all pig units in Yorkshire and Humberside and an attempt to determine their health status. Identifying mainstream pig operations may be relatively straightforward. Locating and communicating with smaller scale pig-keepers poses a greater challenge but will be critical to the scheme’s success.

“If we are going to have a successful disease mitigation programme we are going to need to know where the pigs are, what chronic diseases they have got, the economic impact of reducing that disease and the best way to achieve it,” said David Thelwall.

Professor Stan Done, of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency at Thirsk, and veterinarian Nigel Wolfenden, of the Bishopton Veterinary Group, will be working on ways to quantify a herd’s disease status. This is a formidable task.

NPA and BPEX hope the Yorkshire and Humberside health improvement scheme will be a mechanism for winning a discount on Defra’s planned disease tax which is expected to cost a 250-sow producer around £1,500 a year from 2012.

“As producers start paying more attention to reducing endemic disease they will as a matter of course improve biosecurity throughout the region,” said Stewart Houston. “I will be using this to demonstrate how favourably the pig industry’s biosecurity compares with the biosecurity of other sectors.

“I will be vigourously pressing the case that those who sign up to the scheme should get the added benefit of a discount on their cost and responsibility levy.

Although Thelwall and Hoste will be addressing meetings in the region to explain the scheme in detail and to gather people‘s ideas and advice, producers can contribute at any point by offering their thoughts to steering group members, who include Richard Lister (chairman), Stewart Houston, David Neal, Phil Stephenson, Chris Barlow and Glenn Dams.

Although reducing disease pressure across a region is complicated - the pig vets are very clear about that - the concept of the scheme itself is simple.

“We accept that it will be impossible to persuade one hundred percent of pig owners to take part but our target will be create a growing area of minimal disease pressure which in turn will reduce the chances of reinfection after, say, a destock,” said David Thelwall.

Over the next few months the steering group will have several key issues to tackle - for instance how to accommodate the time-lag in breeding stock availability, and whether it will be possible for the scheme to have its own off-site finisher accommodation.

Many producers are keen to see some action as soon as possible and may wish the planning phase, which is from now to December, could be shorter, but mapping the Yorkshire pig herd and allocating a health status to each herd is going to be a time-consuming and complex task.

But it is, as the steering group has pointed out, a job worth carrying out in its own right. Even if the project went no further it will be immensely useful for the industry to know where all the pigs are and what disease challenge they present.

Another task will be to draw up a protocol for participating producers to sign up to. Only after talking to producers and the allied trades will it be possible to determine what the protocol should include and how demanding it should be.

The steering group is clear that it wants the scheme’s progress to be as transparent as possible. “We know what we are attempting to do is a really big deal,” said David Thelwall. “There are considerable hurdles to overcome but with the industry’s support we will overcome them.”

One of the aims of the project will be to leave a lasting legacy for the next generation of Yorkshire pig farmers.

“We want this regional grouping to continue after the funding ends,” said Sam Hoste.
“Having a local structure for sharing information - identifying what disease problems people have got and how they are going to deal with them - is going to leave us in a much better place than we are in now.”


Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 23, 2009, 12:58:45 AM
Wednesday, April 22, 2009Print This Page
Keep Watch for H1N2 Swine Flu, Erysipelas in UK
UK - The Monthly Surveillance Report from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) for March highlights sudden deaths and lameness caused by Erysipelas, Actinobacillus involvement in severe respiratory problems and evidence of the circulation of the H1N2 swine flu virus.

Erysipelas causes problems manifesting as sudden death and lameness in pigs of different ages
Evidence of circulating swine influenza H1N2
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae associated with severe respiratory pathology, and
Clostridial disease responsible for the sudden death of a boar.
Enteric Diseases
Appropriate samples essential for diagnosis of swine dysentery
A 230-sow breeder-finisher with separate sites for growing and finishing pigs was seeing disease in pigs aged 12 to 20 weeks. Younger pigs were affected with poor growth rates and increased mortality with older pigs showing anaemia and dysentery. Five pigs were selected by the farmer for necropsy with weights ranging from 7 to 34 kg. The predominant findings were of pleuropneumonia and polyserositis with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae being isolated and two of the pigs that were PRRSv positive by PCR. Only one of the pigs had a necrotising colitis and this pig also had a severe gastritis with salmonella isolated from both sites. Following discussion with the clinician and the possibility that submitted pigs were not fully representative of the problem, further samples were submitted later the same day and swine dysentery was confirmed in the group of older pigs which had dysentery and colitis.

Sudden deaths associated with Lawsonia intracellularis
The carcasses of three 15- to 16-week-old pigs were submitted for postmortem. On the unit there has been a history of weaners dying suddenly without preceding clinical signs, otherwise their cohorts were doing well and reaching the expected target weight, housed on a wet feed system. There had been a history of younger pigs having suffered rectal prolapses. The gross pathology found in the first carcase was consistent with porcine proliferative enteritis complex (Lawsonia intracellularis), the gross pathology found in the other two carcasses was consistent with a septicaemia and associated toxaemia, and a Group B Salmonella was recovered.

Post-weaning diarrhoea
Samples were submitted from cases of post-weaning diarrhoea occurring seven to 10 days after weaning at four weeks old. Profuse pure growths of haemolytic K88 antigen positive E. coli were isolated from all samples, consistent with enteric colibacillosis.

Several outbreaks of salmonellosis in rearing pigs have been diagnosed in the last two months and two are described here.

In one, scour was described in approximately 200 nine-week-old pigs with 15 deaths over the three days since the problem began. Pigs were in groups of 100 in outdoor tents on a 1000 sow outdoor grower-producer unit. Findings were similar in all three pigs submitted which were in quite poor body condition with a watery light green scour and post-mortem findings consistent with mild to moderate typhlocolitis with some multifocal diptheresis.

Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 193 was isolated from the intestines. In another, wasting, dehydration and deaths with some scour in seven-week-old pigs were reported on an indoor nursery-finisher unit. Approximately 20 per cent of 820 pigs from one source were affected with 41 deaths over 10 days and a poor response to several antimicrobial treatments was described. Water pipes were noted to be frozen when the practitioner visited the previous week. Three pigs were submitted; the small intestines of two were segmentally dilated with fluid and there was diphtheresis of the terminal ileum in one pig.

The large intestines showed multifocal to confluent diphtheresis in the caecum and proximal colon with accumulation of fibrinous material in the lumen, thickened large intestinal wall and watery light brown scour. S. Typhimurium U288 was isolated from the livers and intestines. The pigs were in poor body condition which, together with the history suggested that disease was ongoing for some time and earlier disease due to, for example, colibacillosis and/or managemental/environmental factors, e.g. chilling, may have played a part in this disease problem. The freezing of water pipes was also likely to be relevant particularly as inadequate intake of water or feed may affect antimicrobial efficacy when dosing is by either route. The use of a variety of antibiotics may also adversely affect the bacterial flora of the gut.

Colitis due to Brachyspira pilosicoli associated wth clinical signs of diarrhoea and wasting on an organic herd
In the third case mild colitis with scour and wasting due to Brachyspira pilosicoli infection was diagnosed in organic pigs submitted to investigate coughing, wasting and increased mortality in eight-week-old pigs. Twenty per cent of a batch of 220 was affected and mortality had doubled since Christmas. The unit was an outdoor rearing herd receiving pigs weekly from one source into a continuous paddock system. The main findings in three pigs submitted were poor body condition and diarrhoea, with large intestines distended with liquid contents and gross lesions suggestive of a catarrhal enteritis in the distal small intestine of two pigs. Brachyspira pilosicoli was isolated but no other enteropathogens were identified and there was no evidence of PCV2 or PRRSV involvement.

Respiratory Diseases
Severe respiratory disease due to Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae
Sudden onset lethargy, laboured breathing and mortality occurred in localised groups of pens in two houses of finisher pigs on a continuous unit. There was coughing elsewhere although remaining pigs were said to be bright. Around 35 per cent of pigs in one shed and a few in another shed were affected and six late finishers had died. Two pigs in good body condition were submitted with extensive purple blotching on the skin and gross findings consistent with severe pleuropneumonia due to Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. There were marked accumulations of fibrin on the visceral pleural surfaces and also on the pleural aspect of the pericardium. There was a moderate excess (pleural cavity half filled) of slightly turbid fluid and focally extensive well demarcated red-purple slightly dry areas on cut surfaces of the lung tissue particularly on the dorsal aspect of the caudal lung lobes. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae was isolated, however, in the two pigs submitted, there was no evidence of underlying PCV2 involvement, PRRSv PCR on the spleen was negative and swine influenza virus was not isolated. The problem has persisted on the unit causing significant losses and has extended to include respiratory disease and wasting in younger pigs. Submission of a batch of three freshly dead or euthanased typical cases, early in the course of disease, was recommended to investigate further whether there is underlying viral disease.

In another case, the carcasses of two dead 12- to 14-week-old crossbred pigs were submitted for post-mortem examination with a history of being found dead, with pigs in the group having poor body condition and loose faeces. A total of 20 out of 160 animals had died in one group. Historically, there had been problems with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP). On post-mortem examination there was evidence of severe pneumonia. This was thought to be the primary cause of the wasting and death. Bacterial cultures yielded APP and Pasteurella multocida. No Mycoplasma or Histophilus organisms were isolated on enrichment cultures and PCR for PRRSv was negative.

Active swine influenza demonstrated by paired serology and immunohistochemistry Widespread coughing in finishers with 20 per cent morbidity and 10 per cent mortality was investigated by submission of paired sera. In five of 12 pigs sampled there was seroconversion to swine influenza strain H1N2, confirming active swine influenza infection on the unit. It is useful if nasal swabs or carcasses from acute cases are submitted from outbreaks like this to allow monitoring of the swine influenza strains circulating in the field.

Fixed lungs samples were received from two euthanased pigs with a history of respiratory problems in five-week-old pigs with interlobular oedema noted at post-mortem. Immunohistochemistry, which showed specific labeling in the lung tissue, confirmed acute swine influenza. Ideally we prefer to do virus isolation on fresh tissue but in this case no suitable material was submitted.

PCVAD manifesting as respiratory disease
A group of 18 30kg pigs aged between eight and 12 weeks were purchased for rearing on a unit that had had no pigs on site since May 2008. The pigs had been on the premises for 10 days when one became lethargic, wasted and died. Some diarrhoea was noted in the group and there was a further pig with general malaise. The health status and vaccinal status of the source herd was not known. The submitted pig was approximately 14-weeks-old. At necropsy there was a severe pleuropneumonia with Pasteurella multocida and Mycoplasma hyorhinis detected in the lung. Immunohistochemistry showed active PCV-2 infection in lymph node and lung which may account for the overwhelming infection with Pasteurella multocida. Although the submitted pig was not scouring, Brachyspira pilosicoli was isolated from the large intestine and may account for the diarrhoea seen in the rest of the group. Swine influenza virus and PRRSv were not detected.

Systemic Diseases
Erysipelas: lameness in growing pigs and septicaemia in breeding boar
Lameness affecting weaners was investigated in a 100 sow farrow to finish unit. This was a newly established herd and the problem had started approximately one-month previously. The animals were reported to walk stiffly. The hind limbs were mainly affected and there had also been a decrease in growth rate. Two animals were culled for examination. Excess cloudy fluid was present in the main joints of both the fore and hind limbs and synovial membranes were inflamed. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was isolated from affected joints of both pigs.

Also this month, the carcasses of seven pigs, aged 15 to 19 weeks old from a finishing unit were submitted for necropsy examination. There had been a gradual increase in lameness, especially hind limb, and increases in carcase condemnation due to polyarthritis. In the older animals there was some respiratory distress and weight loss. At necropsy, three older animals had a vegetative valvular endocarditis along with fibrinous pericarditis and passive congestion in the liver, consistent with heart failure. In the younger animals there was a fibrinous polyarthrosynovitis. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was cultured from both the heart valves of the older animals and a joint in the younger animals.

In a different case, a replacement boar that had been purchased two weeks previously and put into an outdoor quarantine unit was found dead. E. rhusiopathiae was identified as the cause of death as it was isolated from systemic sites. It was reported that this animal had already been vaccinated against Erysipelas three times. The private veterinary surgeon was worried about strain divergence from the vaccinal strains. An isolate has been submitted to the National Veterinary Institute in Denmark for confirmation of serotype.

Septicaemia due to Streptococcus suis serotype 1
The death of a two-week-old piglet submitted for post mortem examination was due to Streptococcus suis 1 infection. The owner had three Large White sows and two had recently farrowed. Clinical signs were lethargy, dyspnoea and death within 12 hours and three piglets from one litter of 11 had died. There were haemorrhages throughout the lungs of both pigs and fibrin tags over the abdominal viscera. Streptococcus suis 1 was isolated in septicaemic distribution from one of two piglets received. The other carcass was autolysed which is likely to have resulted in the failure to isolate S. suis. The sows recently moved from a building with an earth floor to a concrete floored building. They were not receiving any iron supplementation and it was thought that iron deficiency could have been a predisposing factor. S. suis 1 causes septicaemia in piglets, usually younger than three 3 weeks of age.

Necrotic myositis cause by Clostridium novyi
A prize two-year-old outdoor boar was found dead one morning. The owners reported slight inappetence the previous night. The most striking finding was the advanced state of decomposition of the carcass, with gas bubbles in the liver and spleen. Other post mortem findings included generalised redness of the carcass (congestion) and randomly distributed haemorrhages in the muscles, predominantly around the head, neck and forelimbs. Given the rapid autolysis, involvement of clostridial infections was considered and further investigated. Fluorescent antibody testing of the muscle for C. novyi, C. septicum and C. chauvoei was performed. A strong positive result for C. novyi in the light of absent C. septicum and C. chauvoei was considered significant. Disease caused by C. novyi has been associated with sudden death (usually sporadic) in large fattening pigs and sows, although the exact pathogenesis is uncertain.

One of the most frequent post mortem findings is the 'Aero' chocolate or foam rubber appearance of the liver. Vaccination with a multivalent clostridial vaccine is effective at preventing losses.

Septic arthritis associated with Haemophilus parasuis and Streptococcus suis serotype 16
Three two- to three-week-old piglets were submitted to investigate a problem of joint-ill developing at that age in pre-weaning piglets. Initially, single joints were affected with very little lameness. This would however, rapidly worsen with spreading to other joints and with severe lameness if left untreated. The post-mortem investigation confirmed the presence of purulent joint-ill in two of the piglets and evidence of septicaemia, pneumonia and polyserositis in the third. Cultures revealed pure growths of Streptococcus suis type 16 in two of the piglets and Haemophilus parasuis (aetiological agent of Glässer's disease) in the third piglet. Streptococcus suis type 16 is a more unusual cause of systemic disease in pigs. Human cases with this bacteria have been reported in South East Asia and the private veterinarian was made aware of the zoonotic potential of this organism.

Wasting and sudden deaths caused by co-infection with PRRSv and untypeable Streptococcus suis
The carcasses of four 14-week-old finishing pigs were submitted with a history of sudden death following a period of wasting. There was a concern that PMWS might be involved in this problem, as this has been previously diagnosed on the unit and despite the use of a PCV2 vaccine, there were concerns that pigs might have been missed. There was also a history of an ongoing Salmonella problem. Post-mortem examination revealed marked red discolouration of the ears which were also oedematous. There was a polyserositis and all pigs had marked vegetative endocarditis from which an untypeable Streptococcus suis was isolated. In addition, PRRS PCR carried out on samples from two of the pigs was positive in one animal. An overall diagnosis of Streptococcus suis septicaemia complicated by Salmonella in one pig was made with some evidence of the background involvement of PRRS virus.

Systemic disease associated with H. parasuis, PRRSv and Salmonella Typhimurium PT193
Glasser's disease was confirmed as the cause of lameness, coughing, and loss of condition in approximately 15 per cent of 660 seven-week-old weaners, 16 pigs died over three to four days. Pigs were on a continuous indoor nursery-finisher unit taking pigs in from one source with pigs of different ages sharing a common air space. Haemophilus parasuis was isolated from pigs with fibrinous pleurisy, pericarditis and polyarthritis, typical of Glasser's. Active PRRSv infection was also detected by PCR in these pigs and was likely to be of significance in the clinical disease on farm. Two pigs were scouring with colitis and S. Typhimurium phage type 193 was isolated from their intestines.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 25, 2009, 10:14:58 AM
Friday, April 24, 2009Print This Page
NFUS: Action on Pigs Welcome but Not Enough
SCOTLAND, UK - NFU Scotland welcomes the Scottish Government’s reassurances to Scottish pig producers that it is treating the sector as a priority. However, the Union firmly believes that more must be done to ensure the sector’s survival in the long term.


Cabinet Secretary spoke of the progress made so far by the Scottish Government in the pig sector, and the challenges that still remain and apologised for the Scottish Government’s ‘inability’ to act on the Pigs Taskforce’s recommendations. He also expressed a request to meet with industry representatives soon.

The meeting was also addressed by Chris Brown, a representative of the Asda supermarket chain, who commented that growing domestic and international markets for pigmeat were leaving Scottish producers increasingly confident about the future.

NFU Scotland’s Pigs Working Group Chairman, Philip Sleigh said, “I am grateful to the Rural Affairs Committee for providing the opportunity to explore, in an official capacity, how Scottish pigs producers can plan for the future with confidence.

Mr Sleigh said he agrees with Messrs Lochhead and Brown that producers are more confident than they were twelve months ago but this respite comes on the back of many years of indifferent returns. What the Rural Affairs Committee didn’t hear was a clear vision for the pig industry in the future that can allow those few hardy souls left keeping pigs in Scotland the opportunity to look to the future, said Mr Sleigh.

“In recent times, pig producers have had to deal with extreme volatility in the cereals market that provides them with feed for their animals. If this level of volatility is repeated in coming years then pig producers could once again struggle to be profitable," continued Mr Sleigh. He said there is still insufficient margin in the production chain to recoup what has been lost in the past and still invest in the necessities, such as slurry storage, in the future. There is no suggestion that this profitable period will continue.

Mr Sleigh said, “In our submission to the Committee, we outlined ways in which we think the government could still help the industry in the long-term. The Cabinet Secretary apologised that the Scottish Government’s was ‘unable’ to act on the Taskforce’s recommendations to make support payments to those keeping pigs. I do not believe that they were unable, rather unwilling, as they did not venture to ask Brussels whether this would be permitted or not. I therefore hope that he will now give further consideration to the measures laid out in our paper. I welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s offer of a meeting at an early opportunity and look forward to fleshing out ideas he has raised and building on our own thoughts."

According to Mr Sleigh, the pig industry is used to the pig cycle to which Asda’s Chris Brown referred, but the troughs are becoming more extended and the peaks are being chopped off. In fact, current profitability owes much to the weak pound and the strong euro rather than low feed prices and supermarket generosity.

"Asda’s opinion that the market signals are good for producers looking to expand is heartening and I would welcome seeing that develop, in conjunction with processors, if there were an assurance of a fair and equitable division of the financial rewards. Those listening to Chris Brown’s presentation may have been given the impression that pig producers receive at least the average pig price, however, my understanding is that that is not the case," concluded Mr Sleigh.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on April 30, 2009, 07:49:02 AM
Wednesday, April 29, 2009Print This Page
No Evidence of Mexican Influenza in UK Pigs
UK - Human influenza A type H1N1 has been circulating in Mexico since mid-March 2009. It has now spread further.


It has been suggested that this strain of influenza virus may have originated from pigs. The virus has not been isolated from pigs and there have been no reports of unusual disease in pig herds.

Speaking to the Newspaper Society at the Palace of Westminster Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said, "The UK and some other members of the European Union undertake routine surveillance to help detect the presence of animal diseases not normally present in the EU and to identify any change in the prevalence of diseases that do occur. Results of our surveillance suggest that this variant of H1N1 does not appear to be present in pigs in the UK or anywhere else in the EU. However we are taking this developing situation very seriously and will maintain our surveillance effort, keeping the public and industry informed of any developments.

"The EU does not import any live pigs or pig products from Mexico, and our risk assessment indicates that there is a negligible likelihood of introducing human influenza strain H1N1 to the UK by the legal import of pigs or pig products from North America.

"As the World Health Organisation has made clear, this situation does not pose a food safety risk to consumers. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is perfectly safe.

"Personal imports of meat are not permitted from Mexico, Canada or the USA, or indeed anywhere outside Europe."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on June 28, 2009, 02:05:19 AM
Some Spot Buyers Went into Reverse
UK - The market tended to move in two directions at once today with the DAPP continuing to improve and now standing at 154.33p, whereas some spot buyers went into reverse and others stood on, writes Peter Crichton.

With DAPP-plus-4p contract prices now worth over 158p, pigs were well supplied in this sector which meant some of the larger operators did not need to venture into the spot market to top up supplies.

Spot buyers were to some extent in retreat, complaining that foreign imports are still undercutting the home market helped by a stronger pound which has pulled the value of the euro back to 85.2p compared with 93p at the end of March.

Any further falls in the value of the euro would do nothing but harm as far as the pig industry is concerned, although some arable farmers might disagree with this with ex-farm feed wheat prices below £100/tonne in some regions compared with £145/tonne a year ago.

Spot bacon quotes fell within a fairly wide range for next week with some of the harder hearted buyers offering 150p, but premiums of 4–6p above this in places although often on a tighter spec, so in net terms there is probably little to choose between the highest and the lowest.

The warmer weather should help to stimulate barbecue demand, although sharply falling lamb prices are proving stiff competition on the fresh meat counters.

One positive point to emerge from Europe is that cull sow prices appear to be on an upward track and nudged ahead again by a couple of pence with most quotes now in the 110–112p region according to specification and load size.

Weaners remain hard to value with supplies well short of demand and as a result the AHDB 30kg ex-farm quote continues to move ahead and now stands at £57.65/head, but the £60 weaner has become a reality in some areas at the better end of the market.

And finally, many in the industry will be sorry to hear that Daniel Day is leaving Vion next week.

Daniel is well known as a fair-minded buyer who all through the dark days of slumping pig prices understood that farmers deserve fair prices if the food industry as a whole really wants a sustainable supply of quality British pigmeat.

We all hope that Daniel will soon find another post within the industry where he will be an asset and he can continue to be involved in an area where he has so much flair.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 16, 2009, 08:11:01 AM
Removing Boar Taint Roulette May Mean Higher Sales
UK - In a survey of attendees at a recent Pig Veterinary Society meeting, 70 per cent claimed they could detect boar taint and 68 per cent agreed with the statement "Boar taint has a negative impact on sales of pork and bacon." Over 50 per cent agreed that "Incidence of boar taint places British product at a disadvantage compared to imported product."

Have British consumers already voted with their feet? wonders vet David Burch. "Statistically, we have the lowest consumption of pork in Europe."

He accepts we won’t go back to castration. "The whole welfare view of castrating piglets in Europe is rapidly changing with the requirement to anaesthetise or offer pain relief as part of the process being adopted.

"But we now have the opportunity in the United Kingdom to solve our boar-taint problems yet maintain most of the advantages of non-castration, by using the new boar-taint vaccine.

"I am not underestimating the labour and cost required to give boars two injections but surely the benefits will make it worthwhile and allow us to build a stronger, sustainable British pig industry for the future."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 23, 2009, 06:58:32 AM
Soil Association Highlights Superbug Threat
UK - The Soil Association is supporting calls from NPA to stop the importation of weaners.

the Association is particularly concerned they would introduce a new strain of MRSA into the country which would have economic consequences for pig producers and make it much more difficult to control the problem of MRSA in the community.

Nearly 40 per cent of Dutch pigs are reported to have MRSA ST398, which can be transmitted to humans. MRSA has become widespread in pigs in many other European countries, including Belgium. This has been encouraged by the fact that the Netherlands exports about 6 million live pigs a year, says the Soil Association:

"The United Kingdom is fortunate in that it does not currently import significant numbers of live pigs from the continent, and its pig herd may therefore be free of MRSA.

"Government scientists completed MRSA testing of British pigs last December, but government has so far failed to release the results, despite requests from the Soil Association."

Research commissioned by the Belgian government has shown 44 per cent of Belgian pigs and 38 per cent of Belgian pig farmers are already carriers of MRSA. In Britain, just three cases of MRSA ST398 are known to have occurred in humans, but in the Netherlands the strain already accounts for about 30 per cent of all human MRSA infections.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 24, 2009, 07:39:07 AM
NADIS Veterinary Report & Forecast - July 2009
UK - This is a monthly report from the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS), looking at the data collected from their UK farm inspections.


As part of the NADIS surveillance system, pig farm health and productivity is recorded and reported anonymously on a monthly basis. One of the broad parameters measured is pigs reared per sow per year and over the last two years there has been a steady improvement in productivity of surveyed herds, such that the average has risen from around 22.5 to 23.5 pigs per sow per year – a 4.5 per cent improvement (graph 1). Strangely, whilst the trend has been upwards over the full two years, there was a sharp decline this Spring (most recent three month average), which requires further investigation.

Easier to explain is the peak seen through the summer of 2008 (3 periods over 24 pigs per sow per year) with a tail off towards the end of the year as the effects of seasonal infertility in summer/autumn work their way through to farrowings.

Over the last 18 months, of course, PCV2 vaccines have been used on some farms and a separation of specific populations reveals an improvement in vaccinated herds (23 to 24 pigs per sow per year) but a more uneven picture in unvaccinated herds (graph 2).

This improvement is broadly consistent with the figures produced from the BPEX PCV2 research programme recently published, both for the large number of subsidised herds and the specific Leeds trial.

See: BPEX studies on PCV2 vaccines

From the NADIS figures it is also a little surprising that breeder/feeder farms achieve the best productivity, compared to breeder/weaner or breeder only farms. A widely held view is that the pure breeder producer, without finishing pigs to distract him, can concentrate on sow productivity and achieve better results. In the sample population this is not the case (graph 3).

There is also a steady increase in output as herd size increases with herds of 300-700 sows being the most productive (graph 4). The larger herds suffer a fall off in output within the surveyed population.

There is a marked difference in productivity between indoor and outdoor herds with the latter under performing the former by around 8 per cent (graph 5). Given that outdoor herds tend to be breeder or breeder/weaner farms, this may underlie the observations in graph 3 above.

Sows on slats outperform those on straw by over 1.5 pigs reared per sow per year in this population, which again may be influenced by the indoor/outdoor effects.

Again, possibly surprisingly, there is very little difference between batch and continuous (weekly) production despite the advantage of the batch producer being able to concentrate staff efforts on serving and farrowing/piglet rearing at different times.

Despite the concentration of outdoor herds in East Anglia, there is no regional difference in productivity reported for the two main pig-keeping areas (graph 6).

Recording and reporting needs to continue to be able to monitor long term trends, particularly given the role of Circovirus vaccination which would be expected to control breeding herd disease where this virus is implicated.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 02, 2009, 07:59:32 AM
United Kingdom Pig Meat Market Update - July 2009
Tony Fowler, senior economic analyst with AHDB Meat Services Economic and Policy Analysis Group, explains the latest trends in pig production in the UK and European Union.


UK Prices
Pig meat prices continued to strengthen during June, although at a declining rate. In the week ended 27 June, the DAPP averaged 154.6p/kg dw, which represented an increase of 16 per cent compared with a year earlier but was just 2p higher than at the end of May.

Relatively tight supplies and good domestic demand for pork relative to other red meats are continuing to underpin the market. But a recovery in the value of sterling on the foreign exchange markets is likely to limit any further price improvements because it is leading to lower import prices in UK terms and higher export prices. Increasing imports of Dutch and Belgian pig meat have been reported as a result of the currency changes.

Most sow meat produced in the United Kingdom is exported. Since the start of May, sow prices have therefore fallen back due to the recovery in the sterling exchange rate. In the week ended 27 June the price averaged 109p, about 12p less than the peak 2009 level seen in mid-April.

A shortage of weaner availability, due in part to reduced supplies arising from infertility problems last summer, and improved finished pig prices have been reflected in higher prices on the weaner market this year. The 30kg weaner price increased weekly between December 2008 and June 2009 and in the week ended 4 July averaged £57.78/head, £14 more than at the beginning of 2009. Weaner prices are now showing a steadier tone; this partly reflects the finished pig market but is also because the impact of the summer infertility problem has now passed.
EU Prices and Exchange Rates
The average European pig price dipped in the first half of May, primarily due to declines in the German and Dutch prices. Some of this may have been in response to a temporary fall in consumer demand as a reaction to Swine Flu. Prices began to increase in the second half of the month, fuelled by warmer weather and increased barbecue demand. Further price increases were recorded in June, with seasonally stronger demand and reductions in numbers of pigs on offer in some countries. Pig meat production levels were also hit by reported falls in carcase weights in some countries, France in particular.

Export business was also reported to be brisk, with a strong demand for live pigs from eastern Europe.

In the week ended 28 June the EU-27 reference price averaged five per cent more than four weeks earlier, with particularly marked increases recorded in southern European countries. The overall price was six per cent lower than a year earlier in Euro terms but, due to the decline in the sterling exchange rate, was up one per cent in sterling terms.

Exchange rate markets are continuing to be an important driver in UK and European pig meat markets. Sterling fell sharply against both the Euro and the US dollar in the first quarter of 2009, but it has shown a significant recovery since April. The Pound has been buoyed by some recent data suggesting that the UK recession is easing and that consumers are more positive. In the middle of June the sterling exchange rate reached a seven-month high against the Euro and an eight-month high against the US dollar.

UK Slaughterings and Production
UK clean pig slaughterings totaled 674,000 in May, which was virtually the same as in the corresponding month a year ago. Average weekly throughput in May, at 168,000, was little changed compared with April and in fact has been relatively stable since February. The impact of the still-declining breeding herd in the second half of last year has been offset by an increase in apparent sow productivity. Slaughter levels in May implied a five per cent increase in productivity compared with a year earlier.

Provisional estimates for June suggest that slaughterings were six per cent higher than a year earlier, although this partly reflects relatively low throughputs in June 2008.

Looking forward, the more stable breeding herd together with continued improvements in sow productivity are likely to mean that clean pig slaughterings in the second half of 2009 will rise above year earlier levels.
Feed Prices
USDA June forecasts indicate that global wheat production is projected to reach 656 million tonnes in 2009/10, down from the 658 million tonnes forecast in May. This is down 26 million tonnes from the record 2008/09 figure but is still significantly higher than in the preceding two seasons.

Unfavourable dry, hot weather across Europe has led to reducing EU grain production expectations. EU-27 production in 2009/10 was forecast in June at 136 million tonnes (May forecast = 138 million tonnes), down 10 per cent from 2008/09. However EU production will still be well above the 120 million tonnes produced in 2007/08 when feed prices rose sharply.

The UK delivered feed wheat price continued to increase during May; in the week ended 29 May it reached £121/tonne. However, despite EU crop forecasts being revised downwards, prices moved sharply lower during June. This was partly due to the strengthening of sterling. By the week ended 26 June the feed wheat price, in East Anglia, was down to £101/tonne, 36 per cent lower than a year earlier.

Futures market prices also moved lower in June. The LIFFE futures market indicates higher prices from this year’s harvest, although prices should remain well below the record levels of 2007-08. The November 2009 futures price is currently £114/tonne while May 2010 is £121.

In the United Kingdom, soya prices have been at near record high levels, at over £300/tonne since the beginning of 2009. Soya meal (ex-mill, Liverpool) averaged £315/tonne in the week ended 26 June, £6 less than a year earlier.
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 02, 2009, 08:01:54 AM
A Spluttering Trade
UK - Spot sellers found out who their friends were (and were not) today with some of the warmer-hearted buyers prepared to hold prices at similar levels to last week, but others determined to clip 2–4p off last week’s falling quotes, writes Peter Crichton.

The sputtering spot trade has finally filtered through to the DAPP which for almost the first time since the start of the year took a downward step and is now quoted at 155.08p compared with 155.57p.

With Tulip, Vion and Cranswick all keeping producers tied to contract numbers and in certain cases cutting these back by 10 percent, more pigs became available onto a generally lacklustre spot market where demand for loins in particular has been hit by the lack of good barbecue weather and stocks are starting to build up.

The leg trade on the other hand (pardon the pun) is reported to be reasonably firm, although imports remain a threat with the euro easing in value trading on Friday at 85.5p compared with 86.4p a week ago.

Ladbrokes have stopped taking bets on when the first processor refers to the end of August “short week”, but it is only a matter of time before that is brought into play as well!

As a result of all these factors spot bacon was generally traded in the 142–146p range according to specification, but those producers selling on DAPP-related contracts are advised to keep these locked away in a safe place until the autumn.

The sow market is also showing signs of slight weakening, although by the end of Friday most bids were at generally reluctant stand on levels and 114p remains a realistic average with the usual premiums available for larger loads and numbers still on the tight side.

Weaner prices are also starting to see the effect of easier spot prices and the AHDB 30kg ex-farm average has lost a little more ground and now stands at £56.16/head, although with difficult harvesting weather and feed wheat now quoted on an ex-farm basis at little more than £90/t, opportunities are available for buyers with strong nerves (and bank accounts) to earn a useful margin selling weaners bought today in the autumn when demand normally improves.

No reports yet of any “cheap” weaners mingling with tourists at the Channel ferry ports, but repeating last week’s theme most responsible pig finishers will realise that the risks greatly outweigh the rewards, and let’s hope it stays that way.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 11, 2009, 08:39:51 AM
A Chill Wind Blew Through the Spot Market
UK - Although DAPP held at an almost identical level of 155.09p, spot buyers were thin on the ground and something of a two tier trade has developed, writes Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary.

As a result most contract bacon pigs were traded in the 156–160p range on a DAPP base plus bonuses and something of a chill wind blew through the spot market where quotes tended to be between 142–145p with some regional variations, but much more of a buyer’s than a seller’s market.

Beef and lamb prices have recovered significantly, which is a good sign for the industry as a whole, but the value of the euro has slipped a shade closing on Friday at 85.1p compared with 85.6p a week earlier.

Most of the action was seen in the British cull sow market where a shortage of numbers rather than better European prices helped to maintain values which had earlier been predicted to fall.

Sellers with large loads could command prices of circa 116p/kg with all three cull sow abattoirs looking for extra throughput, but not always finding it.

The weaner market however continues to come under pressure reflecting a lack of finishing space and some unease over finished pig prices this autumn, especially if sold on the spot market.

The latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average has slipped again and now stands at £55.86/head, despite falling grain prices which should greatly improve finishers’ margins.

Now that the combines are rolling in many parts of the country grain stores are starting to fill with feed wheat, which was reported to be trading between £85-£90/t compared with £111/t twelve months ago.

I remember in my early days in the livestock market an elderly farmer coming up to me to say that "one day young man the pig industry will be just like the chicken industry." At that stage most of the poultry industry had already fallen into a few large hands and there were few smaller independent growers or processors.

This was a time when there were a lot of small and medium-sized pig abattoirs throughout the country and the same applied to producers.

Sadly this prediction has proved to be right and we can now count on the fingers of one hand the number of major pig processors and the same applies to the big supermarkets who are their customers.

Any further loss of competition within the slaughtering sector would spell nothing but bad news for the industry as a whole, which is why every section of the supply chain needs to make a margin, but not at the expense of the other links in this chain. Food for thought!

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 17, 2009, 10:45:57 AM
Processors Under Pressure
According to Peter Crichton, although some of us can be quick to blame abattoirs for dropping prices, a longer harder look at the processing and retail sector comes up with some of the reasons why prices are easing despite supplies remaining fairly tight.

Retailers are in strong competition with each other with strap lines such as “every little helps” and other references to how much cheaper they are than their competitors.

In order to preserve their margins retailers find it easier to pay less rather than charge more and it is the primary producer (the pig farmer) who is paying the price for this.

We are also faced with the situation where “less is less” rather than “less is more”. There are now just four large mainstream supermarkets: Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s. Most of their fresh United Kingdom pork is supplied by just four large slaughterers: Vion, Tulip, Cranswick and Woodhead.

As a result if just one big retailer cuts its orders or prices by a few percent this has a major effect on both values and supplies.

This week has seen all the big players in the slaughtering sector keeping contract numbers tight with some pigs being rolled and spot buyers sticking to regulars only.

With the upcoming bank holiday a couple of weeks away it may take a couple of weeks into September before the weights and numbers go down, the schools are back and we can hope for more of a seller’s market to emerge.

The DAPP took its first significant downward step this week falling by 0.67p to 154.42p and the signs are that this pattern may be repeated again in the weeks ahead, especially if weights and probes continue to rise due to reduced slaughterings.

Spot prices today tended to be circa 140p for heavies on a 14 probe with up to 144p available on a slightly tighter spec. This is by no means a disaster for mid August and other positive signs were that some of the smaller fresh meat wholesalers were looking for slightly better numbers at a time when beef and lamb have both moved up in value.

Another positive factor is that the value of sterling has eased very slightly and the euro closed worth 86.1p on Friday compared with 85.6p a week ago.

Despite falling pig prices cull sow values are holding firm with smaller lots traded at 112p and big loads worth 116p-plus in some regions.

The weaner market is certainly feeling the effect of easier finished pig prices, partly due to the fact that quite a few spot weaner buyers are also selling onto the spot finished pig market, which has seen returns dip by circa £10/pig since early summer.

As a general rule 30kg spot weaner prices tended to be in the £54-£56/head range, but contract quotes more closely related to the DAPP were £2-£4 ahead of this with premiums also available for Freedom Food weaners.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 22, 2009, 06:47:08 AM
UK Slaughter Statistics - August 2009
UK - According to the latest figures from Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the UK's home-killed production of pork rose (but only slightly) in July, owing to it being a five-week month.


The number of clean pigs sent for slaughter in Julu was 885,000 compared to 708,000 in June and 675,000 in May. 20,000 sows and boars went for slaughter last month, while 15,000 went for the same in May and June.

The slaughter weight for clean pigs dropped in July, where the numbers stand at 76.9 kg, compared to 77.4 kg and 77.7 kg in June and May respectively. On the other hand, the average dressed carcase weight for sows and boars rose, if only by a little, at 155.2 kg compared to 151.2 kg in June and 149.1 kg in May.

Overall, the UK produced 71,000 tonnes of pigmeat last month, compared to 57,000 tonnes in July, 55,000 tonnes in May and 67,000 tonnes in April.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 27, 2009, 11:33:29 AM
United Kingdom - Organic Statistics 2008
UK - There have been significant increases in the numbers of cattle, sheep and pigs reared to organic standards between 2007 and 2008, while organic poultry numbers have fallen slightly.


The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on the organic farming sector were released on 20 August 2009, according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. The full report shows information gathered during 2008 for organic crops and livestock produced in the United Kingdom, and the numbers of organic producers / processors who are registered with Organic Certification Bodies in the UK.

For organic animal numbers, the table shows that for cattle, sheep and pigs, the general trend has been for numbers to increase by 30 to 40 per cent between 2007 and 2008. The numbers of organic poultry have fallen by two per cent, and there has been a significant drop in the number of organic goats kept in the UK over the same period.

Organic livestock numbers in the UK
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Change 2008/2007
Cattle 126,813 174,751 214,276 244,752 250,376 319,587 27.6
Sheep 440,674 571,615 691,000 747,299 863,122 1,178,306 36.5
Pigs 48,803 43,733 29,995 32,926 50,435 71,229 41.2
Poultry 2,166,152 2,431,555 3,439,548 4,421,326 4,440,698 4,362,939 -1.8
Goats 699 513 544 585 539 409 -24.1
Other livestock 1,015 1,183 1,486 4,318 3,415 4,372 28.0

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 29, 2009, 07:50:46 AM
BPEX: China a Major Export Opportunity
UK - Agreement to export pig meat to China is nearing fruition as a delegation of Chinese veterinarians visits the UK next month.


Four vets from the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China will be visiting the UK between 2 and 11 September to access British pork production from farm to abattoir, cutting plants and export cold stores.

This important visit is one of the last links in the chain of accreditation for pork exports to China. The group will be hosted jointly by Defra, BPEX and QMS as well as individual processing companies.

BPEX Director Mick Sloyan said, "This is the final hurdle and the conclusion of years of work to gain access to the Chinese market for pork.

"The Far East is already an important destination for British pork with exports, approaching £20 million a year.

"However, China is by far the largest and most attractive market and has a strong demand for cuts of pork that are less popular in Europe. After all, half the world's pork is eaten in China.

"We have been working closely with the Chinese authorities and gaining access to mainland China should be a valuable addition to our export business."

The group will be accompanied by a Defra veterinarian, a meat exporter and a translator and will visit five processors, a cold store, a pig farm and a laboratory.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 01, 2009, 11:57:05 AM
UK Industry Counters Cancer Scare Reports
UK - The British meat industry has hit back at fresh reports that have linked eating red meat and processed meats to cancer.

The latest reports, based on previously published surveys, warned that eating processed meats, such as ham and salami, could raise the risk of bowel cancer.

And the campaign groups targeted children's lunch boxes and warned parents about giving children processed meats.

However, the British Pig Executive and the English Beef and Lamb Executive have said that the latest reports are based on old research that has already been countered.

"This is the same recycled report they have been re-issuing for the last 18 months. There is nothing new in it whatsoever," BPEX said.

"No single food is going to make a massive difference to somebody's chances of developing cancer.

"The FSA has said: 'Processed meats, such as ham and salami, can form part of a balanced diet and parents should not be concerned about including these in their children's lunchboxes now and again.'"

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 06, 2009, 07:44:37 AM
Space is at a Premium
UK - Although fewer pigs were rolled by contract buyers and the last of the short weeks (until Christmas) is out of the way, spot demand remained fickle with space at a premium.

Contract sellers are still smiling most of the way to the bank and this week the DAPP dropped by only 0.28p to stand at 152p, so those selling on a DAPP-plus-4p basis were receiving around 15p more than equivalent spot quotes.

Where there was space, prices in the region of 140p were available for heavy bacon on a 14 probe with 2p to 4p above this on a tighter spec.

During the week interest perked up in lighter weight pigs for the "shop" trade, but the barbeque season is probably well and truly over for another eleven months and three weeks.

The value of the euro eased a shade this week and traded on Friday worth 87.1p, compared with 88p the week before.

Despite this, demand for cull sows continues to move ahead due to shortage of numbers, although European sow prices have remained unchanged.

As a result sow sellers with large loads available were able to command prices of 118p (or more) and this sector remains very much a seller’s market.

Weaner prices on the other hand are continuing to ease for a number of factors including some northern and western finishers still being tied up with what is fast becoming more like the rice harvest than a cereal one and a slow down in clearing finished pigs before re-stocking.

The latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm weaner average has now slipped to £53.37/head compared with £57.30/head in early June.

Further improvements in the value of European pigmeat will give producers some comfort for the autumn, but the good news is that the gap between United Kingdom and European Union pigmeat values is gradually narrowing but will continue to be influenced by the strength (or otherwise) of sterling.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 09, 2009, 09:39:53 AM
Sudden Death: Suspect Split Livers
UK - Several sudden deaths in young pigs may be linked to vitamin E and/or selenium.


The appearance of dead pigs obviously pale and white is a not uncommon finding on the pig farm, according to National Animal Dsiease Information Service (NADIS).

All this indicates is anaemia, which can occur as a result of failure to manufacture blood, destruction of blood within the body or loss of blood from the blood stream either into body cavities or externally.

Pigs found pale and dead suddenly around or just after weaning can result from rupture of the liver and subsequent haemorrhage in to the abdomen. Whilst such damage can result from trauma – more likely whilst still on the sow or through extremely rough handling.

Where several cases occur, a deficiency of vitamin E/selenium should be considered, especially if the pigs affected represent the best in the group.

Full investigation of vitamin E and selenium levels is necessary should this condition be seen before appropriate and cost-effective corrective action can be taken.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 12, 2009, 07:38:29 AM
NPA Calls for Rethink on Vitamin A
UK - To protect consumers, the European Food Standards Agency has proposed new maximum levels of vitamin A in animal feed.

The revised maximum levels suggested by the agency are as follows (IU vitamin A kg-1).

Piglets 16,000.
Fattening pigs 6,500.
Gestating sows 12,000.
Lactating sows 7,000.

NPA has consulted experts within its membership (nutritionists, scientists and vets) on vitamin A levels required for each growth stage in pigs. The consensus view is as follows:

Young piglets (<20kg) 10,000–15,000.
Early growers (20-30kg) 10,000–12,000.
Growers (30-50kg) 7,500–10,000.
Finishers (50-100kg) 7,500–10,000.
Gestating sows 8,000–10,000.
Lactating sows 10,000-12,000.

"There are some significant disparities between what is proposed and what is applied in commercial practice," says NPA’s Dr Zoe Davies in a letter to the European Commission’s health and consumer department.

"In particular grower/finisher pigs and lactating sows might experience suboptimal bone growth and calcium metabolism if the new levels were applied over a long period."

She is calling on Brussels to carry out a more rigorous review of vitamin A levels, using recent studies to identify gaps in knowledge and to ascertain the true vitamin A requirements of modern pig genotypes.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 13, 2009, 06:45:58 AM
Autumn Rally Beginning to Look Elusive
UK - A slightly underwhelming day for pig traders with limited space available on the spot market, writes Peter Crichton.

Where there were takers, bids around 140p/kg were available for heavy bacon on a 14-probe, although some useful premiums for lighter weights and on a tighter spec in some regions.

Contract prices are continuing to ease and the DAPP took a fairly significant downward step this week falling from 152p to 150.56p.

Since late July the DAPP has dropped by 5p (£3.50-£4/pig) and although many sellers would have given their right arm and parts of the left one at the start of the year for prices at these levels, some signs are emerging that there is unlikely to be the normal autumn price rally and we may have to wait until the spring before demand takes off again.

One of the main problems facing the pig industry (and it will get worse) is lack of competition, with the market dominated by four major retailers who can quite easily turn the supply tap on and off at will, especially if they have access to cheaper European Union imports, which is currently the case.

European pig traders are reporting falling prices in many of the mainland European Union pig production countries, but hopefully this will turn out to be a blip rather than a trend.

Negative European Union mainland prices are also starting to filter through to the cull sow market where prices dropped 2–4p, but in some cases these falls still put United Kingdom prices well ahead of what can be earned selling sows onto the continental market.

Cull sow bids on Friday tended to be in the 113–115p range for smaller loads with sellers of larger lots still able to command a 3–5p premium above this reflecting an underlying shortage of cull sows.

A quick glance at the United Kingdom herd census results for the last ten years (below) underlines just how much the breeding herd has shrunk and the associated shortage of export cull sows with excess slaughter capacity chasing fewer numbers.

As always currency values play a big part in influencing not only the price of imported pigmeat, but also cull sow quotes and this week the euro closed on Friday worth 87.4p, which is almost exactly where it was seven days ago.

Weaner prices continue to reflect a slightly sober view of finished pig prices in early December and the AHDB 30kg ex-farm quote continues to drift downwards and now stands at £53.25/head.

Looking on the bright side however, feed prices are still at relatively low levels and the PCV2 vaccines have worked wonders in terms of mortality and growth rates with PMWS/PDNS becoming almost a thing of the past.

The industry remains haunted however by the threat of swine dysentery which is still rumbling in the eastern and northern counties as well as reports of a new form of what is known in Cockney rhyming slang as the threpenny bits (proper name Neonatal Diarrhea Syndrome) which is a pig killer and despite microbiological testing, no signs have yet been found of the causes - another reason for all pig finishers to steer clear of importing weaners which could have disastrous consequences for the health of the British pig herd in return for trying to save a few bob.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 17, 2009, 08:51:13 AM
PCV2 Vaccines Reduce Time to Slaughter
UK - PCV2 vaccines improve the lifetime performance of pigs and shorten time to slaughter, according to preliminary results from a BPEX trial.

Full results and analysis of the trial, carried out at the Pig Development Centre’s Leeds University site, Spen Farm, are expected by the end of the month.
,br> The project investigated the effects of sow vaccine Circovac and piglet vaccine Circoflex. It compared the piglet or sow vaccine only, the piglet and sow vaccines combined and an unvaccinated control.

Initial results indicate that the combined vaccine programme reduced time to slaughter by six days. Using only the sow or piglet vaccine in isolation resulted in a reduction of three days.

The sow vaccine appears to reduce piglet mortality in the first 24 hours resulting in heavier litters at weaning, while the piglet vaccine improved growth rates after seven weeks of age.

The work complements field trial results, reported in April, from BPEX's vaccine voucher scheme.


Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 19, 2009, 07:38:13 AM
UK Slaughter Statistics - September 2009
UK - According to the latest figures from Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the UK's August home-killed production of pigmeat rose quite a bit compared to June and July.


The number of clean pigs sent for slaughter in August went up quite sharply at 744,000 compared to 708,000 in June and 888,000 in July. It should be noted that the month of July contained five weeks. The number of sows and boars sent for slaughter in August, however, dropped slightly at 17,000 compared to 15,000 in June and 20,000 in July.

The monthly average dressed weight for clean pigs and sows was 78.1 kg, compared to 77.4 kg in June and 77.2 kg in July. The slaughter weight for sows and boars also dropped in August, where the figures stand at 149.8 kg, compared to 151.5 kg and 155.2 kg in June and July respectively.

In August, the UK's overall monthly home-killed production of pork rose at 61,000 tonnes, compared to 57,000 tonnes and 72,000 tonnes in July.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 21, 2009, 09:47:06 AM
Europe's First H1N1 Virus in Pigs
NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Test results indicate a novel H1N1 influenza A virus identified in pigs.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has confirmed that a pig herd here has tested positive for the novel H1N1 influenza A.

Tests on a batch of piglets submitted by a private veterinary practice to the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute on 11 September have tested positive for the novel H1N1 Influenza A virus.

A DARD spokesperson said: "Influenza viruses, including Influenza A, are present in all pig producing countries, including here and Great Britain and are considered endemic in the pig population. Given that this virus is currently circulating in humans this finding is not unexpected."

As part of the Department's contingency planning, a voluntary Code of Practice for pig keepers has been agreed in conjunction with Industry. The Code of Practice provides guidance to pig keepers on the actions they should take to reduce the risk of introduction of influenza viruses to pig herds and reduce the risk of onward spread if introduction does occur. The Code relates to all influenza viruses and pulls together existing best practice. The Code is based on good biosecurity and herd health management as already practised.

The Department is providing advice to the affected farm and will continue to monitor developments and provide advice to the industry as required. Department of Health & Social Services and Health & Safety Executive NI (HSENI) have also been informed.

The Food Standards Agency has advised that novel H1N1 influenza A does not pose a food safety risk to consumers.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 23, 2009, 07:57:53 AM
Higher Risk of Abnormal Gait in Intensive Systems
UK - In a study of commercial farms, researchers found fewer cases of abnormal gait in finishing pigs than sows or gilts. Pigs kept outdoors or on solid floors with straw had fewer mobility problems than those housed on fully or partly slatted floors.

The prevalence and risks for abnormal gait in finishing pigs, gilts and pregnant sows from a representative cross-section of indoor and outdoor herds in the United Kingdom were investigated in a report published by KilBride and colleagues in the journal, Animal Welfare.

The prevalence of abnormal gait in finishing pigs, maiden gilts, pregnant gilts and pregnant sows from 88 herds was 19.7, 11.8, 14.4 and 16.9 per cent, respectively.

In a multi-variable analysis of 98 herds, there was an increased risk of abnormal gait in pregnant sows housed on slatted floors compared with pregnant sows housed on solid concrete floors with straw bedding or sows housed outdoors on soil.

The lowest prevalence of abnormal gait in finishing pigs occurred in pigs housed outdoors (3.4 versus 19.7 per cent in indoor-housed finishing pigs). However, the difference was not significant because only three farms in the study housed finishing pigs outdoors. In indoor-housed finishing pigs, there was an increased risk of abnormal gait in pigs housed on solid concrete floors with sparse bedding, partly slatted floors or fully slatted floors compared with those housed on solid concrete floors with deep bedding in all areas. However, there were no significant associations between floor type and abnormal gait in gilts.

There was an increased risk of abnormal gait associated with increasing callus, bursitis and capped hock score on the limbs of finishing pigs. This might have occurred because limb lesions cause discomfort or because lame pigs spend more time lying and this increases the risk of limb lesions developing.

KilBride, A.L., C.E. Gillman and L.E. Green. 2009. A cross-sectional study of the prevalence of lameness in finishing pigs, gilts and pregnant sows and associations with limb lesions and floor types on commercial farms in England. Animal Welfare, 18 (3): 215-224.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 24, 2009, 09:33:01 AM
Scottish Pig Herd Drops Again
SCOTLAND, UK - The English breeding herd is up 5.5 per cent and Northern Ireland is up 12 per cent — but the Scottish herd has fallen 10 per cent, a disappointing but not unexpected result.

The June 2009 census shows continued shrinkage of the Scottish pig herd, as a result of high feed costs last year and perhaps increased nervousness about so much of Scotland's processing capacity being in the hands of one company, Vion.

But this time the census results hold a glimmer of hope that the industry has turned the corner and could be stabilising.

There is a 40 per cent increase in the number of gilts being kept for breeding. Admittedly this is comparing current intentions with a disastrously low figure in the June 2008 survey, but it does demonstrate increased confidence among some producers.

Scottish Pig Herd, June 2009
  2007 2008 2009 Percentage change
Breeding herd         
Sows in pig 30,114 26,738 24,026 -10.1%
Gilts in pig 3,830 3,530 3,071 -13.0%
Other sows 6,231 6,671 6,162 -7.6%
Total breeding herd 40,175 36,939 33,259 -10.0%
Barren sows for fattening 762 709 495 30.2%
Gilts 50kg and over to be used for breeding 6,136 3,883 5,478 41.1%
Boars 1,352 1,278 1,198 -6.3%
Total other pigs 408,244 393,094 355,627 -9.5%
Total pigs 456,669 435,903 396,057 -9.1%

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 25, 2009, 11:20:39 AM
Scottish Census Reveals Fall in Animal Numbers
SCOTLAND, UK - There were declines in the number of all farm livestock and poultry in the June 2009 census compared to a year previously, including a 10 per cent decrease in the breeding herd and nine per cent fewer fattening pigs. However, gilts for breeding were up more than 40 per cent.

Scotland's Chief Statistician has published final results from the 2009 June Agricultural Census.

There were declines in the number of all farm livestock and poultry compared to the census in June 2008.

The total number of cattle fell by 42,333 (2.3 per cent) to 1.812 million. The number of cows in the beef herd decreased by 14,349 (3.1 per cent) and the number of cows in the dairy herd was down by 4,899 (2.5 per cent). There was a decrease in the number of cattle aged under one year of 16,749 (3.1 per cent).

The total number of sheep fell by 184,828 (2.6 per cent) to 6.9 million. There was a decrease in the number of ewes used for breeding of 70,691 (2.5 per cent) and the number of lambs fell by 79,004 (2.3 per cent).

The total number of pigs fell by 39,846 (9.1 per cent) to 396,057. The pig breeding herd decreased by 3,680 (10.0 per cent), although there was an increase in the number of gilts to be used for breeding of 1,595 (41.1 per cent). There was a decrease in the number of pigs for meat production of 37,467 or 9.5 per cent.

The size of the poultry flock fell by 496,356 (3.6 per cent), to 13.3 million. There was a decrease in the number of broiler and other birds for meat production of 383,072 (4.5 per cent). The number of fowls for egg production fell by 53,082 (1.3 per cent) and the number of fowls for breeding was down by 59,431 (4.6 per cent).

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 27, 2009, 08:52:09 AM
Supplies Will Tighten Soon
Despite the surging euro which during the last seven days has risen in value from 90.4p to almost 92p, little of the benefit seems to have filtered through to the United Kingdom pig market yet, writes Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary.

The DAPP took a medium-sized downward step this week to 149.49p compared with 150.55p seven days ago.

This represents a drop of 4 percent over the last eight weeks, but it is still many times better than its position a year ago when the DAPP stood at a modest 135.92p.

Although there is no doubt that the recent rise in the value of the euro has put up the cost of imports, this comes at a time when European Union pigmeat prices are continuing to slide due to a mixture of poor retail demand and the virtual closure of the “pig curtain” on the Russian border.

For the first time for many months some spot quotes of less than 140p were being heard in the market, although most of the slighter warmer-hearted buyers were still prepared to hold their bids at 140p with premiums available for niche pigs, Freedom Food and other specials.

This underlines the need for producers to go the extra mile and obtain the highest level farm assurance they can because it is at the bottom of the market that pigmeat is seen as a commodity rather than a product and is most affected by cheap imports.

European Union mainland sow prices have also continued to decline in line with falling pigmeat values, but thanks to weakening sterling which must surely be heading for parity with the euro soon, most sow buyers held their prices at stand-on levels in the 114-116p region according to load size and specification.

Weaner prices continue to edge downwards tracking the DAPP despite the availability of cheap feed.

The latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm average is now quoted at £52.81/head and continues to be influenced by a slightly indifferent outlook for pig prices in the months ahead.

On the other hand once the current Indian summer comes to a close and temperatures drop, finished pig growth rates could fall sharply and finished pig supplies will quickly revert from feast to famine.

When this happens we could see processors looking for pigs rather than at them, but there are only really another ten clear trading weeks before Christmas interrupts the market once again.

Another feature has been the remarkable effect that PCV2 vaccines have had on the growth rates and mortality with many producers reporting that vaccinated piglets have “grown like weeds” with much lower mortality, which also helps to explain why more pigs seem to be coming forward from what is currently an almost static breeding herd.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on October 19, 2009, 06:19:12 AM
Saturday, October 17, 2009
We're Paying the Price Now
UK - We are now starting to pay the price for the halcyon days of spring and early summer when United Kingdom pig prices soared above European levels, writes Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary.

Unfortunately the higher they are the harder they fall and by August some retailers were realising that if they kept promoting the United Kingdom product in the face of much cheaper imports their margins would shrink and they could make even more money by switching to larger supplies of imports at the expense of United Kingdom producers.

The situation we are now faced with is that because of reduced retail orders United Kingdom abattoirs are cutting back on pig numbers leaving a larger surplus of spot pigs looking for homes at a time of year when supplies also tend to increase.

The picture may not however be as bleak as this because several of the larger marketing groups are reporting that their forward forecasts are indicating a reduction in supplies when we enter November and if this is coupled with the colder weather, this could slow down growth rates and stimulate retail demand.

When this happens this should help to arrest the falling DAPP, which a year ago was quoted at 136.51p almost neck and neck with spot rather than the 15p differential that now exists.

Spot bacon today was traded at a base price of circa 130p and other outlets were prepared to pay a copper or two more than this, but space still remains very tight. Contract sellers tied to the DAPP still have a base price of 147.54p as a safety net.

Lighter cutter weight pigs continue to sell marginally better and with Christmas approaching producers are advised to keep on top of their numbers and perhaps start selling some lighter weights to avoid another bottleneck over the festive period.

A marginal improvement in the value of sterling has done nothing to help on the trading front which saw the euro slip from 92.6p a week ago to 91.0p on Friday, but still well ahead of earlier levels.

Reports of difficult trading conditions in the European mainland pig market have also put more downward pressure on United Kingdom cull sow quotes which have today been generally between 108p and 113p, but a general shortage of slaughter numbers has kept this market slightly firmer than expected.

Weaner prices are continuing to head south with the latest AHDB 30kg ex-farm quote now standing at £50.32/head, down by almost £7 since June.

Providing feed prices stay at current levels there is still a margin for weaner buyers and sellers alike.

We may however have to wait until the early spring next year before any significant rally is seen in the finished pig market, but what most sellers are hoping for is a period of stability to settle the market down rather than seeing further fluctuations between now and the end of the year.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on October 20, 2009, 11:11:40 AM
Pork and Poultry Purchases in UK Flying High
UK - Consumer purchases of bacon are soaring and fresh pork and sausages are in hot pursuit according to new figures produced for BPEX.


The figures show bacon purchases up 7.9 per cent, fresh pork up 5.3 per cent and sausages are showing a 2 per cent rise.

BPEX head of Marketing, Chris Lamb said, “This continues the trend of people looking for high quality, value for money pork. This growth for both pork and for poultry comes at a time when beef and lamb are under pressure and are losing volume – even such staples as beef mince."

The figures also show, over the same period, twice as many households bought bacon than fresh chicken breasts while one and a half times more bought sausages.

The figures are the latest from TNS and covers the four-week period ending on 4 October, compared with the same period last year.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 02, 2009, 09:00:38 AM
Largest Percentage Increase in Pig Farm Incomes
UK - Specialist pig farms saw the largest percentage increase in farm business income in the 12 months to February 2009, but this was from a particularly low base.

Average output from pig enterprises increased by just over 40 per cent, according to Defra’s latest farm business income report. Input costs were significantly higher, but were more than offset by higher output.

Average farm business income for all farm types was slightly higher than in 2008/09 at £50,900 compared to £48,200 in 2007/08. This reflects firmer prices during the year for a range of commodities, particularly pigmeat, lamb and beef and to a lesser extent milk.

Farmers also saw an increase in the value of their single farm payment due to a more favourable exchange rate compared to the previous year.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 03, 2009, 12:07:17 PM
United Kingdom Pig Meat Market Update - October 2009
Tony Fowler, senior economic analyst with AHDB Meat Services Economic and Policy Analysis Group, explains the latest trends in pig production in the UK and European Union.


UK Prices
The DAPP continued to move lower in September and, at 149.5p/kg in the week ended 19 September, fell below 150p for the first time since April. Prices were 2p lower than four weeks earlier but were still 12p higher than a year earlier. There was a slight recovery in the DAPP in week ended 26 September, to 149.7p.

The average export specification cull sow price continued to firm during August and early September primarily due to weaker sterling and a lack of sows rather than increased Continental demand. The average sow price in the week ended 19 September, at 116.3p/kg, was 3p higher than four weeks earlier. There was, however a decline in week ended 26 September to 113,9p. In line with the finished market, weaner prices have also weakened since mid-July. In the week ended 26 September the average price for a 30kg weaner was £52.81.

Exchange Rates and EU Prices
Sterling has fallen sharply against the Euro since the beginning of August, due largely to concerns on the foreign exchange markets about the increases in British public debt. By Friday 25 September the value of sterling against the Euro had fallen by seven per cent since the beginning of August to £1=1.0884 Euros (ie 1 Euro = 92p). This was the lowest level against the Euro since April.

Pig prices eased in most member states during the first three weeks of September. The number of slaughter pigs is reported to have been high and combined with lower demand following the end of the holiday season on the Continent this has placed some downward pressure on prices. In the week ended 20 September the EU average pig reference price was €148 per 100kg dw, four per cent lower than four weeks earlier. However, due to the depreciation of sterling, the average EU price in sterling terms was actually up two per cent over the same period.

The drop in prices was most marked in Germany and the Netherlands, both down by seven per cent in the four weeks to 20 September. Colder weather in Spain, leading to an increase in growth rates, together with lower demand resulted in the Spanish price falling by five per cent over the same period.

EU Pig Survey Results
The EU Commission has published the results of the April/May/June 2009 pig census for 14 member states. The 14 member states for which results are available account for around 90 per cent of the total EU pig population. The United Kingdom and Denmark showed the sharpest increases and there were smaller growth rates in the Netherlands, Italy and Ireland. But these were offset by contraction in other member states – especially Hungary, Sweden and Poland – leading to a one percent decline in overall breeding herd numbers.

UK Slaughterings and Production
Clean pig slaughterings were down on 2008 levels in the first half of 2009, but since June they have been on a rising trend. Slaughterings in August totalled 744,000; this was equal to an average weekly throughput of 186,000 head, seven per cent higher than a year earlier and the highest (other than in October/November 2007 when figures were distorted by FMD controls) since November2006.

Up to now the driver of higher slaughterings in 2009 has not been increased sow numbers but improved sow productivity. Sow productivity (defined as the relationship between slaughterings and the lagged breeding herd) has been increasing for much of this year, and in August is estimated to have been seven per cent higher than a year earlier. However, sow numbers have started to increase, and they should therefore also begin to contribute to increased slaughter levels over the next year.

There was a further increase in throughputs during the first three weeks of September and preliminary forecasts for the month indicate they averaged 191,000 a week, five per cent up on September 2008.

Average carcase weights of pigs in the DAPP sample have increased seasonally since late June and have been consistently heavier than year earlier levels throughout July, August and early September. However, the rate of increase in 2009 has been less marked than in 2008. By mid September the average weight had increased to 79.8kg, up by nearly 2kg since the beginning of July compared with a rise of nearly 3kg in the corresponding period a year earlier.

UK Trade
Exports of fresh and frozen pork during July of 7,900 tonnes were 16 per cent lower than in the corresponding month a year earlier. This compares with June shipments that were 23 per cent lower than year earlier levels. Higher sow slaughterings during July helped reduce the deficit on exports compared with a year earlier. Germany was the leading destination for pork exports in July and accounted for a third of total pork exports, despite volumes being 13 per cent lower on the year at 2,600 tonnes. Ireland was the second largest destination, shipments being 25 per cent lower on the year at 1,400 tonnes.

Imports of fresh and frozen pork in July were 10 per cent lower than year earlier levels at 29,500 tonnes. Imports from Denmark, at 7,900 tonnes, accounted for 27 per cent of total imports, despite a 31 per cent fall in volumes compared with the corresponding month a year earlier. Higher imports from Ireland and Belgium partially offset the lower Danish imports. Shipments from Ireland and Belgium both surpassed 4,000 tonnes, up 28 and 35 per cent on the year respectively.

Feed Prices
After reaching a low of £88 per tonne in late-August, delivered feed wheat prices for Eastern England rebounded to £95 per tonne by early-September. On LIFFE UK wheat futures, feed wheat prices are at around £99 per tonne for November contracts, which is up a few pounds on recent weeks ago but around £12 per tonne cheaper than at the same point last season.

Strategie Grains has estimated that the 2009/2010 EU wheat crop could reach 130 million tonnes. This is down 10 million tonnes on last season. It estimates the UK crop at 14.8 million tonnes, a fall of 2.4 million tonnes from last season’s record and forecasts the percentage of feed wheat to be around 70 per cent compared with 75 per cent last year. EU barley production is placed at 61.5 million tonnes, down four million tonnes on last season. An estimated reduction in the Spanish barley crop, due to prevailing drought conditions, accounts for the majority of this fall.

World wheat production is forecast at 664 million tonnes, down 18 million tonnes on last season. Falls are predicted in many of the major production areas; including the EU, United States and former Soviet states down 10 million tonnes although a small increase of two million tonnes is expected in China.
Provisional United Kingdom Pig Survey Results - June 2009
Provisional Defra pig survey results show that the United Kingdom female breeding herd increased by five per cent, or 24,000 head, in the year to June 2009. At 440,000 head, numbers were approaching June 2007 levels.

It is thought that this is the first time since 1997 that the national breeding herd has expanded compared with a year earlier. December 2006 also showed a small expansion, but this is likely to have been a statistical anomaly. The expansion has arisen from a renewal of confidence in the industry as it recovers from the feed crisis during 2007 and the first half of 2008. Lower feed prices combined with higher pig prices meant that the industry moved from loss-making to profit-making in the autumn of 2008.

The increase in the breeding herd has begun to be reflected in the lighter weights of slaughter pigs on farms, with the number of pigs under 50kg liveweight up on a year earlier. But due to the lag in the production cycle, numbers of some heavier pig categories were still down.
Retail pork sales in volume terms were down three per cent compared with a year earlier in the four weeks ended 6 September. Slightly lower average prices (-1 per cent) meant that expenditure was four per cent lower. Purchases of chops were again buoyant (+20 per cent), although purchases of all other cuts were lower.

In the latest 4-week period the volume of bacon purchases was three per cent higher than a year earlier. The average unit price was down three per cent, leading to unchanged expenditure.

Retail purchases of sausages were down one per cent compared with last year, although higher average prices meant that expenditure was up four per cent. Purchases of pork pies and sausage rolls remained higher than a year earlier. There was an increase of 65 per cent in volume purchases of chilled pork ready meals, although in absolute terms the size of this market is small.

October 2009
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 05, 2009, 09:00:35 AM
Wednesday, November 04, 2009Print This Page
Good News for British Pig Industry
UK - The latest pig cost of production report, published by BPEX, has good news for British producers though not all in the garden is rosy.


The report covers 2008 and costs in GB rose by 12 per cent, against an EU average increase of 24 per cent.

Britain has closed the competitiveness gap with other EU countries whereas in previous years it had been one of the highest-cost countries.

The improvement in the relative cost of production in Great Britain was in part due to improved physical performance, but it was mainly due to the lower exchange rate.

British production continued to show improvements in post-weaning mortality, down from 7.0 per cent to 5.6 per cent. By far the most marked improvement in post-weaning mortality in recent years has occurred here.

The average number of pigs finished per sow increased for the fifth consecutive year. At 20.9 pigs/sow, average performance was 4 per cent higher than the previous year and 11 per cent higher than in 2004. This was the highest annual improvement recorded for at least 15 years.

The most marked improvement in daily liveweight gain for feeding herds occurred in Great Britain, up 11 per cent to a record 757g. British results have increased every year since 2003, when they averaged 627g/day and they are now up to the EU average.

Senior Economic Analyst and report author Tony Fowler said: "Overall, production in Great Britain has been increasing faster than the EU average, up from 75 per cent of the EU average in 2004 to 80 per cent in 2008.

"Feed prices have continued to fall in 2008 - but due to the depreciation of sterling, they were just 11 per cent lower in sterling terms.

"In 2009 there has been a further decline in sterling but the impact of this has been offset by the increase in British feed prices, leaving competitiveness little changed.

"Costs of production in Great Britain averaged 136.8p/kg in 2008, against the EU average of 135.9p/kg. In August 2009 the GB figure was 133.8p/kg against an EU average of 133.4p/kg.

"Producers are now in profit, albeit with a large debt burden still to clear - a major turnaround compared with 2008 when they were losing money on every pig they sold."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 05, 2009, 09:02:22 AM
Wednesday, November 04, 2009Print This Page
VLA: Respiratory Disease Outbreak in Breeding Herd
UK - According to Defra's VLA Monthly Scanning Surveillance Report for September, two live piglets were examined in Preston to confirm the outbreak of a respiratory disease in a breeding herd.

Alimentary tract diseases
Four live pigs were submitted to Bury from an indoor 250-sow breeder finisher unit where wasting was affecting 5% of 600 pigs aged six to 10-weeks-old with approximately 3% post weaning mortality. Piglets were vaccinated for PCV2 and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. Three of the four submitted pigs had diarrhoea, two of these had severe typhlocolitis and one had thickening and corrugation of the ileum. A multiple aetiology was identified with porcine intestinal adenomatosis confirmed in the pig with ileal thickening, and Salmonella Typhimurium phage type U288 and Brachyspira pilosicoli being isolated from the large intestines of all three scouring pigs. PCV2 associated disease was not identified.

Salmonellosis due to Salmonella Typhimurium phage type U288 was diagnosed as the cause of weight loss and occasional scour in eight-week-old pigs from an outdoor rearing site. Twenty-five of 1,100 pigs had died. Pigs were vaccinated for PRRSV and PCV2. Two dead pigs were submitted both of which had a necrotic typhlocolitis which yielded the Salmonella organisms.

Another outbreak of salmonellosis was diagnosed on an indoor 540-sow unit rearing pigs to 35 kgs. From one shed of 1000 rearing pigs, 55 deaths were recorded over a nine week period with two to three wasted pigs being found dead each morning. Rearing pigs were vaccinated for Streptococcus suis and PCV2. Two dead pigs were submitted, both of which had a severe typhlocolitis from which Salmonella Typhimurium phage type U288 was isolated and no other enteropathogens or PRRSV were identified. Histopathology did not reveal involvement of PIA or PCV2.

Sutton Bonnington isolated Salmonella Typhimurium PT 193 from pooled faeces submitted from 14-week-old rearing pigs. The diarrhoea had started in 25% of a group of 71 on the morning of submission. There had been no deaths.

Respiratory Diseases
Two live piglets aged 6 weeks were submitted to Preston to investigate an outbreak of respiratory disease in a breeding herd. Coughing was initially observed in adults together with an occasional animal with a mucopurulent nasal discharge. Disease then progressed to affect most litters typically from around 4 weeks of age onwards – clinical signs in younger pigs included coughing, increased respiratory rate and a “thumping” respiration in some animals. There was gross and histological evidence of severe chronic proliferative bronchointerstitial pneumonia in both animals submitted. No bacteria were recovered (possibly due to prior antibiotic therapy), but Streptococcus suis was detected in lungs from both pigs by DGGE. Tests for PRRS and SI viruses were all negative.

Other diseases
Bury investigated an outbreak of swine erysipelas which presented as sudden death of approximately ten of 1000 pigs on the day of weaning. Pigs died rapidly after being seen panting, with reddened skin and a few pigs were seen with diamond-shaped skin lesions. The pre farrowing erysipelas booster for the gilts, from which these pigs were weaned, had been inadvertently omitted. Other ages of pig were reported to be well, which included sows, with numbers born live remaining good.

Neurological Diseases
Streptococcus suis type 2
Streptococcus suis 2 infection was responsible for eight sudden deaths of nine-week-old pigs from a group of 600 on a 2300 pig indoor nursery finisher unit containing pigs from two sources where only one source was affected at the time of submission. Some coughing and joint swelling was reported in the group. Three dead pigs were submitted to Bury with gross lesions suggestive of a septicaemia and, in one, a fibrinous exudate was present over the meninges. Meningeal smears from all three pigs tested positive for S.suis 2 and the organism was isolated from meninges and internal viscera. No PRRSV involvement was identified. These pigs had been vaccinated with Streptococcus suis 2 vaccine.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 10, 2009, 11:42:38 AM
Monday, November 09, 2009Print This Page
Global Opportunity for Pig Industry People
UK - People with a passion for the pig industry have a unique opportunity to study and travel as BPEX and Merial Animal Health are jointly sponsoring a Nuffield Scholarship award this year.


The Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST) is seeking applications from people aged between 22 and 45, who are convinced there is an exciting future in farming, food and rural industries.

The deadline for applications is 15 November 2009. Current pig industry scholar Richard Hooper is encouraging anyone who is passionate about their work to apply for a Scholarship now.

“When my scholarship was awarded I was told I could look forward to a challenging and enjoyable experience that would open up a lifetime of new opportunities – so far so good!,” says Mr Hooper, whose personal study tour is titled ‘The Recruitment, Training and Retention of Quality Staff in the Pig Industry’.

“I started in the US, visiting pig businesses ranging from 40 sows to more than 100,000, along with non-agricultural businesses, universities and levy and government funded bodies. My next visit is to Canada.”

“Developing new knowledge, skills and research is vital to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the pig industry,” says BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston.

"Sponsoring a Nuffield Scholarship is a fantastic way to support enthusiastic pig people wanting to bring benefits to the industry as a whole.”

The NFST awards around 20 Scholarships each year, providing travel and subsistence costs for an eight-week period, in return for a written paper and presentation of study findings at its Winter Conference
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 12, 2009, 12:35:07 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009Print This Page
EU Pig Prices: Prices Rise Almost All over Europe
EU - Finally, the knot was cut - as for the slaughter pig market, an upward trend is reported from almost all European countries.


It’s only the prices in Great Britain and Sweden which went slightly downward. For the second time in a row, the Spanish and French prices remained on an unchanged level. Price increases ranging from a corrected 2.7 to 5 cents were reported on with regard the German, Dutch and Danish quotations.

The improved sales revenues on the meat market must be called the crucial factor for the price increase observed in Germany. On top of that, the quantities of pigs for slaughter on offer continue to be further canvassed. In Denmark and the Netherlands, the increasing pigs-mature-for-slaughter prices are also said to be caused by the shortage of supply. A day of slaughter missing as a result of a public holiday in France is said to be the reason for unchanged prices there.

Trend: As for Germany, the price increase which had been expected for the previous week could be enforced last Friday. For the week ahead, the pigs-mature-for-slaughter price is expected to keep steady. If supply continues to be sold speedily, prices may as well go on to increase.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 18, 2009, 12:25:30 PM
UK's Processed Pork Exports Booming
UK - British bacon, sausage and ham exports are hitting new heights with the Republic of Ireland remaining the largest market.


Bacon exports have more than tripled since January of last year. For the whole of 2008, they reached 31,000 tonnes, worth £72 m. and are expected to remain at the same level in 2009. Shipments to Spain rose from 482 to 5,432 tonnes.

Exports of sausages have progressed substantially to 6,350 tonnes worth £14 m. in 2008 and are expected to reach 7,500 tonnes this year.

The main destinations are Ireland (37 per cent) and Spain (29 per cent). Germany, Malta, Denmark, Greece, Malta and Portugal are also substantial markets.

With regards to ham, our exports were up to 16,000 tonnes worth £43 m. in 2008 from 9,000 tonnes in 2006 and 12,000 tonnes in 2007 and are expected to rise by a further 15 per cent in 2009. Some 860 tonnes of ham were exported to Hong Kong in 2008.

BPEX Export Manager Jean-Pierre Garnier said, “These figures are very good and in a competitive market place show exporters are taking advantage of high quality, high welfare pork and pork products which are an attractive proposition overseas.”

“The marketing investment that this industry has afforded in many markets is showing dividends," Mr Garnier continued.

Finally, Mr Garnier said that with more pork likely to be produced in 2010, the country can expect a continuation in progress.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 20, 2009, 10:41:05 AM
Call for Govt to Act over Antibiotic Resistance
UK - The Soil Association has called on the government to act over what is calls an escalating farm antibiotic resistance problem.

The Soil Association welcomes the UK’s involvement in the second European Antibiotic Awareness Day, yesterday (18 November) but is calling on the Government to give as much attention to reducing the over-use of antibiotics on farms and in veterinary surgeries as it gives to hospitals and doctors surgeries.

As last year, the Awareness Day will primarily target doctors, nurses, pharmacists and the general public, with the aim of reducing the overuse of antibiotics in human medicine. Unfortunately, much less effort is being put into targeting vets and farmers.

This is despite the fact that, according to a Government report published in 2007, over 53 per cent of antibiotics used in the UK are given to animals, mostly in food or water. About 90 per cent of veterinary antibiotic use is in farm animals.

Excessive antibiotic use in farm animals leads to higher levels of antibiotic resistance, which can have consequences for animal health and welfare, as diseases become untreatable, and for human health, when resistant bacteria transfer from animals to humans.

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), resistant salmonella and campylobacter involved in human disease are mostly spread through foods. Highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA and ESBL E. coli have also recently emerged in farm animals in most countries, and can sometimes be passed to humans.

Sir Liam Donaldson, the UK's Chief Medical Officer, has referred to the 'irresponsible antibiotic use in the agricultural sector', and said "Resistant bacteria developing in animals could pose a threat to people. Antibiotics must be used in moderation in agricultural settings and only when necessary for animal welfare."

Despite this, the Soil Association says that the Government does not take a direct role in advising vets or farmers on how to minimise antibiotic use or the development of resistance. Instead it works through the quasi-commercial Veterinary Medicines Directorate which relies heavily on funding from both drug companies and farmers. The Government even supports the continued advertising of antibiotics directly to farmers.

An incredible 96 per cent of farm antibiotics are used in pigs and poultry, the two most intensively farmed species. Even though there are over seven times as many sheep in the UK as there are pigs, total antibiotic use in the pig sector is over 115 times higher than it is in sheep farming. This is because sheep are usually farmed outdoors, while pigs, like chickens, are generally kept in unnatural factory-farming conditions and antibiotics are used to control the spread of disease, says the Soil Association.

Soil Association Policy Adviser, Richard Young, said: "Most vets and farmers approach the use of antibiotics responsibly but this is not universally the case. There is also a very low level of awareness of the resistance problems currently developing on British farms and how to prevent these spreading. As such, the Government must actively engage with all sections of the livestock industry, as it has done with the medical profession and the public.

"Many large-scale producers are locked into highly intensive methods in an attempt to compete with cheap foreign imports. Using extra antibiotics is still the most cost-effective option for these producers and that raises questions for society, to which the Government, supermarkets, consumer groups and others need to give urgent consideration."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 22, 2009, 11:43:58 AM
Short Supply Holds Up UK Cull Sow Prices
UK - Although in some areas small rises in spot prices were recorded, the general sentiment was more of a stand-on nature reflecting the relatively static DAPP which now stands at 140.59p, but still well up on its value of 132.75p a year ago, Peter Crichton writes in this week's Traffic Lights commentary.

Something of a north/south divide opened up in connection with pig prices today with more of a seller’s market south of Watford than north.

It will be unfortunate if abattoirs are unable to take full numbers in the key weeks building up to Christmas, but the return of colder weather could help on this front by slowing down growth rates.

If pig prices could be persuaded to follow the upward track seen in the sheep market recently where liveweight prices have gone up by 20p/kg in the last 14 days (£8/sheep), pig producers will also feel that Christmas had arrived early.

With no reports of spot bacon being traded at less than 125p and most prices circa 127p with lighter weights attracting more interest, spot sellers had a slightly easier ride than they did a few weeks ago.

Cull sow prices continue to be held up by a lack of numbers on this side of the Channel rather than better prices in Europe and the euro has maintained its value over the past seven days closing on Friday worth a fraction under 90p.

Export sow abattoirs were generally offering in the 106–108p range on a delivered basis, but still some fairly wide variations according to load size and specification.

Weaner prices have followed the spot finished pig market with very little variation over the past seven days with the 30kg AHDB ex-farm average holding at £48.29/head.

Reports of financial problems being faced by some of the smaller wholesalers (not abattoirs) are continuing to circulate in the market, but are in stark contrast with recent financial results announced by Tulip and Cranswick both of whom are recording significant profits, but really needs to be seen throughput the whole supply chain to allow producers to re-invest in what are fast becoming worn out pig units with in many cases worn out pig farmers running them.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 22, 2009, 11:45:34 AM
UK Slaughter Statistics - November 2009
UK - Figures from the UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reveal that the country's monthly home-killed production of pig meat rose in October, but only slightly. It should be noted that the month of October contained five weeks.


The number of clean pigs sent to slaughter in October rose quite significantly at 995,000 in October, compared to 739,000 in September and 745,000 in August. The number of sows and boars sent for slaughter, on the other hand, was not as high in October. The figure stands at a mere 23,000, compared to 17,000 in September and August.

The average dressed carcase weight dropped in October at 78.8 kg, compared to 79.3 kg and 78.1 kg in September and August respectively. On the other hand, the slaughter weight for sows and boars appears fairly stable at 161.9 kg, compared to 152.2 kg in September and 149.8 kg the month before.

Overall, the UK produced 79 kg of pig meat in October, compared to 61 kg in September and August and 72 kg in July.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 27, 2009, 11:27:08 AM
Report Calls for Livestock Production Cuts
UK - A new report in the medical journal The Lancet has called for a 30 per cent reduction in livestock production to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the UK emission targets for 2030.

The report - The Health Benefits of Tackling Climate Change - looks at household energy emissions, urban land transport, low carbon electricity generation, short-lived greenhouse pollutants and agriculture and food.

In the section on agriculture and food the report says: "Agriculture and food production account for 10-12 per cent of greenhouse-gas emissions.

"Livestock farming is responsible for four-fifths of these emissions, which include methane (a greenhouse gas more potent than CO2) emitted by ruminant animals.

"Land-use changes, including deforestation for livestock production, add substantial further emissions. Increasing affluence boosts meat consumption, and forecasts predict livestock production will increase dramatically in the future to meet consumer demand.

"Heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other disease associated with overnutrition, high fat diets, and reduced exercise are already increasing in some countries of low and middle income."

The report says that there are four scenarios for change that have already been earmarked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through agriculture: greater efficiency in livestock farming; more carbon capture through changes in land use; better manure management; and less dependence on fossil fuels.

"The study assesses the consequences for health of a fifth approach: a 30 per cent reduction in livestock production. The study assumes that this cut would lead to a similar fall in the consumption of meat and dairy produce," the report says.

However, the report has received sharp criticism from the farming community.

National Farmers' Union President Peter Kendall said the Lancet report, which has been backed by a number of Ministers, was another example of Government departments not working together. It appears the department most closely involved with food issues - Defra - has not been involved.

Mr Kendall said: "Farmers will be angry that yet again we have an ill informed and simplistic report which appears to completely misunderstand agriculture's emissions and its role in climate change. But the most unbelievable thing is that this report appears to have been put together without any input from the one Government department that deals in food policy and understands the issues - Defra.

"We know this is a complex issue and that is why Defra has been looking at it. This report advocates a 30 per cent reduction in livestock numbers in countries that have the most efficient production systems and hence the lowest emissions. It is part funded by the Department of Health and endorsed by three ministers with no thought for the unintended consequences of such a policy.

"What we need to do is look at doing things more efficiently rather than simply cutting livestock numbers. The car industry is praised for producing more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles rather than being told to cut production. Likewise, a substantial investment in agricultural research and development is needed to enable farmers to produce food more efficiently with less impact on the environment.

"Other governments that value their livestock production are looking at exciting and innovative ways to reduce agriculture's environmental impacts while understanding the need to produce more food for an expanding global population. If the UK government wants to be seen as a leader at the climate change talks in Copenhagen they will need to work with farmers and not alienate them with soundbites."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 15, 2010, 12:59:27 PM
Free Pork Recipes to Rustle Up Romance
SCOTLAND, UK - Scots are being offered an opportunity this Valentine’s weekend to find out whether pork truly has aphrodisiac qualities as suggested earlier this month by Argentina's President Cristina Fernández.

Ms Fernández has been widely reported by the press around the world as suggesting she had personal experience of the lovelife-improving effect of eating pork, reportedly saying eating grilled pork was better than Viagra!

To ensure everyone has the opportunity to find out whether she is right, Quality Meat Scotland has posted a selection of easy-to-make dishes featuring pork in a Valentine’s section of the website. A free pork recipe booklet is also available from the site.

“While there is no conclusive scientific evidence that red meat, including pork, can boost libido it is certainly true that red meat contains protein which is essential for energy and zinc which has been reported to be beneficial in boosting fertility,” said Gordon Sloan of Quality Meat Scotland.

“We have carefully selected the Valentine’s pork recipes on the website to ensure they are both delicious and include recipes which are easy to prepare so that even less confident chefs can impress the love of their life!” Mr Sloan added.

The selection of hand-picked romantic pork recipes includes Red Thai Pork with Spicy Noodles; Pork with Scallops and Spiced Pork Parcels.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on February 23, 2010, 09:34:59 AM
Next Step in Pig Health and Biosecurity
UK - Yorkshire pig producers are proposing new ways to improve pig unit biosecurity.


Two producer cluster groups in the Yorkshire and Humberside Health (YHH) programme are now acting as 'pilot' clusters. They will provide details to Yorkshire Forward on how funds could be used collaboratively on farms to benefit pig health as part of the funding bid for stage two of the programme.

Practical ideas discussed at a meeting of the Mappleton cluster included:

to keep feed blower pipes on each unit so that feed wagons do not drag the same pipe across every yard they visit, and
to keep a box of brightly coloured overalls and wellies near the unit loading ramp for wagon drivers to wear. This enables the unit staff to make sure the driver is not entering areas of the farm where they may cause a disease risk.
The nine producers in the cluster were also pleased to welcome two veterinary professionals, a contract cleaner and a smallholder to the meeting. The smallholder pig keeper has signed up to YHH and, although his business is very different from the rest of the cluster, his involvement will benefit all parties in managing disease risk.

Veterinary practices across the region continue to work with producers on-farm to complete the confidential pig health survey. Producers must take part in the survey to qualify for stage two funding. Stage one funding has, to date, covered the cost for vets to complete the health surveys but after the end of February 2010 producers will need to pay for this.

Title: Re: England & European Hog News
Post by: mikey on March 06, 2010, 01:40:10 PM
Pork Retail Sales Stay Strong
UK - Growth continues in retail sale of pig meat products.


Retail pork sales are still flying high according to the latest quarterly category report from BPEX, showing the strongest performance of all the red meats.

For the 52 weeks ending on 24 January, fresh pork sales were up 5.6 per cent in volume and 6.6 per cent in value.

Bacon and sausages were also performing strongly with the former showing a 2.8 per cent increase in expenditure while sausages were 6.6 per cent up.

BPEX head of Marketing, Chris Lamb, said: "Pork's impressive performance in 2009 is continuing into the early part of this year.

"Consumers are seeing more value in pork, bacon and sausages and they are taking up a greater and greater share of shopping trolley space across the range."

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on March 17, 2010, 10:07:37 AM
Mistreatment of Migrant and Agency Workers
UK - An Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry has uncovered widespread evidence of the mistreatment and exploitation of migrant and agency workers in the meat and poultry processing sector.

Workers reported physical and verbal abuse and a lack of proper health and safety protection, with the treatment of pregnant workers a particular concern. Many workers had little knowledge of their rights and feared raising concerns would lead to dismissal. While migrant workers were most affected, British agency workers also faced similar mistreatment.

The inquiry uncovered frequent breaches of the law and licensing standards in meat processing factories - some of which supply the UK’s biggest supermarkets - and the agencies that supply workers to them. It also highlighted conditions which flout minimum ethical trading standards and basic human rights.

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has said that practices which the report has found in some parts of the industry are completely unacceptable in a modern food industry and in our society.

Stephen Rossides, Director of the BMPA said that he is meeting with the ECHR this week to discuss the report and aims to engage with other relevant agencies and the industry to address the important issues raised.

The inquiry also found examples of good practice with firms treating permanent and agency workers of all nationalities with respect. These firms benefitted as a result, by being able to attract and retain well motivated, loyal and increasingly skilled workers.

The inquiry, which was launched in October 2008, examined the employment and recruitment practices in the sector to identify differences in pay and conditions between agency and temporary workers and employees with permanent or directly employed status.

One third of the permanent workforce and over two thirds of agency workers in the industry are migrant workers. At one in six meat processing sites involved in the study, every single agency worker used in the past twelve months was a migrant worker. This is in part due to difficulties in recruiting British workers to what is physically demanding, low paid work. It may also be due to perceptions amongst employers and agencies that British workers are either unable or unwilling to work in the sector.

More than eight out of ten of the 260 workers that gave evidence said that agency workers were treated worse than directly employed workers. Seven out of ten workers said they thought they were treated badly in factories or by agencies because of their race or nationality.

Physical and verbal abuse were not uncommon, with a fifth of workers interviewed reporting being pushed, kicked or having things thrown at them by line managers; over a third of workers interviewed said they had experienced, or witnessed verbal abuse, often on a daily basis. Workers also reported being refused permission to take toilet breaks, and subsequently urinating or bleeding on themselves at the production line.

A quarter of those interviewed said they had witnessed mistreatment of pregnant workers, such as the instant dismissal of agency workers who had announced they were pregnant. Pregnant women were also forced to continue to undertake work that posed risks to their health and safety, including heavy lifting and extended periods of standing.

Despite finding their experience in the workplace distressing and degrading, nearly one third of workers endured this treatment without complaint both because of fears that their work would be terminated as a result and that it would affect their goal of securing stable employment. These workers also had little knowledge of their rights or how to make complaints.

Conversely, the Commission found examples of firms who treated workers, both permanent and agency, of all nationalities with respect and dignity. The supermarkets have an important role in supporting and monitoring their suppliers. However, the findings from the inquiry clearly show that the ethical auditing systems used by supermarkets are not uncovering the mistreatment and that more action is needed.


As a result of the inquiry, the Commission is making a number of recommendations. These include:

Processing firms and agencies to use fair and transparent recruitment practices and provide workers with a safe working environment free from discrimination and harassment, where they are able to raise issues of concern without fear of the consequences.

Supermarkets to improve their support to and auditing of suppliers

Government to provide sufficient resources for the GLA to deliver on its task of safeguarding the welfare and interests of workers and broaden its remit to include other sectors where low-paid agency workers are at risk of exploitation
The Commission will review action taken over the next 12 months by supermarkets, processing firms and recruitment agencies, and will consider taking enforcement action if necessary.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 12, 2010, 07:26:40 AM
United Kingdom Pig Meat Market Update - June 2010
James Park, senior economic analyst with AHDB Meat Services Economic and Policy Analysis Group, explains the latest trends in pig production in the UK and European Union.


UK Prices
The upward trend in the DAPP recorded since the beginning of the year has gained further momentum in recent weeks. This was largely as a result of firm domestic demand for pork relative to other red meats combined with some changes in consumer purchasing habits which have aided firm pig market conditions. The DAPP rose consistently throughput April and into May. In week ended 15 May, the DAPP was quoted at 145p per kg, an increase of seven pence since the start of the year, although producer prices remain seven pence lower than the corresponding week a year ago.

The average carcass weights of pigs in the DAAP sample averaged just over 79kg in April and fluctuated around 79kg in the first three weeks of May, almost one kilo heavier than the same period a year ago. Probe values reduced to below 11mm throughout April and remained around 11mm for the first three weeks of May, indicating that heavier carcass weights are not having an adverse affect on producing lean pigs. In week ended 29 May, the average carcass weight reduced to below year-earlier values for the first time since January and the average probe measurement reduced to 10.6mm. The indication is that although throughput is being maintained and the effects of challenging temperatures in January are filtering through the industry.

Following price increases in the sow market during the first quarter of this year, the average sow price reduced in April to 98p per kg, 18 per cent lower than a year ago. The sow price in week ended 15 May eased to 97p per kg, five pence higher than the start of the year, but three pence lower than the beginning of April. Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands all experienced a weakening in the price of sows in first two weeks of May. Although prices have fallen marginally since mid-March the German sow price in week ended 15 May was €1.11 per kg (95p per kg), four per cent higher since the turn of the year. Danish sows achieved €0.90 per kg (77p per kg) in the same week, over 23 per cent higher than in early January. Over the same period sows in the Netherlands also increased by 23 per cent to reach €0.95 per kg (82p per kg).

Improved finished pig prices have been reflected in higher prices on the spot weaner market and since the beginning of the year the weaner prices have also continued to rise on weekly basis. The 30kg GB weaner price increased to £55 per head in week ended 22 May, £5 higher than the start of the year. However, it was over two per cent lower than the corresponding week a year ago.

The economic challenges within some of the Euro-zone countries have resulted in further sharp falls in the euro against both the dollar and sterling in recent weeks. The Euro is now at its lowest level against the dollar since April 2006. In week ended 20 May, the Euro depreciated to below US$1.22 compared with $1.50 last autumn before the decline set-in last December. Sterling has shown a small strengthening against the Euro but is under some pressure against the dollar, not helped by ongoing concern about UK government borrowings and budget deficit. On 19 May, the Euro was worth 84 pence down from 90 pence in mid-March.

The EU pig reference price increased five per cent to €138 per 100kg dw in four weeks leading up to 16 May, three per cent lower than the corresponding week a year ago. In sterling terms, the EU pig price increased by two per cent to 119p per kg, as a gain in the value of the sterling softened the rate of increase.

In the week ended 16 May, the average EU reference price rose by almost two per cent compared with the previous week. Prices in Denmark and Spain increased by three per cent while the Polish price was five per cent higher than the week earlier. Over the same period, prices in Germany rose by two per cent.

UK Slaughterings and Production
Despite the adverse weather conditions earlier in the year, UK clean pig slaughterings totalled 854,000 head during April, seven per cent higher than that recorded in the corresponding month a year ago. However, the effects may have been seen in terms of reduced carcass weights and lower probe measurements. Throughputs at abattoirs in England and Wales were almost seven per cent higher and throughputs in Northern Ireland were considerably higher, up 18 per cent to 141 ,000 head, compared with the same month last year. In contrast, throughputs in Scotland were seven per cent lower in April than the same month a year earlier.

Cumulative UK clean pig slaughterings in January-April were 3.1 million head, nearly six per cent more than in the same period of 2009. Sow slaughterings in the UK totalled 77,000 head during the period, an increase of almost ten per cent compared with the corresponding period a year earlier.

GB sow cullings were 10 per cent higher to mid-May than at the same point in 2009. The UK sow market remained heavily driven by exchange rates and the international market which has been relatively static since the start of spring.

UK pig meat production during April totalled 70,000 tonnes, nine per cent higher than last year. Higher throughputs, combined with heavier carcass weights have resulted in pig meat production increasing during the first four months of 2010, up eight per cent to almost 257,000 tonnes.

In Great Britain, sow prices in Euro terms increased by almost 10 per cent between January and late-February but have since stabilised at prices not significantly different from Germany at €1.12 per kg, and 27 per cent higher than last year. In pence per kg equivalent however, there has been no stabilisation and prices have continued to fall to 96.59 pence per kg due to the further weakening of the GB sterling, representing a reduction of 15 percent to corresponding 2009 prices.

Feed Prices
In the US on 16 May, around 87 per cent of maize was planted for harvest 2010, some 16 per cent ahead of planting at the same point in 2009. The early planting will encourage good crop establishment. However, weather over the key yield forming month of July remains critical to the size of the crop.

The first forecast from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for 2010/11 maize production puts world output at a record of 835 million tonnes, some 27 million tonnes above the previous season. Feed demand is forecast to be 493 million tonnes, 11 million tonnes higher than the previous season. In the US, maize demand for use in ethanol production is forecast at 116.8 million tonnes rising by four million tonnes as higher Federal mandates for inclusion and strong blending incentives increase usage. Given the forecast of higher production and the generation of a surplus in 2010/11, global maize ending stocks are forecast to increase to 154 million tonnes, some seven million tonnes above the estimated ending stocks in 2009/10.

Maize remains the dominant driver in global markets, as the supply and demand balance is relatively tight, as opposed to wheat, which is expected to record 198 million tonnes of ending stocks in 2010/11, the highest for a decade. With regards to global production, wheat production is estimated to be down eight million tonnes at 672 million tonnes which, if achieved, will be the third largest global wheat harvest recorded. This reduction in output globally may seem positive, but total availability of wheat may actually increase in the 2010/11 season due to the expected 193.3 million tonnes of stocks being carried in to the new season. Total availability (opening stocks + production) of wheat in the 2010/11 season at current estimates equates to 865.5 million tonnes, some 20 million tonnes above the estimated availability in the 2009/10 season.

Currency markets have had a major bearing on the UK market over the past month. The election, and subsequent uncertainty, had the effect of causing a volatile euro-sterling exchange rate. As such the market was unsure of direction and new-crop Nov-1 0 LlFFE futures have been trading in a range of £1 04-£1 08 per tonne in the past two to three weeks.

In the physical markets in the UK, the average UK ex-farm feed wheat value was at £100.0 per tonne as at 13 May, up £6.20 per tonne from the average ex-farm price a month previously on 15 April. In the latest HGCA feed ingredients price survey, on 14 May, FEMAS soyameal, ex-mill Liverpool, was quoted at £326.50 per tonne for May delivery.

In April, the average producer price of pigs rose by one per cent compared with March, although this was three per cent lower than in April 2009. In contrast, retail prices for pork eased month-on-month. As a result, there was a fall in the spread between the producer and retail pork price to 60.5 per cent. This meant that in April the proportion of the retail price producers received continued to edge towards 40 per cent. In April last year, producers received just over 40 per cent of the final retail price. The average retail price for bacon increased in April, returning to similar values to those recorded in February, following low quotations during March. Producers received approximately 31 per cent of the retail bacon price in April, compared with 32 per cent achieved in the same month last year.

The average retail price for boneless shoulders recorded the largest month-on-month price rise between March and April, up four per cent to 531p per kg. The increase in the retail price of fillet end leg was less marked, up one per cent to 620p per kg. In contrast, the price of boneless leg joints fell by three per cent to 622p per kg. The price of minced pork has been relatively stable over the last few months and week ended 8 May was 470p per kg.

Data from Kantar Worldpanel indicates that household purchases of pork over the four-week period ended 16 May 2010 were up eight per cent on the same period in 2009. Value of fresh and frozen pork purchases decreased five per cent. There was a significant increase in the quantity of pork belly purchased in the four weeks to 16 May compared with a year earlier. This appears to be the result of promotions during April as the price differential in the period was down marginally relative to the quantity purchased and value of expenditure. The increase in belly purchases appears to have been in preference to roasting joints.

The retail market appears to be, as ever, continually dynamic in order to maintain market share and customer numbers through the provision of special offers and promotions.

June 2010
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 13, 2010, 11:13:17 AM
It Was a Buyer's Market Today
UK - A quiet day's trading with most contract buyers having enough pigs in the system to meet what was described as patchy retail sales and although the recent heatwave has boosted demand for parts of the pig, the loin remains hard to sell, writes Peter Crichton.

As a result, the spot sector was more of a buyers' market and most of those out shopping were able to agree deals in the 142–144p range, but some warmer-hearted types were prepared to pay a penny or two more than this but often on a tighter spec.

The DAPP has held almost unchanged at 147.27p but could ease back in the weeks ahead, although one bit of slightly more positive news is that pig numbers appear to be tight with the hot weather slowing down growth rates.

The euro closed the week marginally firmer worth 83.6p, up from 82.9p only seven days ago.

Unfortunately, this did nothing to lift the gloom in the cull sow sector where prices have generally eased by a further 2p with quotes of between 92p and 96p on a collected/delivered basis. Following the suspension of slaughtering at A. and G. Barber, an extra 1,000 sows were looking for space with the two remaining export outlets in Britain, who are selling to a lack-lustre European mainland sow market.

A return to a more competitive situation in this sector would be welcomed, and a few more baskets to put all our eggs in.

Weaner prices have also eased reflecting a combination of rising feed prices caused by the drought and indifferent finished pig prices forecast over the next 10/12 week period.

The latest Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm weaner average has dropped again to £53.23 per head, although this still probably represents a better return for the breeder than the finisher.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 15, 2010, 10:21:08 AM
United Kingdom Pig Meat Market Update - July 2010
James Park, senior economic analyst with AHDB Meat Services Economic and Policy Analysis Group, explains the latest trends in pig production in the UK and European Union.


UK Prices
The deadweight average pig price continued to rise in May and into June. However, by the third week of June the price stabilised and actually recorded a marginal fall. The slow-down in the increase in the DAPP has matched the trend experienced in 2009 although not to the same extent with current prices five per cent lower than a year earlier. The DAPP sample has reported carcase weights of just over 78kg in recent weeks following a sharp decline which occurred in May from over 79kg. This coincided with a reduced probe measurement which has, since mid- May, returned to around 11mm.

The weaner market in Great Britain has been firm so far in 2010 with prices increasing in the first five months of the year. This largely reflects the good finished pig market. However, as with the finished pig market the Great Britain weaner price is no longer above year earlier levels.

The June average of £54.32 per head is five per cent lower than in June 2009, which is similar to the year-on-year reduction in the finished pig price. However, compared with January 2010, the weaner price in June was nine per cent higher. During June, the weaner price levelled out and this trend could well continue in the coming weeks given that the finished pig price is becoming more stable.

In the first six months of 2010, throughput of the main companies handling weaners was well above the volumes of a year earlier and demand in recent months has been reported as good. Some shortages of weaners were reported earlier in the year, which may have contributed to the price increases. Despite this, increasing availability of weaners is expected given the three per cent rise in UK breeding pig numbers, as shown by the December 2009 survey, and increases in piglets reared per sow. The December 2009 survey also showed that the number of piglets was four per cent more than a year earlier.

Exchange Rates and EU Prices
European sow prices increased in early 2010, peaking in mid-February. However, since the start of spring, prices have tended to stabilise and remain below those of the same time last year.

In Denmark, sow prices are approaching 30 per cent higher than at the beginning of the year, but remain four per cent lower than mid-May in 2009. Despite slaughterings being 35 per cent lower in January 2010 than January 2009, sow cullings to mid-May increased and are currently only one per cent lower than in mid May 2009.

In Germany, prices rose by over 10 per cent between January and mid-February but then decreased until late March. Prices have since stabilised around €1.13 per kg, at almost 10 per cent lower than the same period 2009. Sow cullings have remained at similar numbers to 2009, with very little deviation.

The Netherlands has experienced similar price increases in 2010 but with less variation. Prices are currently at 10 per cent higher than 2009.

In Great Britain, sow prices in euro terms increased by almost 10 per cent between January and late-February but have since stabilised at prices similar to Germany. In week ending 22 May 2010, prices were €1.12 per kg, 11 per cent lower than last year. In pence per kg equivalent, prices have continued to fall. As of week ending 22 May 2010, the price had fallen to 97 pence per kg due to the further weakening of the euro, representing a reduction of 15 per cent, compared with a year earlier.

Over the course of the last month, the EU pig reference price has increased by five per cent compared with a month earlier. However, the average monthly price of €139 per 100kg was more than three per cent lower than 12 months ago. In a number of member states, the differential in the monthly average price between May this year and the corresponding month last year is negative. In Germany, prices were down almost three per cent on the year, as too were prices in the Netherlands whilst prices in France were over two per cent lower than corresponding month a year ago. In contrast, in Denmark, pig prices increased by almost four per cent in May compared with a year earlier and were firmer in Spain and Italy.

The EU reference price has increased significantly in June with rises recorded in all major pig producing countries of Europe.

UK Slaughterings and Production
UK clean pig slaughterings totalled 690,000 head during May, 11 per cent higher than in the corresponding month a year ago. In the first five months of the year, clean pig slaughterings in the UK increased by seven per cent year-on-year to 3.8 million head.

Sow slaughterings in the UK totalled 16,000 during May, an increase of 12 per cent compared with the corresponding month a year earlier. In the year to date, sow cullings are up 10 per cent.

UK pig meat production during May totalled 57,000 tonnes, 12 per cent higher than last year. For most of 2010 average clean pig carcase weights have been approximately one kilogram higher than last year.

Increased slaughterings and carcase weights have resulted in nine per cent increase in pig meat production to 315,000 tonnes over the period January to May 2010.

The latest trade data indicates that UK exports of fresh, chilled and frozen pork in the first four months of 2010 increased by 22 per cent compared with a year earlier. The value of exports has increased by 25 per cent over the same period to over £45 million. With increased availability exports in April alone increased by 42 per cent compared with April 2009. The Netherlands increased deliveries from 960 tonnes in April 2009 to over 2,500 tonnes in April 2010. Their primary requirement is for bellies and shoulder cuts. Although there have been increased volumes exported to the EU, there has been a 14 per cent reduction in trade with non-EU countries between January and April compared with the same period a year earlier.

UK imports of fresh, chilled and frozen pork reduced by 12 per cent in the first four months of the year, largely due to imports from Denmark falling by almost 15,000 tonnes during the period. During April alone, Denmark exported 26 per cent less pork to the UK than in the same month last year. As a result, imports from Denmark accounted for only 22 per cent of all UK imports in April, compared with 24 per cent in the same month 2009. Reduced shipments from Germany and Spain also contributed to the reduction in imports into the UK over the first four months of the year. Despite a notable reduction in the volume of product delivered there has only been an eight per cent reduction in the value of pork imported to the UK.

Feed Prices
At this point in the year, the majority of the Northern Hemisphere wheat crop will be forming yield. With approximately 80 per cent of global production going through the same growth stages, the weather over this period can greatly affect the yield and quality of grain crops. Global markets will react accordingly to any weather event that is seen to have either a positive or negative impact upon final production.

Rains across much of west, central and eastern Europe over recent days are seen to have benefited wheat crops by adding to soil moisture. However, there have been reports of some localised flooding. Soil moisture across Europe is seen to be adequate for the current wheat crops needs. European trade organisation COCERAL have made reductions to their forecasts for the main grain and oilseed crops in the EU for harvest in 2010. COCERAL estimates that in 2010 the EU will produce 132.2 million tonnes of soft wheat, down from 133.5 million tonnes made in the previous estimate in March. However, the estimate for 2010 production is above 2009 output of 130.7 million tonnes.

COCERAL has also released estimates for individual countries. The forecast for UK wheat production in 2010 is put at 15.88 million tonnes, which is well above the 14.3 million tonnes estimated for production in 2009. Markets across Europe are awaiting more information on the size and quality of the European feed grain crop before finding a direction.

Internationally, rains across Canada have dominated markets as flooding and poor soil conditions led to planting being at a virtual standstill. Production estimates are now 30 per cent below 2009 at 18.9 million tonnes for 2010 harvest. In the US, dry weather has led to some concerns over the developing maize crop, however a recent USDA crop progress suggests that 75 per cent of the crop is in a good or excellent condition (on 20 June) compared to 70 per cent a year previously.

In the UK, prices have been under pressure from a stronger sterling against the euro, making UK exports less competitive into European destinations. Nearby LIFFE wheat futures have fallen from £105.90 per tonne on 28 May to £98.50 per tonne on 23 June. Physical prices have followed with spot East Anglia delivered feed wheat down from £109.50 per tonne at the end of May to £103 per tonne on 18 June.

A recent HGCA feed ingredients price survey put FEMAS soybean meal, ex-mill Liverpool, for August delivery at £284.50 per tonne. Spot FEMAS soybean meal was quoted at £288 per tonne. The soybean meal market has been under pressure from heavy supplies of soybeans from South America, strong demand for beans from China and a positive start to the US soybean growing season.

The producer pig price rose by one per cent between April and May, while the average retail pork price fell by a similar amount in the period. As a result, during May, the proportion of the retail price which producers receive edged over 40 per cent. In May last year, producers received almost 42 per cent of the final retail price.

The average retail price for bacon fell during May following higher quotations in April. Producers received over 33 per cent of the retail price in May, compared with 32 per cent achieved in the same month last year.

In the four-week period ended 16 May, households purchased eight per cent more pork than a year ago. As a result of strong promotional activity, combined with some shift in consumers' buying patterns, there was a significant increase in household purchases of shoulder roasting joints and loin roasting joints, up by 62 per cent and seven per cent, respectively. There is some evidence that consumers have substituted beef and lamb with pork, particularly in the roasting cuts. In the four weeks ended 16 May, purchases of pork belly were up 32 per cent.

Household expenditure on pork increased by three per cent year-on-year to £66 million. Expenditure on shoulder roasting joints increased by 38 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, whilst spending on loin roasting joints was almost four per cent higher. Consumer purchases of bacon also soared in the latest four-week period, volume purchases increasing nine per cent year-on-year. During this period, consumers spent £93 million on bacon, almost four per cent more than in the corresponding period in 2009.

July 2010
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 23, 2010, 10:30:29 AM
Meat Consumption and Prospective Weight Change
UK - Meat intake may be related to weight gain because of its high energy and fat content, according to research conducted at Imperial College.

The study, which appears in the American Journal of Nutrition, states that Some observational studies have shown that meat consumption is positively associated with weight gain, but intervention studies have shown mixed results.

The objective of the study was to assess the association between consumption of total meat, red meat, poultry, and processed meat and weight gain after 5 y of follow-up, on average, in the large European population who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Physical Activity, Nutrition, Alcohol, Cessation of Smoking, Eating Out of Home and Obesity (EPIC-PANACEA) project.

A total of 103,455 men and 270,348 women aged 25–70 y were recruited between 1992 and 2000 in 10 European countries. Diet was assessed at baseline with the use of country-specific validated questionnaires. A dietary calibration study was conducted in a representative subsample of the cohort. Weight and height were measured at baseline and self-reported at follow-up in most centers. Associations between energy from meat (kcal/d) and annual weight change (g/y) were assessed with the use of linear mixed models, controlled for age, sex, total energy intake, physical activity, dietary patterns, and other potential confounders.

Total meat consumption was positively associated with weight gain in men and women, in normal-weight and overweight subjects, and in smokers and nonsmokers. With adjustment for estimated energy intake, an increase in meat intake of 250 g/d (eg, one steak at {approx}450 kcal) would lead to a 2-kg higher weight gain after 5 y (95 per cent CI: 1.5, 2.7 kg). Positive associations were observed for red meat, poultry, and processed meat.

The results suggest that a decrease in meat consumption may improve weight management.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on July 26, 2010, 11:00:55 AM
BPEX Export Bulletin - July 2010
The British Pig Executive's (BPEX) Export Bulletin for June/July 2010 reports pig industry trends from around the world.


British pork exports for the first four months of the year rebounded as expected to 41,933 tonnes (+25 per cent on 2009). All main destinations are up.

Traders are reporting increasing difficulties with the re-export of meat from Hong Kong to mainland China. Many cold stores are said to be full. The tightening by Chinese authorities results from the finding of a haul of 120kg of drugs in one container.

European fresh meat markets are under pressure. Thus, everywhere it is very difficult to sell at the present prices. However, there are no reports on prices decreases yet. Especially the leg markets are under pressure and there are reports on slightly decreasing prices. The Danish exporters explain the decreasing prices of legs by the fact that they are unable to sell these products on third country markets. Accordingly, it is expected that prices will be sagging over the next period. Other cuts are traded at unchanged prices. The UK bacon market remains unchanged. The same applies for exports to third country markets. The prices in China have been under pressure due to imports through Hong Kong and Vietnam being closed. The closure did not directly affect the Danish exporters but the market has been affected on liquidity due to many stranded containers.
(Sources, Danish Crown, Tican, Danish Agriculture and Food Council)

Prognosis points at rising pork prices
New forecast made by Agriculture & Food predicts higher prices for pork than previously expected. The average quote is now expected to be €1.26 per kg. or seven Euro cents more than the slaughterhouses paid last year. Compared to the latest forecast of the quote made three months ago, the upward revised expectations equals extra income of €33,000 for a typical pig producer with an annual production of 10,000 slaughter pigs. Now Agriculture & Food expects that the aggregate economic result for a farmer having both piglets and slaughter pigs will be €0.70 in profit per pig, and the president of the organisation's pork activities, Lindhart Nielsen, sees the better prospects as a signal to among others, the financial sector, that investments and consolidation in the agricultural sector will increase again.
(Source, Borsen)

Swedish criticism of Danish pig feed
In Sweden, a general anger has developed due to the fact that blood and fat from pigs can be used in feed for pigs. The Swedish Minister for Agriculture calls it ethically offensive; however, the issue is not discussed elsewhere in the EU. When BSE shook Europe in the 1990s, meat and bone meal was prohibited in feed for e.g. pigs. Blood and fat from pigs were never covered by the regulations. In Sweden, large producers like Scan and other companies in the meat industry made agreements to keep blood and fat away from animal feed on ethical grounds. But much of the feed is imported from Denmark and Germany where this type of feed is used. In Denmark, this type of feed is manufactured by Daka.
(Source, Landbrugsavisen)

Danish Slaughterhouses - payments week 26
Slaughterhouse Danish Crown   Tican
Slaughter pigs (70.0-86.9 kg)
Difference from last week €1.389
Unchanged   €1.389
Sows (Above 129.9kg)
Difference from last week €0.895
Unchanged   €0.895
Boars (Above 109.9kg)
Difference from last week €0.761
Unchanged   €0.761

Prestor No. 3
The group of producers presided by Guillaume Roué has joined with two other groups of producers in Brittany to become the third group of producers in France. Cooperl remains number one in front of Aveltis. With 800 producers, Prestor collects and sells 2.4 million pigs per year. Prestor and Cecab also control almost 70 per cent of the Gad group (slaughtering and processing) presided by Loïc Gad.

Robert Volut is the new President of Clitravi, the European association of meat processors representing 27 national Federation of meat processors. Clitavri represents 560,000 employees and a turnover of €66.3 billion. The President of the Charcuterie federation (FICT) in France is now an essential interlocutor of the EU Commission and the European Parliament, he will also be a key spokesperson to producers associations, distributors associations and consumers associations.
For more information, please contact AHDB France on 00 33 1 60 71 04 49.

The European markets for slaughter pigs have been very inconsitent. While in some memberstates prices remained unchanged quotations in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and Belgium dropped. The most significant decrease was reported in Germany and Austria where prices fell by eight Euro cents due to continuosly difficult sales of cuts. However, a reduction in prices is not unusual at this time of the year and prices are expected to recover and at least remain unchanged over the next week.
(Source, ISN,

Re-affirmed forecast
Due to the shoppers' ongoing desire to spend their money despite the governments' economy measures as well as due to the positive effects of the football World Cup, the German retail industry still expects stable profits in 2010. Turnover is expected to reach last year's level of €400 billion.
(Source, afz)

Standardisation of carbon footprint needed
As part of its 'Carbon Footprint' and sustainability project, Westfleisch does not intend to impose constraints on pig suppliers. According to Jörg Bartel, in charge of Westfleisch's quality management, the carbon footprint must not be considered a competitive tool but every company should aim to optimise its carbon dioxide emissions in order to identify changes and proof improvements. Of particular importance should be the implementation of standardisation in the calculation of the carbon footprint as there are currently no binding guidelines for agriculture, animal husbandry and feeding. In particular, in the field of by-products being used as feedstuffs, there is still ample freedom as to the calculation undertaken – protein of animal origin derived from by-products could, for instance, be attributed a positive impact. In order to achieve comparable and consistent results, system boundaries for calculation as well as for evaluation would need to be clearly defined. Mr Bartel stressed that, as a mission statement, Westfleisch have set a comprehensive definition of sustainability with carbon footprint just being one part of it.
(Source, topagrar)

The Netherlands
Proviande bankrupt
Proviande is the latest Dutch company to go into bankruptcy. Van Rooi is taking over the concern with its 140 employees in its two plants of Gieten and Leek. Proviande retail packs for Dutch supermarkets and restaurants chains. Its operates a complete supply chain for under its top pork brand Porc d'Or. (Vlees Magazine on line)

Flemish pork promotion
Vlam, the Flemish food marketing body is planning to spend €5.6 million on meat promotion over the next three years, a third of which will be funded by the EU.

ElPozo promotes 'Bienestar'
From 1 July, ElPozo launches a new campaign on national television for cooked ham 'ElPozo Bienestar' (Bienestar means well-being in Spanish).

ElPozo will open its new plant for cooked ham in late 2011
ElPozo Alimentación has planned to launch in late 2011 its new cooked ham and comminuted products plant. The plant suffered a fire on 15 January, just months before of their chosen date for its official opening. Some 18,000 square metres was affected by the fire. The total cost for the reconstruction is of €90 million for a combined area of 50,000 square metres. ElPozo achieved sales of €622 million in 2009, an increase of 1.3 per cent over the previous year €614 million, and has 3,500 employees.

The Jamón Serrano's Fundation works to improve the Serrano ham image
The Foundation has taken on the task of enhancing the image of Serrano ham with various promotional activities. Sought by the disclosure and the participation of expert nutritionists, dieticians, chefs, etc., the objective is to remove some myths about the ham, in relation to its nutritional profile, and to assist and advise consumers how to cut and use the product.

Top 10 pork producers produced 367,000 tonnes of pork in 2009
According to Inventica company, this accounts for 36 per cent of the industrial pork production and 12.9 per cent of the market share in general (including all types of producers and imported meat). The top five largest producers include the Group of Companies Miratorg, Agro-Belogorye Ltd, PRODO Management Ltd, Cherkizovo Group and OJSC Belgorodskiy Bekon. A total production volume of above-mentioned companies adds up to 266,900 tons of pork in carcass weight. The share of the market leader Miratorg Group of Companies equals 7.4 per cent of overall pork production.

Miratorg new plans
Miratorg holding includes 10 automatically controlled pig complexes. In 2010-2012, the company plans to launch nine new pig complexes, of which five are currently under construction. The capacity of new complexes will allow the company to secure a 5.7 per cent share in carcass weight or 10.6 per cent in overall volumes of the pork produced in Russia.

Kalita secures new loan
The large integrated concern Kalita Group of Companies, part of an agricultural holding Sagro, received an unsecured loan totalling €2.3 million. The cheap loan from Crédit Agricole will allow the purchase of the pig rearing equipment manufactured by a French company I-TEK Elevage in order to modernize the existing pig complex. During the last five years, Kalita has imported British genetics.

EU opens accession talks
At the recent EU summit in Brussels, the Council accepted the opening of accession negotiations with Iceland. European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee backed the bid. At this stage, Croatia is the country most likely to join the EU in the near future.

Two new protected denominations
Famous Hungarian sausages, kolbász Csabai and Gyulai kolbász, are the latest meat products to be awarded PGI status. They were already protected under national legislation.

Rebuilding cash flow
The US pig breeding herd on 1 June shrank 3.6 per cent from 12 months earlier to 64.4 million, a sign that some producers are repaying debt rather than expanding after a return to profit in March ended more than two years of losses. US hog farms have slashed herds after losing about $6 billion from late 2007 until early this year, as corn prices jumped and the recession and swine flu curbed pork demand, said Ron Plain, a livestock economist at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Hog producers made about $39 per animal sold for slaughter in May, the third straight month of profits, he said.

"Producers tend to make changes in response to money in the bank, rather than money in the future," Dr Plain said. "I don't see any expansion, given the current conditions. Producers are waiting until their bankers are a little happier."

Stock market rumours
Smithfield Foods shares have risen five per cent on rumours of a takeover by JBS.

New pork plant planned in Illinois
Triumph Foods is planning to build a major new abattoir in East Moline, Illinois. This could open in a couple of years' time.

Debate on antibiotics
The prophylactic use of hormones in pig production has been questioned by the Principal Deputy Commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Joshua Sharfstein. The FDA may not be yet seek an outright ban but has sought marked lowering of use of antibiotics since 1977. Unsurprisingly, the US pork sector has already reacted quoting control measure on usage and residues.
(Meat Importers’ Council of America / Washington Post)

South Korea
Free Trade Agreement still not ratified
The Commission, Council and Parliament are still in discussions regarding safeguards in the Korean Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which is likely to benefit hugely European pork producers. The Council is yet to submit the FTA to Parliament.

Pork Prices Hamburg Market Week commencing 28 June 2010
Cut Name Price Range (€/kg)
Round cut leg 2.30/2.40
Leg (boneless, rindless max.fat. 3mm) 3.20/3.40
Boneless shoulder 2.40/2.55
Picnic shoulder 1.70/1.90
Collar 2.50/2.75
Belly (bone-in, ex-breast) 1.55/1.80
Sheet boned belly (rindless) 1.75/1.95
Jowl 1.05/1.15
Half pig carcasses 1.88/2.08

Pork prices Barcelona Market Week Commencing 28 June 2010
Cut Name Price Range (€/kg)
Carcasses (secondary grade) 1.672/1.678
Gerona loin chops 2.43/2.46
Loin eye muscle 3.53/3.56
Spare ribs 2.68/2.71
Fillets 5.83/5.86
Round cut legs   
Cooked ham 2.23/2.26
Rindless picnic shoulder 1.53/1.56
Belly 1.84/1.87
Smoked belly with spare rib section cut off 2.27/2.30
Shoulder chap or head jowls   
Back fat, rindless 0.58/0.61

July 2010
Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on August 10, 2010, 12:27:11 PM
Forecast for Pork is Looking Good!
UK - Moves by BPEX to open the Chinese market to British pig meat are to take on a new importance according to the latest forecasts.


The International Meat Market Review predicts stronger demand for pig meat from Asia during the second half of 2010, particularly from China and Hong Kong and the lifting of H1N1 trade bans in China will help this further.

From an EU perspective, higher import requirements from Russia will benefit production and that, in turn, may lead to knock-on benefits for the UK.

These are just some of the highlights in the latest IMMR produced by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Red Meat Market Intelligence.

Stable consumer demand in the current economic climate, improved export opportunities as the Euro weakens and lower feed costs have improved profitability and confidence in the EU pig sector.

As a result production is also forecast to increase in Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK in 2010, while production in other major pig producing states is forecast to remain stable.

Senior Analyst James Park said, "Overall production of pig meat within the EU fell by two per cent in 2009 compared with 2008.

"Major restructuring of the pig herd, particularly in new member states with a move away from small scale farming, was the primary reason for this decline.

"However, it is forecast that this decline may have bottomed out and the introduction of more efficient farming practices, in particular in Poland, will lead to an increase in production or a reduced decline in new member states in 2010."

The June 2010 issue of International Meat Market Review is now available by contacting Dorian Harris (024 7647 8850) for further information.

Prices for an annual subscription are £84 for EBLEX/BPEX levy payers, £93 for UK based non-levy payers and £125 for overseas customers.

Also just published is the EBLEX/BPEX Pocketful of Meat Facts 2010, a handy guide containing a host of information relating to the red meat production sector in the UK and EU. This is £12 for UK customers and £15 for overseas customers.

Pig Year Book 2010 is also out providing key industry statistics and technical performance data on the pig sector at £18 to BPEX levy payers, £22 for UK based non-levy payers and £28 for overseas customers.

Title: Re: England U.K. Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 01, 2010, 10:13:55 AM
EU Pig Prices: Inconsistent Trend for Quotations
EU - The European slaughter pig market proves to be characterised by the trend being inconsistent this week.


The changes range from minus 7 cents to plus 0.4 cents. While the quotations fell in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Austria, the price went up slightly in France. Unchanged quotations were reported on from Denmark, Ireland, Great Britain and Sweden. Slight displacements, connected to quotations in Great Britain and Sweden, are the result again of exchange rate changes.

The price slide observed on the German pig market, which was triggered by the German slaughter companies, made several neighbouring countries feel being put under pressure, too. In Spain they say the price decrease was caused by the slaughter companies trying to improve their margin. Clearly increased quantities of pigs for slaughter as much as the pressure to follow the German price slide are said to be the reasons for the minus noted in the Netherlands. The supply being limited with regard to current demand, the prices went up slightly in France.

Trend: Following the clear price decrease, the extensive quantities of pigs for slaughter can still be sold on the market without problems. Thus, the pig prices are currently expected to remain unchanged.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 02, 2010, 09:24:30 AM
Study: Agri-Food Industry’s View on Animal Cloning
IRELAND - The sale of food from cloned animals and their offspring is legal in the USA. The US Food and Drug Administration in 2008 stated that such products were indistinguishable from those of non-cloned animals.

Following this, researchers at Teagasc, Dublin Institute of Technology and University College Cork decided to investigate the views of Irish agri-food stakeholders’ on the topic of animal cloning. The researchers carried out in-depth interviews with expert Irish stakeholders with the aim of framing the likely policy debate and assess the prospects for the future commercialisation of animal cloning. The results feature in an article in the autumn edition of TResearch, the Teagasc research and innovation magazine.

“Cloned animals intended for use within the agri-food system do not have approval in Europe, and how the technology will be legislated is currently under discussion. The European Food Safety Authority deems that food products from healthy clones do not present any additional risk to consumers, but the European Group for Ethics has objected to the use of cloning because of the current animal welfare implications, including the low survival rate for cloned animals, and the potential for welfare problems with the surrogate dams,” explains Dr Maeve Henchion, Head of the Food Market Research Unit, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown.

“The acceptability of these welfare standards from a European Union (EU) perspective can be linked to their utility; for example, the European Medicines Agency approved the production of human anti-thrombin from cloned transgenic animals in 2006. The protein produced treats a hereditary anti-thrombin deficiency that increases the risk of pulmonary embolisms or deep vein thrombosis,” said Dr Henchion. “However, the views of European citizens and consumers must also be factored into the risk process. Early indications from the European public are that they are wary of the technology and that it poses an ethical dilemma. This research provides an opportunity to examine animal cloning in terms of barriers and opportunities, specifically pertaining to its potential role within the Irish agri-food system.”

“The views of Irish stakeholders in the discourse on animal cloning for the agri-food sector are of particular interest because, unlike the GM debate in relation to crops, Ireland is a significant producer and exporter of meat and livestock. For this reason the exploitation of cloning in other trading blocs looks set to pose a challenge for Irish and EU policy makers, industry and citizens,” Dr Henchion said.

Interview findings
Overall, animal cloning for food purposes was not viewed as a likely commercial prospect by any of the interviewees. Awareness of the recent commercial development of such technology in the US appeared to be low, with only a single interviewee identifying it as an impending regulatory dilemma for the EU. Knowledge about the role of assisted reproductive technologies in animal breeding varied, with artificial insemination being the primary reference point for most interviewees. Respondents with a technology background, and who demonstrated knowledge of assisted reproductive technologies, differed in opinion on the commercial viability of techniques such as embryo transfer/splitting. This cohort was quick to differentiate cloning from other reproductive techniques, a trend that was not repeated among other stakeholders. The main reason for the differentiation was that cloning was not seen to assist reproduction, but instead to supersede the fertilisation process and be more closely aligned to a sort of genetic modification process (though no genetic modification actually occurs).

The data from the in-depth interviews highlighted that, as yet, there has been little debate on the topic, and the commercialisation of cloning elsewhere has gained little attention. Regardless of when the debate does occur, the animal welfare and consumer acceptability perspectives are likely to have a central role in how the technology is regulated. Further research in this project will focus on examining Irish citizens’ perspectives on cloning technology and the issues raised by the expert stakeholders during the current study.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on September 11, 2010, 11:49:45 AM
France to Lead Wave of European Pig Farm Closures
FRANCE - The hog sector in Europe is to suffer a wave of closures as farmers sell up rather than fork out on meeting tighter animal welfare red tape, helping depress the region's herd to its smallest in at least a decade.

A "high percentage" of European Union pig farmers are expected to shut up shop rather than meet the costs of ammonia-emission limits, which would require some to install air treatment equipment, and sprucing up buildings to meet fresh limits on animal accommodation.

According to, many farmers also face extra costs for castrating pigs, after a furore in many countries over pork obtained from animals neutered without the use of full anaesthetic procedures, as had been a common practice.

With margins tight since 2007, and facing further pressure from rising grain prices, "farmers are reluctant to invest in their farms", a report from US officials in Europe said.

The French sector was set to see a particularly high rate of closures, after suffering from particularly poor profitability and failing to follow a modernisation drive implemented in top producing states such as Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

The shutdowns look set to fuel a decline in EU pig numbers, which are set to fall to 150.7m animals by the end of next year, down by nearly 11m in five years.

A fall in demand for pork during the global economic crisis has already brought the "termination of the most inefficient farms throughout the EU, and a reduction in backyard farming", the report said.

And stagnant demand within the region for pork, coupled with growing competition on meat export markets from Brazil and Thailand, will act as an disincentive for expansion.

Furthermore, Europe faces a collapse of one-quarter in exports of live animals for slaughter this year following the decision by Russia, historically responsible for about half of trade, to join Belarus and Kazakhstan in a customs union.

The tie-up prompted a jump from 5 per cent to 40 per cent in Russia's import duties on live pigs.

The continuing troubles in Europe's hog industry contrast with those in the US, where pig and pork giant Smithfield Foods on Wednesday hailed a turning in the cycle, and its first quarterly profit on hog production since 2007.

Many European countries are attempting to improve prospects for their farmers and meat producers by agreeing trade deals with China, the biggest pork consumer.

Denmark, France and Spain have already received consent to export directly to China, with the Netherlands expected to be approved this year.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on October 22, 2010, 10:27:12 AM
Six New Outbreaks of Aujeszky's Disease in France
FRANCE - The French veterinary authorities have reported six new outbreaks of Aujeszky's disease in the country.

The World Ogranisation for Animal Health (OIE) received follow-up report no.4 yesterday, 20 October. According to the report, the outbreaks occured at several farms in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region.

A total of 15 animals were affected. All affected animals were slaughtered.

The source of the outbreak has not been discovered.

Further Reading

Aujeszky's disease AD,
This is an important disease of pigs caused by a herpes virus. The virus can remain hidden in nerves of the pig in a carrier state for long periods of time and then be reactivated. Once introduced into a herd the virus usually remains there and it can continually affect reproductive performance at varying levels. The virus can survive for up to three weeks outside the pig. Acute outbreaks of disease occur when virulent strains of the virus first infect an unvaccinated susceptible herd. The virus crosses the uterus and placenta and infects the foetuses.
The pig is the main host. Dogs and cattle may become infected, show nervous signs and die.

Nervous signs
Reproductive failure.
Mummified piglets.
Birth weak litters.
Nervous signs.
High mortality.
Low / poor viable piglets.
Weaners & Growers
Nervous signs including incoordination, fits and meningitis.
Some strains of the virus can cause severe respiratory disease and others severe rhinitis.
Usually low mortality.
All Other Species
Nervous signs.
Causes / Contributing factors
Movement of carrier pigs.
Virus airborne - at least 3km (2 miles).
Infection from feral (wild) pigs.
The role of mechanical spread by birds is questionable.
Contaminated carcasses may spread infection.
Mechanically on people.
Contaminated vehicles.
Through infected semen via AI or a carrier boar.
From infected slurry.
Within herds it may be spread by nose to nose contact, or by aerosol droplets.
Periods of stress may activate disease.
Continual production systems perpetuate disease.
The presence of other infections such as PRRS and leptospira may increase the severity of disease.
When a susceptible breeding herd first breaks down with this disease the clinical signs described above strongly suggest aujeszky's disease and are almost diagnostic. Laboratory tests are required to confirm the diagnosis.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on October 27, 2010, 06:40:52 AM
Belgian Pig Industry Shrinks
BELGIUM - The number of farms with pigs in Belgium has shrunk by 4.6 per cent compared with last year.


A provisional count showed the country has 5,879 farms, of which 5,125 were in Flanders, the northern part of the country – which mostly consists of flat countryside.

The total number of pigs, however, grew slightly by 1.2 per cent to almost 6.4 million animals. The majority of this number, more than six million, can also be found in Flanders. The greatest growth was seen in finishing pigs.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 03, 2010, 10:42:48 AM
Low Stress is Key to Optimum Breeding Performance
UK - Removing stress factors in gilts and sows is key to good reproductive performance. That was a clear message from Dutch pig expert Dr Nicoline Soede at last week's Two-Tonne Sow (2TS) Focus on Breeding events, organised by BPEX.

English pig producers were keen to hear what it is that helps the Dutch industry achieve an average 27 pigs weaned per sow per year. They took the chance to quiz Dr Soede and her colleagues Professor Bas Kemp and Dr Hanneke Feitsma on many aspects of reproductive management.

Dr Soede emphasised that one of the most important factors for successful insemination timing and establishing pregnancy is to minimise stress and focus on 'animal-directed' management.

Professor Kemp explained the delicate balance between under- and over-feeding during early lactation and gave clear advice on the different requirements of sows and gilts.

The importance of close attention to detail was highlighted by Dr Hanneke Feitsma, as she shared her knowledge on current and future AI technologies.

There were 190 attendees between the two events, held in Wetherby and Milton Keynes.

Producer Simon Watchorn said afterwards: "It was one of the best events I've been to and the most I've ever learned. I'll be reviewing whether there are things I can change on my own unit."

Look out for more advice and information from the conference at the special web site [click here] in the next few weeks. Also check for local meetings on the events pages, where there will be more discussion of these topics.

Professor Bas Kemp and Dr Nicoline Soede are both from the Animal Science Department at Wageningen University and Dr Hanneke Feitsma is from IPG Netherlands.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 09, 2010, 08:38:19 AM
UK Signs Deal to Export Breeding Pigs to China
UK - Britain today signed a deal that will allow the export of its breeding pigs to China, home to half of the world's pig population, the government said.

Citing Reuters, The Business Times reports that the deal and future business stemming from the agreement is expected to be worth around 45 million pounds (US$72.8 million) to the British pig industry over the next five years.

The agreement coincided with Britain's biggest ever trade delegation to China, the world's second-largest economy.

"This agreement gives a valuable boost to the British pig industry and is already delivering results," Business Secretary Vince Cable said.

Mr Cable is part of the British government team visiting Beijing this week. Prime Minister David Cameron will arrive on Tuesday.

The pigs will begin to be flown out shortly, the first export of British breeding pigs to China for three years. With artificial insemination techniques, an adult boar can sire 6,000 piglets a year.

Two British firms, JSR Genetics based in Yorkshire and JJ Genetics in Cambridge, are already planning to expand their business in China on the back of the deal.

Agreement has also been reached on health certification to allow a start to be made on the export of UK pigmeat to China.

British industry officials say that pig meat exports to China have the potential to rise to over 40 million pounds per annum if all UK meat processing plants are approved.

Meanwhile, in Scotland....
This trade agreement could be worth millions of pounds to the Scottish economy.

Richard Lochhead Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs welcomed the re-opening of potentially lucrative livestock markets with China following a ten-year closure.

Trade was suspended between the UK and China due to animal health issues including the global H1N1 outbreak. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond discussed the resumption of import protocols with Shuping Zhi, Deputy Minister for General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), when he visited Beijing in July.

Mr Lochhead said, "Re-opening trade with China is fantastic news for Scottish farmers and exporters. Scottish pig exports can now resume and this could lead to lucrative new markets with the potential of bringing in millions of pounds for the industry.

"Both breeders and processors stand to benefit from gaining access to such a significant customer base. Scotland has a long standing reputation for producing quality livestock and our high health status should help ensure that a large proportion of the farms providing breeding pigs for export to China are based here.

"There is already £1 million worth of orders in place for Scottish stock and more could be made in royalty payments and contracts over the next five years. I know the pig industry in Scotland is primed to make the most of this exciting export opportunity."

Managing Director of Scottish Pig Producers Ltd, Gordon McKen said: "This is excellent news for the industry in Scotland as it opens up new opportunities for the export of our breeding stock. Scotland has a reputation for a high health herd and we are in a good position to take advantage of the new protocol.

"This agreement could also lead to the eventual export of other products and that's certainly to be welcomed."

BPEX Chairman, Stewart Houston, commented: "This is wonderful news for the industry and something we have really been looking forward to.

"It will offer enormous opportunities for pig meat, particularly with a range of fifth quarter products – the parts of the carcass that command a premium in China.

"We are very grateful for the hard work and spirit of co-operation shown not only by the Chinese but also Defra's international animal health division and the British Embassy and UKTI team in Beijing, to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion.

"The process did get delayed somewhat by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2007 which temporarily halted the talks"”

The process of approving the list of UK pig processing plants for export to China is now nearing completion. A joint Defra and BPEX delegation is due to travel to China on 24 November 2010 and will present several more plants for approval during the trip. Plus, an increasing number of plants are interested in joining the list as a result of these developments.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 10, 2010, 08:56:30 AM
Deals with China Show Why Farming Matters
UK - Farming took a leading role on the international stage this week when three major deals were signed as part of the UK’s biggest-ever trade mission to China.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has put pen to paper on an agreement worth an estimated £45m which will allow the export of British breeding pigs to China, currently home to half of the world’s pig population. A second deal saw formal agreement of the health certificate for pig meat exports from the UK to China, opening up a huge market to approved UK plants.

And in a third move worth tens of millions of pounds, Chinese and British authorities struck an accord to ensure only whisky produced in Scotland will be marketed in China as Scotch. That agreement is expected to act as a catalyst for sales of home-grown barley.

An £80m Chinese market for Scotch is forecast to double in size during the next four to five years thanks to today's geographical indication registration.

Mr Cable is in China along with Chancellor George Osborne and 50 British business leaders as part of a high-profile UK government and trade mission. Up to 50 deals are thought to be on the table and the Prime Minister David Cameron will join the party today.

NFU comment
"We are delighted to see farming take such a central role in government talks with the world’s fastest-growing major economic power.

"This is very much in keeping with the messages of our The Recovery: Why Farming Matters document, which stressed the important role agriculture has to play in helping the wider UK economy towards recovery. It also clearly demonstrates why efforts to reduce costs must not damage the productivity of British agriculture."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 16, 2010, 09:32:31 AM
British Production Still Lags Behind
UK - Despite improvements in daily liveweight gain and pigs finished per sow, Britain still lags behind its European competition in the production stakes.


The latest figures from the BPEX publication on international cost of production show Britain produced 1643kg pig meat per sow in 2009 – the lowest of all the EU countries.

Though this is two per cent better than 2008, it is still well below the target in the Two-Tonne Sow campaign aimed at bringing us into line with our major competitors by 2013.

The report, Cost of Production in Selected Countries, shows the cost of production for Britain’s pig producers fell by four per cent compared with a three per cent fall across Europe.

BPEX Director Mick Sloyan said: "The exchange rate has given us something of an advantage but the benefit of InterPig is it reveals strategic detail of our position relative to our competitors.

"We are narrowing the gap but our competitors are not standing still so we must continue to seek improvements.

"The report once again highlights not only that we need to continue to improve performance at farm level but also the precise areas on which we need to focus. It is those areas which are the key to the Two-Tonne Sow campaign.

"Trying to drive improvements at a time when feed costs are so volatile is obviously a challenge; but if we can improve our performance it will help to overcome the exposure to those volatile input costs."

The cost of pig meat production in Great Britain decreased by four per cent in 2009, to 131.4p/kg, while the EU average was 131.7p/kg dw, down three per cent.

BPEX Senior Analyst James Park said: "Feed prices decreased following high quotations during the previous year and, as a result, this helped member countries control costs of production.

"The cash costs of production, those which exclude finance costs, were 115.5p/kg in 2009, about five pence lower than in 2008."

"At the same time producer prices increased notably during 2009 which resulted in positive net margins for producers. However, recent increases in feed prices have turned these positive net margins back to negative."

In performance terms the overall average number of pigs weaned/sow/year in the European InterPIG countries increased from 23.98 in 2008 to 24.32 in 2009 while the number of pigs weaned/sow/year in Great Britain, increased to 22.25.

The average number of pigs finished/sow in Great Britain increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2009. At 21.0 pigs/sow, average performance was 0.15 pigs higher than in 2008 and 2.2 pigs higher, an 11 per cent improvement, compared with 2004.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on November 19, 2010, 10:24:43 AM
EUROTIER - How China Could Save 17.5MT of Sow Feed
GERMANY - Pig specialists from China and the West came together yesterday (17 November) for the 2nd Chinese-European Pig Summit held in conjunction with EuroTier 2010, writes Jackie Linden. If the productivity in China could be increased from the present average (13 piglets per sow per year) to 20, the same output of pork meat could be achieved with 17.5 million fewer sows, said one of the speakers.

The 1st Chinese-Europe Pig Summit two years ago at the previous EuroTier was considered such a success that a follow up event was organised in conjunction with EuroTier 2010 in Hanover, Germany.

This time, the event attracted even higher attendance by representatives from government, equipment, feed and genetics companies, research and academia on both sides for the one-day Summit focussing on global trends and opportunities for China's pig production and pork processing markets.

Organisers, DLG and the China Animal Agriculture Association (CAA) highlighted that pig production in China is soaring, even as the global feed industry tackles the challenges of serious diseases and poor grain harvests. Regulators are also focusing more than ever on animal welfare in relation to pig housing and management, they stressed.

Also in association with the European Pig Producers (EPP) and moderated by Peter Best, the Summit aimed to address issue of mutual interest relating to pig health, animal welfare and regulatory concerns as well as China's goal of self-sufficiency in pork.

Welcome addresses were given by Carl-Albert Bartmer (president of the DLG), Clemens Neumann (Department Head at the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) and Dr Shen Guang (Secretary General of the CAAA).

Dr Andrea Gavinelli, head of the Animal Welfare Unit on the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, gave an overview of the the animal welfare and animal health policies in the EU. He stressed that these two issues are key for improving the sustainability of pig farming. Among the coming regulations is the one, much discussed, of the ban on stalls for housing pregnant sows (between four weeks after service and one week prior to expected farrowing) from January 2013. In answer to a question, Dr Gavinelli confirmed that all EU Member States must comply with this regulation by the stated deadline.

China's policy of moving towards self-sufficiency in pig meat was the topic covered by Dr Ma Chuang, deputy secretary of the CAAA. In his presentation, he said that if China could raise the average productivity of sows from the present 13 to 20 piglets per sow per year, the same output could be achieved with 17.5 million fewer sows, offering savings of around 17.5 million tonnes of feed and 10.5 million tonnes of maize.

Future-orientated animal health programmes were discussed by Dr Gerald Behrens, head of Marketing Food Producing Animals for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. He explained for sustainability can be achieved in the industry profitably.

The final session in Summit was on the regulation of pig production in China and Europe. The present and coming regulations in the EU were described by Dr Robert Hoste, agricultural economist with the LEI, Wageningen University, and the practical view of a pig farmer was given by Erik Thijssen (piglet producer and president of the EPP).

Finally, Dr Wang Lixian of the Chinese Institute of Animal Sciences (CAAS) described
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on December 01, 2010, 07:53:48 AM
European Union Faces Pig Meat Shortfall
EU - European Union production of pig meat could fall by nearly 3m tonnes over the next three years, according to the National Pig Association.

Following a survey of producers and producer representatives in member countries, it forecasts production will be:

-4 per cent in 2011, down approx. 880.000 tonnes.
-5 per cent in 2012, down approx. 1,060,000 tonnes.
-5 per cent in 2013, down approx 1,007,000 tonnes.
The falls will mean higher prices at retail, particularly for countries that are net importers of pig meat, so British retailers and processors should start working more closely with British producers to improve supply chains, says NPA.

NPA’s forecast is the first serious attempt in Europe to analyse the effect of a number of bearish influences on pig production, which will come to a head over the next three years. These include low prices, high feed costs, the European stalls ban (due to come fully into force in January 2012), currency volatility, and nervousness among banks about the sustainability of continental pig production.

NPA has sought the views of pig farmers and industry representatives in a number of countries, particularly Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Poland, which combined produce more than two-thirds of European Union pigmeat.

Many continental pig-keepers have been producing at a loss for nearly half a decade and are poorly placed to survive the next three years. At least a third of them will have difficulty converting from stalls to loose-housing by 2012, in compliance with European Union law. It costs over £400 per sow place to convert to loose-housing and the 1999 stalls ban in the United Kingdom caused the national herd to almost halve during the following ten years.

“In making our forecast, we have been at pains to study relevant data-sets and to survey producers and producer representatives in the main pig-producing countries of the European Union,” said NPA general manager Barney Kay. “We have also considered the views of European Commission officials and revisited our own data on the effects of higher feed costs and converting from stalls to loose-housing.

“Nevertheless, we acknowledge we may have understated the problems facing the European industry, because many continental producers do not know themselves yet whether they will convert to loose-housing by January 2013, or cease production by that date, or continue to use stalls and hope to avoid detection. Their decision will be influenced by several factors, including the size of next year’s wheat harvest, exchange rates, the economic outlook for the eurozone, and the attitude of banks to lending money.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on December 05, 2010, 11:30:49 AM
EU Reflects on Pig Industry Situation
EU - Representatives from all Member States and stakeholder groups were invited to a 'Reflection Day' on the EU pig industry in Brussels today with the view to seeking long-term solutions to its present difficulties.


At October's meeting of the Agriculture Council, French Agriculture Minister, Bruno Le Maire, highlighted the need for immediate EU action to resolve the difficulties currently experienced by the European pig meat sector as feed prices are rising at the same time as pig meat prices are falling.

The Commission was made well aware of the challenges facing the livestock sector as shown by the recent Commission decision to release cereals from intervention storage to the market to keep feed ingredient prices down and help livestock farmers. Agriculture Commissioner, Mr Ciolos has stated his determination to tackle speculation in the cereal markets and his desire to include anew mechanism to counteract income volatility in the forthcoming reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).

Furthermore, the Belgian presidency of the EU is also keen to discuss the EU pig meat market situation before its tenure of the office comes to an end. Consequently, Member State representatives were invited to participate in a 'Refection Day' in Brussels today at a meeting entitled 'The pig meat sector towards 2020'.

Belgium aimed to bring together experts across the pig sector form all Member States to explore good practices in this area with a view to extending these at EU level with a long-term perspective.

It was hoped that Commissioner Ciolos would attend, as well as members of Defra and National Pigs Association to represent the UK.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on December 10, 2010, 10:00:31 AM
EU Pig Production to Fall
Pig production in the EU is expected to fall in the second half of next year and through into 2012, writes ThePigSite senior editor, Chris Harris.

Karsten Flemin, economist with the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, predicts that there will be a slight rise in production in this current last quarter of 2010 and output will rise slightly across Europe in the first half of 2011.

However, the rise in production will slow in the second quarter of the year and will start to fall in the second half of the year.

Mr Flemin said the virtually stable production next year – with increases mainly in Germany and Poland – will be the basis for better prices.

However, he said that production is likely to be affected by the new regulations that are coming in on loose housing and the ban on stalls and tethers in the EU and prices will also be dependent on volatile feed costs.

While production will rise and then is predicted to level off and fall in the EU next year, global production of pig meat is expected to rise.

Mr Flemin said that pig weights are expected to rise increasing the amount of pig meat on the market.

China, which this year is expected to see an increase in pig production of two per cent on 2009 from 48.905 million tonnes to 50 million tonnes, is forecast to continue production growth by another three per cent next year to 51.5 million tonnes.

EU production is expected to fall next year by one per cent from 22.25 million tonnes to 22.12 million tonnes.

However, the US, Russia and Brazil will all see rises in production of between two and three per cent.

Mr Flemin said that the rise in consumption demand in China will largely be met by increases in its own production. However, he predicted that its production will not be able to keep pace with demand because of the shortage of grain for feed.

"It is a question of whether they will import feed or meat," said Mr Flemin.

"If they take the steps towards GMO for crops, then they will be able to increase production of feed."

Mr Flemin added that while Brazil will be increasing its pig meat production, it will be hampered by the fact that many markets are not open to Brazilian pig meat.

"Russia is also increasing production but demand in Russia is increasing at the same rate as production," Mr Flemin said.

He said that Canada is reducing its production, but imports are fairly stable showing just a small increase.

He added that there will be a fall in production in Canada in the second half of 2011, but 2012 and 2013 will show the biggest dip.

Mr Flemin said that the US is forecast to have more meat to export in the second half of next year and there is generally expected to be a slight increase in pig meat trade.

However, he added that much depends on the fluctuating exchange rates and the fall in the value of the US dollar and the Japanese yen will affect pig prices.

"Demand in the EU is going down because of the tightening of the belt on the EU economy," Mr Flemin said.

"Because of these changes, poultry is going to be the big beneficiary worldwide.

"If the harvest fails again in some countries, then feed prices are going to stay up and this will affect pig meat production.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on December 12, 2010, 01:56:03 PM
EU Pig Sector Calls for Key Changes
EU - The representatives of the European farmers organisations, the meat industry and the feed industry COPA/COGECA, UECBV, FEFAC highlighted the case for a comprehensive action plan seeking to move the EU pig sector out of the present crisis situation at the Reflection Day organised by the Flemish Minister President Kris Peeters this week.

They insisted on the need to take a long-term approach to reinforce the long-term viability of the pig sector enhancing its capacity to supply sustainable, competitive pork to consumers in the EU and on world markets.

They are proposing a series of short-term, mid-term and long-term measures to maintain and develop the EU pork sector’s position as a world leader.

In the short term they want to see a key focus on reduction of production cost and effective market manegment measures.

The organisations say there are basically three categories of feed materials rich in protein: - Grain legumes (protein crops): peas, beans, lupins, soya and Co-products from the processing of oilseeds and grains: soybean meal, rapeseed meal.

Short-term actions to overcome the present market crisis include:

Strengthen effective market management tools and put measures in place to reduce excessive price volatility for the pig sector both for feed and meat and meat products.
Implement an EU wide protein plan to ensure adequate supplies of protein-rich feed to pig farmers at competitive prices, including o incentives to increase vegetable protein production in the EU, o the adoption of a GM “technical solution” o the lifting of the feed ban for processed animal proteins in pig feed
Don’t hamper competitiveness by imposing restrictive measures that EU cannot impose on third countries.
The mid-term actions to improve competitiveness and profitability of the pig sector include:

Grant pork “sensitive product” status in any ongoing or upcoming EU trade negotiation
Ensure a level-playing field with third-country competitors.
Increase efforts to capture and increase market share for EU pork exports in growth markets, particular in South-East Asia.
The long-term actions to ensure sustainability and viability of pork production in the EU include to:

Foster product innovation and modernisation in the pork production value chain
Focus on private and public R&D programmes seeking to improve the knowledge base and
Develop & adapt new technologies and their dissemination in the EU pig sector.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on December 14, 2010, 10:08:12 AM
British Pork? Use It or Lose It
UK - Two successive rises in the DAPP which now stands at 136.85p helped to put buyers into a more positive frame of mind, although sadly none of the big players were bold enough to put up their weekly shout prices which have all remained at stand-on levels, writes Peter Crichton.

Although the icy grip of winter has eased a shade today, there are forecasts of more freezing weather next week and this will continue to affect pig growth rates.

Despite the upcoming Christmas/New Year holiday there could almost be a shortage of pigs on the horizon, which is not what generally happens at this time of year.

As a result although some spot abattoirs were looking to buy at circa 134p there were reports later in the day of offers of 2–4p above this, but generally on a tighter spec.

Producers selling spot cutters should be able to command prices of 145p and more in places, especially if some of the smaller fresh meat wholesalers do some last minute Christmas shopping.

Unfortunately the euro seems to be travelling in the wrong direction and has dropped from 85.16p last week to close at 83.6p this week.

Because of this drop in the value of the euro cull sow quotes drifted a penny easier and it was difficult to get more than 95p for large loads delivered in, with smaller lots or ex-farm prices not much more than 90p and this is certainly hitting the pockets of those producers who have decided to cull larger numbers of unproductive sows in the face of soa

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: mikey on December 22, 2010, 09:19:30 AM
Voluntary End to Surgical Castration of Piglets by 2018
EU - The European Commission welcomes the announcement made earlier this week that several main actors in the pig meat chain have agreed on a plan to voluntarily end the surgical castration of pigs in Europe by 1 January 2018.

As a first step, from 1 January 2012, surgical castration of pigs, if carried out, shall be performed with prolonged analgesia and/or anaesthesia.

A European partnership will be established in order to develop the tools necessary to reach the goals and to make sure that eventual costs are shared in a fair way.

At the invitation of the European Commission and the Belgian Presidency and following a workshop on alternatives for pig castration, representatives of European farmers, meat industry, retailers, scientists, veterinarians and animal welfare NGOs met in Brussels to discuss the issue of pig castration and its possible alternatives.

The parties signed a European Declaration on alternatives to surgical castration of pigs, which sets the basis for the voluntary cooperation between the actors. Surgical castration of pigs is an animal welfare concern. Castration is practised to avoid undesirable sexual or aggressive behaviour and the development of boar taint, the odour or taste that can be evident during the cooking of pork products derived from non-castrated male pigs. Different alternatives to the procedure are already being applied in the EU and elsewhere.

The Declaration, the first of its kind at EU level for animal welfare, is an open invitation for every actor in the European pig sector to join this voluntary initiative.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 09, 2011, 10:48:31 AM
Many More Pig Farms Closed over Dioxin Scare
GERMANY - The agricultural ministry has announced that over 4,700 farms have been closed as a precaution after fears of dioxin contamination in animal feed. Many of these are pig farms, closed as a precaution. Egg products from contaminated eggs have been exported to the UK.

The German agriculture ministry has said that 4,709 farms are being closed as a precaution until it can be determined whether they are free from contamination from dioxin, reports Deutsche Welle.

Nearly all of the farm closures are pig farms in the north-western state of Lower Saxony.

This number is more than four times the previous number of farms that were being shut down after it was revealed earlier this week that an additive found in animal feed was tainted with dioxin in several German states.

Tougher EU regulation
Late yesterday, 6 January, German Agricultural Minister Ilse Aigner called for stricter, EU-wide regulation on animal feed to better protect consumers and farmers.

She also spoke with European Union Health Commissioner, John Dalli ,on the telephone.

"In the coming weeks, I will explore with our EU partners and stakeholders ways to further strengthen our monitoring processes of dioxin in feed," Mr Dalli said in a statement after the conversation.

Eggs spread beyond Germany
Deutsche Welle reports that the scare began when a German firm in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein allegedly supplied up to 3,000 tons of contaminated fatty acids – which are only meant for industrial use – to animal feed-makers.

The feed was delivered mostly to pig and poultry farms, and eggs from some of the suspect farms were exported to the Netherlands. As a result, around 8,000 chickens from German farms were culled.

Earlier in the day, it was revealed that some of the suspected eggs made it to the UK. But European Commission health spokesman, Frederic Vincent, said in Brussels that it was still unclear if those eggs contained dioxin.

However, tests of other eggs from suspected farms were found to contain up to five times the EU's limit for dioxin.

Dioxin is a by-product of burning rubbish and other industrial processes. It can cause health problems in humans, including cancer, and miscarriages, concludes the Deutsche Welle report.

Statement by EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy
John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, has commented on the dioxin incident in Germany today.

He said: "The proper management of the dioxin incident in Germany is of utmost importance for the Commission and must be pursued with urgency and effectiveness.

"I have contacted yesterday afternoon Mrs Ilse Aigner, German Federal minister for Food, Agriculture & Consumer Protection and was given the latest state of play of the situation. My services and the German authorities are in permanent contact and the level of cooperation is very good. The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed as well as the traceability mechanisms in place at EU level have shown their effectiveness.

"In the coming weeks, I will explore with our EU partners and stakeholders ways to further strengthen our monitoring processes of dioxin in feed."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 14, 2011, 01:40:04 PM
Dioxin Scandal Leads to Pig Cull as China Halts Imports
GERMANY - The dioxin scare continues to cause ripples around the world, with China taking the decision Wednesday to halt imports of German pork and egg products following the culling of hundreds of pigs in Germany. reports that China joined South Korea on Wednesday in halting the import of German pork and egg products after high levels of the chemical compound dioxin were detected in German pigs and animal feed.

Chinese authorities said the ban would take immediate effect, and that all products shipped from Germany prior to Tuesday would now be screened before entering the Chinese market.

South Korea restricted pork and egg imports from Germany on Tuesday because of the affair, while Russia has said it may also take action.

The decision was taken after German authorities on Tuesday detected high levels of dioxin in pork from a farm banned from trading following the outbreak of the scare last week.

The dioxin find pushed authorities to order the cull of hundreds of pigs from the farm in the town of Verden in northern Germany, which was one of around 4,700 farms shut down while dioxin tests were being conducted. Most of the farms have since reopened, with only a few hundred still subject to restrictions.

The Verden farm was one of those supplied with animal feed containing ingredients made by a firm suspected of knowingly selling some 3,000 tons of fatty acids meant only for industrial use. Samples of the fat contained more than 70 times the approved amount of dioxin.

Dioxins are formed by burning waste and through other industrial processes and have been shown to contribute to increased cancer rates and affect pregnant women.

The scandal broke last week when German investigators found excessive levels of dioxin in batches of eggs and chickens, leading authorities to freeze sales of poultry, pork and eggs from thousands of farms.

The German government has said so far that there is no immediate risk to public health, and that the dioxin levels detected did not threaten humans if consumed in small amounts. Officials added, however, that the contamination must be stamped out to avert serious long-term risks.

"The damage that has been caused is immense, not only financially but also when it comes to consumer trust ... This is a scandal, as consumers who expect safe food were duped," German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner said on Monday. "This incident must and will have consequences."

German officials were due to brief their EU counterparts in Brussels on the latest developments on Tuesday, and were expected to face questions on the root cause of the incident and their response to it.

EU officials said Monday that some tainted animal feed had also been exported to France and Denmark.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 15, 2011, 10:50:59 AM
Contaminated Pork Sold in Poland, Czech Republic
POLAND & CZECH REPUBLIC - Pork from Germany suspected to be contaminated with dioxin was sold in early January in Poland and the Czech Republic, regional health authorities in eastern Germany said Thursday.

Meat from 35 pigs sold to a firm in Poland and to two firms in the Czech Republic was likely to have already been consumed, said the authorities in Saxony-Anhalt, where the abattoir that slaughtered the animals is located, according to Food Safety Net.

On Thursday Japan said it had ordered importers to report all shipments of pork, poultry and eggs from Germany amid growing concerns over its dioxin scare.

The scare began last week when it emerged that a German firm may have supplied some 3,000 tonnes of fatty acids only meant for industrial uses to makers of animal feed late last year. The feed was then widely distributed.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 18, 2011, 10:13:16 AM
900 More Farms Closed as Dioxin Bill Reaches €100M
GERMANY - The latest dioxin scare has re-emerged as Germany closes over 900 more farms following delayed information from another feed manufacturer about sales of contaminated feed.

Germany's dioxin scare spread as 934 farms in four states were closed after receiving dioxin-laced animal feed, according to Deutsche Welle. The closures will add to the €100-million price tag the farmers' union attributed to the scandal.

Authorities in the state of Lower Saxony discovered a producer suspected of selling dioxin-contaminated feed had hidden deliveries to 934 farms, German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner said on Saturday (15 January).

The farms have been temporarily shut, and Ms Aigner called for immediate consequences.

"This is a scandal," she said, adding that she expected a detailed report from Lower Saxony Premier, David McAllister, by the evening of 15 January.

Elevated levels of dioxin have been traced to one fats manufacturer. The numerous feed companies that buy its fat have faced testing all last week to prove their products met the European Union's dioxin standards of no more than one-trillionth part of food for human consumption.

Federal agriculture officials in Berlin said the latest feed-mixing company to be implicated had only just been spotted and that there was no indication it sold any tainted food.

Berlin officials said the Lower Saxony feed mixer had failed to inform authorities it had bought fat from Harles and Jentzsch, the company at the centre of the scare.

Prosecutors are now investigating whether the company's non-reporting was deliberate. It had supplied farms in Lower Saxony, as well as the states of North-Rhine Westphalia, Brandenburg and Bavaria, reports Deutsche Welle.

Hefty price tag for farmers
The discovery of the toxic chemical dioxin in animal feed has triggered a health alert and hit sales of German eggs and pork. Authorities are struggling to contain the scare, which began on 3 January, when German officials said feed tainted with dioxin had been fed to hens and pigs, contaminating eggs, poultry meat and some pork.

Damages from the ongoing scandal would be much greater than the immediate costs of testing, according to Gerd Sonnleitner, president of Germany's national farmers' union.

"The damage from the disruption in the market will be many times the direct damage," he said.

Deutsche Welle reports that Mr Sonnleitner put the price of sequestering farms, requiring laboratory clearance and destroying produce that failed dioxin tests would cost German farmers €100 million (US$130 million).

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2011, 07:31:41 AM
Thursday, January 20, 2011Print
UK Slaughter Statistics - January 2011
UK - The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on UK slaughterings of cattle, sheep and pigs were released today, 20 January 2011. UK clean pig slaughterings for December 2010 were 896,000 head with pig meat production at 72,000 tonnes.

Key points
Cattle: UK prime cattle slaughterings for December 2010 were 189,000 head with beef and veal production at 83,000 tonnes.
Pigs: UK clean pig slaughterings for December 2010 were 896,000 head with pig meat production at 72,000 tonnes.
Note that December 2010 is a five-week statistical month and therefore data are not comparable with December 2009.

Section 1. UK monthly slaughter estimates
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom. The survey is run according to statistical, rather than calendar months, the number of weeks in the statistical month is specified below.

Table 1. UK monthly slaughter estimates
United Kingdom October 2010
5 weeks November 2010
4 weeks December 2010
5 weeks
Steers 109 85 89
Heifers 77 66 73
Young Bulls 32 25 27
Cows and Adult Bulls 65 62 55
Calves 10 7 7
Clean Pigs 950 786 896
Sows and Boars * * *
* Data are confidential

Section 2. UK average dressed carcase weights
This table shows the monthly average dressed carcase weight of livestock slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom. Longer term trends can be found on the Defra web site by clicking here.

Table 2. UK average dressed carcase weights
United Kingdom October 2010 November 2010 December 2010
Steers 363.2 362.5 366.1
Heifers 318.9 318.4 322.4
Young Bulls 344.5 343.3 342.7
Cows and Adult Bulls 314.7 314.2 314.7
Calves 39.9 41.4 43.4
Clean Pigs 79.4 79.1 77.3
Sows and Boars 158.9 153.9 154.3

Section 3. UK monthly home-killed production of meat
This table shows the monthly volumes of meat produced in the United Kingdom. Data is shown according to statistical, rather than calendar months, number of weeks in statistical month as specified.

Table 3. UK monthly home-killed production of meat
Thousand Tonnes
United Kingdom October 2010
5 weeks November 2010
4 weeks December 2010
5 weeks
Beef 96 80 83
Pig meat 79 65 72

Section 4. UK average weekly slaughterings
This following table shows the average weekly slaughter figures for the last thirteen months. The monthly slaughter figures in section one are affected by the number of weeks in the statistical month. To get a clearer measure of trends weekly averages are calculated by dividing the number of livestock slaughtered each month by the number of weeks in the statistical month.

Longer term trends can be seen in the charts following this table.

Table 4. UK average weekly slaughterings
Thousand Head
United Kingdom 2009 2010
Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Steers 18 17 19 20 20 19 18 18 18 21 22 21 18
Heifers 15 14 16 16 15 14 14 13 13 14 15 17 15
Young Bulls 5 5 5 6 6 7 8 8 8 7 6 6 5
Cows and Adult Bulls 10 9 11 10 9 9 9 10 10 11 13 16 11
Calves 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1
Clean Pigs 180 169 176 177 172 174 171 171 181 184 190 197 179
Sows and Boars 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 * * * * * *
* Data are confidential

United Kingdom average weekly slaughtering – Cattle

United Kingdom average weekly slaughtering – Pigs
Section 5. UK slaughterings by country
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat in England and Wales, Scotland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Data are shown in statistical months, rather than calendar months. The totals for the countries may not add up to the Great Britain totals or the United Kingdom totals in section one, due to rounding.

Section 5. UK slaughterings by country
(Thousand Head)
  October 2010
5 weeks November 2010
4 weeks December 2010
5 weeks
England & Wales
Steers 64 52 55
Heifers 44 39 42
Young Bulls 22 18 18
Cows and Adult Bulls 49 46 41
Calves 9 7 6
Clean Pigs 736 608 698
Sows and Boars * * *
Steers 24 19 21
Heifers 19 16 20
Young Bulls 4 3 3
Cows and Adult Bulls 6 6 5
Calves 0 0 0
Clean Pigs 57 47 54
Sows and Boars 0 0 0
Great Britain
Steers 87 70 76
Heifers 63 56 62
Young Bulls 26 21 21
Cows and Adult Bulls 55 52 47
Calves 9 7 6
Clean Pigs 793 654 753
Sows and Boars * * *
Northern Ireland
Steers 22 14 13
Heifers 13 11 11
Young Bulls 6 5 6
Cows and Adult Bulls 10 10 8
Calves 1 0 0
Clean Pigs 157 132 143
Sows and Boars 1 1 1
*Data are confidential
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 21, 2011, 07:33:39 AM
Thursday, January 20, 2011Print
Low Pork Prices Sparks Dutch Farmers' Protest
NETHERLANDS - Pig farmers are protesting at the low price of pork.

Pig farmers from all over the country took action on Tuesday (18 January) in protest at the low prices currently being paid for pork, according to Dutch News.

The national pig farmers association, NVV, has urged farmers to refuse to deliver any pig to abattoirs and to stop others from doing so by setting up temporary blockades.

The farmers say the cost of transporting animals to abattoirs has gone up 22 per cent over the past year while prices have been driven down by lack of demand following the German dioxin crisis.

In addition, the traditional supply and demand laws of setting prices have been distorted by the "market clout" of a few big players, the organisation said. "Everyone gets their costs covered and earns a margin except pig farmers."

They hope to pressure meat processors and supermarkets to increase their prices.

The association did not say what price producers are currently being paid for pork. Supermarket group, Dirk, is currently advertising one kilo of pork chops for €5, according to Dutch News.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 26, 2011, 04:01:09 AM
UFU Warning on the Soaring Price of Grain
NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union is warning that the soaring price of grain will be the single biggest challenge facing farmers this spring.

Since last spring farmers have seen the price of grain more than double and in this month alone the price of feed rose by £15 per tonne, and further increases are expected in the coming months. While all farmers are facing increasing production costs, the rising cost of feed is hitting pig and poultry producers particularly hard.

Speaking after this week’s UFU Pork and Bacon Policy Committee meeting, UFU President John Thompson said, “Feed costs make up 60 per cent of the cost of production and therefore the rising cost of compound feed has meant that the past few months have been extremely challenging for pig farmers. The situation has become so serious that some pig farmers are now at a crossroads as they consider whether or not to continue on in the business. However, the UFU has urged pig producers to review their own specific cost of production before making any decisions.”

Last week the UFU met with representatives from the NI Grain Trade Association (NIGTA) to raise awareness of the situation facing farmers.

Mr Thompson said, “NIGTA were sympathetic to farmers’ circumstances and have indicated that the high price of grain is the result of a number of global factors. Unfortunately, NIGTA have said that farmers can expect the price of grain and feed to continue to rise in the coming months. The intensive sector is feeling the brunt of rising feed costs at the moment, but this is something that is a concern across all the livestock commodities.”

As production costs continue to skyrocket, the UFU is calling on retailers to recognise the stark reality facing farmers and to ensure they are providing a fair farm gate price that takes into account the current cost of production.

Mr Thompson added, “If retailers want to continue to be able to source high quality raw materials from Northern Ireland, they must take in to account the current reality facing farmers and be prepared to offer a farm gate price that reflects this. The UFU is continuing with its retailer meetings this month in order to raise these concerns and will be strongly urging retailers to respond with sustainable and profitable farm gate prices that will help to ensure future supply.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 27, 2011, 10:21:13 AM
Call for Retailers to Support Scottish Pig Producers
SCOTLAND, UK - NFU Scotland has written to major retailers asking for a renewed commitment to stocking home produced pork and bacon at a time when all pig producers face an unparalleled increase in the price of feed for their animals.

The engagement with UK retailers comes at a time when pig meat prices across Europe have collapsed, partly fuelled by the recent dioxin feed scare, leaving an abundance of cheap supplies. The European Commission decision yesterday (24 January 2011) to trigger Private Storage Aid (PSA) as a tool to help tackle the crisis in the sector is welcome but has come at a time when some stores continue to take the opportunity to import and stock non-UK pork.

In a welcome development, the major retailer Asda has indicated that it is to factor rising feed costs into its farmgate prices. A similar price pledge from all retailers, along with a greater commitment to stock home-produced pork and bacon is desperately needed to stabilise and improve returns to pig farmers in the country.

NFU Scotland’s Pigs Committee Chairman, Philip Sleigh said, “The decision to introduce PSA with a view to stabilising the European pig sector is a hugely welcome development and the news that measures may be in place as early as the end of this week recognises the predicament that European producers find themselves in.

“The recent dioxin feed scare has hit pig and poultry producers on mainland Europe hard with significant slumps in consumption creating an overhang on the market that is dragging prices down at a time when costs are flying upwards.

“Here in Scotland, soaring feed prices are hammering the margins being made on our pig farms and UK retailer support holds the key to profitable pig production. When asked, Scottish consumers have shown clear support for Scottish pork and bacon to be available on the shelves and retailers have an opportunity to meet that demand while underpinning the viability of the sector.

“We need all supermarkets to follow the Asda example and better recognise the rising cost of production. We need those same retailers to stand by our producers through this difficult period and not sell them out to cheaper, foreign imports. They have a chance to put the long-term interests of pig production in this country first rather than chasing the short-term gain presented by imported product.

“Retailers can also better recognise the higher welfare standards here in the UK where a ban on controversial sow stalls and tethers has been in place since the beginning of 1999 but will only come into force for other European pig producers at the beginning of 2013.

“Many European producers face the difficult decision of getting out of stalls and investing in the same kind of production systems found in the UK or getting out of pigs full stop. Given the current crash in the market, investment for some will be impossible and Europe should give some consideration to an out-goer’s scheme, so that those in Europe who do not see their future in pigs beyond 2012 have a way out of the sector.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 28, 2011, 08:35:57 AM
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Agriculture Ministers Back Pig Meat Private Storage
EU - European Agriculture Ministers this week backed moves for private stoage of pig meat following a representations from a Belgian delegation about the difficult situation of the pig meat market in the EU.

The comments by the Belgians were a follow-up to the reflection day on “The pig meat sector towards 2020” held on 3 December 2010 in Brussels, during which an initial review of the pig meat market had been drawn up by Member States' experts in the sector.

Since then,the ministers at the Agroicultural Council meeting heard that the situation has further deteriorated, with a strong increase in the price of feed as a consequence of the increase in cereals prices and the dioxin crisis in Germany.

The Commission announced its decision to open support measures for private storage for pig meat.

In addition, an enlarged advisory committee (stakeholders from the sector and national experts) will be convened to evaluate medium-term measures for the pig meat sector Three items in particular were identified for further reflection: intervention measures in crisis situation, insurance systemsand mutual fund, and food promotion programmes for this sector.

The Council welcomed the information provided by the Commission and the establishment of the enlarged advisory committee.

A delegation from Germany also told the Council about the present situation in Germany following thedioxin contamination of animal feed affecting the egg, poultry and pig sectors.

Precautionary measures have been implemented for suspected farms (eggs, poultry and pig production), which were kept blocked until analytical results proved that there was no contamination by dioxin, the council heard.

Criminal action at the source of the crisis could not be excluded and judicial investigations are running. In addition, the German authorities announced a 10 points action plan to prevent the repetition of such contamination in the food chain.

The Commission recalled that this case had not presented any health threat for consumers and underlined that the existing EU food safety framework had allowed for rapid information and reaction.

Harmonised EU information towards third countries had been provided by the Commission to minimise the danger of restrictive measures against European products.

In reaction to the crisis, the Commission will propose four specific preventive actions: a compulsory approval system for the establishments treating fats for animal feed, an improved separation of production streams for fat for animal feed and other fats, stronger monitoring and sampling requirements and a reporting obligation for private laboratories performing dioxin analyses.

Most of the member states thanked the German authorities and the Commission for the prompt and transparent actions taken and welcomed the initiative of the Commission to take further steps to ensure the proper functioning of the EU food safety system.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 29, 2011, 10:00:47 AM
Farm Incomes to be 'Slashed' in Downturn
UK - Huge hikes in animal feed bills are driving the dramatic downturn in the incomes being forecast for England’s farmers according to the NFU, as Defra’s Farm Business Income Forecasts for 2010/11 were published.

According to the figures:

Dairy farmers are expected to see a 24 per cent fall in incomes
Grazing livestock farms look set to see farm incomes decrease, compared to the previous two years, with a massive 48 per cent drop predicted for lowland grazing units
Although sustained sheep prices are currently cushioning the drop for livestock producers in less favoured areas, farm incomes are still forecast to fall by a third
Poultry farmers’ incomes could see a fall of six per cent with the average poultry farm seeing less than half the level of income recorded in 2007/08
Pig farmers could also face a huge drop in income. A combination of higher feed costs and lower prices could see incomes for pig farmers fall by two thirds.
However, figures do show a 73 per cent increase in farm incomes in the cereal sector. This year’s positive forecast follows a fall in cereal sector incomes of 34 per cent in 2009/10 when, without Single Farm Payments from the CAP, many arable farmers would have faced losses.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “In a week where Government was urged to increase food production by its chief scientific adviser Professor John Beddington, to feed a growing world population estimated to reach nine billion by 2050, today’s farm income figures are bitterly disappointing.

“For England’s farmers to play their part in meeting our future food production challenges, they require sustained investment in productive capacity. For many sectors, the indications are that the current returns from farming barely cover the costs of production, let alone provide the cash for re-investing in farming businesses. This is economically unsustainable.

“Farmers cannot carry on producing at little or no profit indefinitely. Like any business they need to turn a profit – and soon.”

NFU senior economic adviser Phil Bicknell said: “Arable incomes are the obvious bright spot yet even these need to be considered in context. The global supply situation has led to stronger grain prices, boosting England’s arable incomes while the headlines focus on the current high prices of commodities. However, it is important to remember that a significant amount of grain will have been sold forward or under contract at prices nearer to last year’s lows in March of £92.50/t rather than the highs of £201/t in January 2011.

“A major consequence of higher cereal prices for agriculture is higher livestock feed costs. While Defra’s forecasts don’t provide a breakdown of input costs, buying feed typically represents the primary cost for livestock farmers and higher grain prices will have exaggerated feed bills still further.

“This situation has been further compounded by a severe lack of fodder crops from last summer and the extended winter feeding needed in 2010 due to bad weather and prolonged winter. Farmers already predicted this increased need for purchased feed and for many these forecasts won’t come as too much of a surprise.

“However rising costs for farming don’t stop at animal feed. NFU members have seen rocketing input costs over the past twelve months across the board from increases to bank charges through to other major inputs costs such as fertiliser.

“Farm gate prices are the other obvious factor impacting on farm incomes and many farmers have seen revenues weaken. Beef prices for much of 2010 were down on 2009 levels, and pig prices spent much of the year under pressure. The NFU has well-documented the situation in dairy where, despite rising global commodity prices, the price paid to farmers for their milk remains painfully slow to increase.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 03, 2011, 08:07:27 AM
Wednesday, February 02, 2011Print This Page
Pig Producers Pile on the Pressure
SCOTLAND, UK - NFU Scotland has met with a leading pig industry official to ensure current efforts to improve the prospects for all pig producers are well co-ordinated.

NFU Scotland’s pigs committee met (Monday, 31 January) with Stewart Houston, who chairs both the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and the National Pig Association (NPA) and who also sits on SAC board as a non-executive director.

Ongoing NFUS and BPEX/NPA campaigns are targeting a significant improvement in pig prices to reflect increased feed costs backed-up by calls for a greater commitment from major retailers to home-produced pork and bacon, consistently produced to the highest welfare standards in Europe. The organisations have agreed to regular updates on how the campaigns are progressing.

Speaking after the meeting, NFUS Pigs Committee Chairman Phil Sleigh said: “Speaking with Stewart, it was reassuring that the pig campaign being developed by NFU Scotland’s pigs committee dovetails perfectly with the high level of activity taking place through BPEX and NPA. All parties have clearly told the other parts of the pig supply chain that we are proud of the way we look after our pigs and that we deserve a price that reflects the true cost of producing pigmeat to such high standards.

“We need retailers to better reflect soaring feed costs in their pricing structures, and at the same time to better support home-produced pigs in this difficult period. To that end, we are calling on the public to help ensure that more of our pork and bacon makes its way onto our supermarket shelves.

“To encourage the public to get involved, Scotland now has its own banner campaign, following the huge uptake of a similar NPA/BPEX promotion in England and Wales. The message reads: “Perfect Scottish Pork and Bacon – Made in Scotland”. Backed by the Specially Selected Pork, Red Tractor and Scottish SPCA logos, the banners send out a call to consumers to keep asking for Scottish pork and bacon and we look forward to these banners appearing in prominent sites on roadsides around Scotland in the coming days.

“Last week’s investigation of shop shelves by NFUS clearly showed that in some supermarkets, support for Scottish pork and bacon could be considerably better than it currently is. Stocking Scottish product in favour of imports not only responds to consumer demand but supports and recognises the higher welfare standards that producers here meet.

“As with NPA/BPEX, we have written to major retailers regarding the need to support home produce, to address cost issues and to better recognise the higher welfare standards delivered here and we look forward to a prompt response.

“Wearing his SAC hat, this was also an opportunity for the committee to discuss with Stewart ongoing SAC work in the pig sector. Given the current pressure on margins, it is reassuring that much of that work will help the long-term efficiency of our industry. We will continue to work with Stewart and SAC to ensure such important work benefits grassroots pig farmers in Scotland.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 03, 2011, 11:18:18 AM
Pig Herd Sees Some Stablility
UK - Latest census figures show the total number of pigs in England has fallen slightly but the breeding herd has remained unchanged.

Latest census figures show the total number of pigs in England has fallen slightly but the breeding herd has remained unchanged.

BPEX Senior Analyst James Park said though there now seemed to be some stability in the herd that was only part of the picture.

The total number of pigs in England decreased by 1.7 per cent from 3.6 million in December 2009 to 3.5 million in 2010.

But there was no real change in the number of breeding pigs at 415,000 in December 2010.

An 18,000 head reduction in sows in-pig was offset by a 7,000 head increase in gilts in-pig and an 8,000 increase in other sows.

Mr Park said, "The census results indicate that, year on year, the breeding herd remained stable in December 2010 with a continuation of increased numbers of gilts in-pig and other sows offsetting the decline in the sows in-pig population.

"However, these results do not reflect the consequences for the industry of rocketing feed costs and falling prices since last August."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 12, 2011, 12:15:19 PM
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Recent Successes & Future Challenges for Pig Sector
EU - Farmers' group, Copa-Cogeca, has highlighted measures taken to help improve the drastic situation in the EU pig meat sector, which were called for by Copa-Cogeca and proved successful, and outlined new measures to improve the long-term situation.

The move came after debates in Copa-Cogeca's Pig Meat Working Party. Chairman of Copa-Cogecas' Pig Meat Working Party, Mr Tavares, said: "In view of the crisis which has been hitting the EU pig meat sector since 2007, Copa-Cogeca has been working hard to ensure measures are introduced to relieve the crisis. Feed costs in particular increased sharply recently which hit producers hard as they account for between 60 and 65 per cent of total production costs and producers have been squeezed by high input costs and low prices.

"The EU Commission's decision to temporarily open private storage aid in February for pig meat, which was called for by Copa-Cogeca, helped to relieve the difficult market situation in the short term, as excess supplies were taken off the market. Prices picked up a bit in the main pig meat producing countries. The first meat will come out of storage in May and now we need to ensure that the stored meat will be exported once its put back on the market, in order to prevent prices from dropping again.

"I am also glad that the EU recently agreed on new EU rules to allow imports into the EU of animal feed with traces of unauthorised genetically modified materials up to a limit of 0.1 per cent. We worked hard to ensure this was introduced and it is a step in the right direction. Without it, feed prices would have risen further, costing EU farmers hundreds of millions of Euros.

"We also welcome the Commission's TSE road-map and new draft report by MEP Dagmar Roth- Behrendt which includes the proposal to lift the feed ban for non-ruminants, provided conditions in the TSE road-map, such as validated tests, are respected. We have been urging for this for sometime to reduce our dependence on imported soybean," Mr Tavares stressed.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General, Pekka Pesonen, said: "To improve the situation in the longer term, current tools to manage the pig meat market must be maintain and strengthened. Pig meat also needs to be promoted better in EU and non-EU markets. In addition, farmers positioning in the food chain needs to be reinforced, in view of the huge buying power of supermarkets. The EU must enforce existing legislation to prevent and penalise abusive situations and anti-competitive practices. An unfair commercial practices directive must be developed.

"Farmers must also be rewarded for their commitment to ensuring high environmental, welfare and food safety standards and this must be reflected in the final price. Imports must also meet the EU’s high standards. After all, a new study by Copa-Cogeca on an agreement in the trade liberalising talks between the EU and the Latin American Trade Bloc Mercosur shows it would have a devastating impact on the EU agriculture sector and cause a huge rise in pork imports which do not meet the EU's standards," Mr Pesonen warned.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 14, 2011, 12:39:18 PM
BPEX Export Bulletin - March/April 2011
The British Pig Executive's (BPEX) Export Bulletin for March/April 2011 reports pig industry trends from around the world, with the focus on the trade show, Alimentaria, which took place in Lisbon recently.

Portugal used to be a good market for British pork but Spanish pork now represents more than 95 per cent of fresh and frozen imports and the great majority of processed pork imports, although the UK still exports frozen sausages. Nonetheless, during Alimentaria in Lisbon recently, there was some good demand for pork ribs and offal from Angola, a country with strong links and a common language with Portugal and a major importer of EU meat. A green light is awaited from Defra regarding Angola but traders would still import the product as exporters’ risk as there seem to be a general agreement to allow EU meat in the country.

On the European market, fresh legs and loins are sold at increasing prices. As to shoulders and production meat, the trade is stable with unchanged prices. Exports to the British bacon market are fine with increasing prices for the April contracts. For markets outside the EU the situation remains unchanged meaning continuing good activity for the Asian markets in South Korea, Japan and China.
(Sources, Danish Crown, Tican, Danish Agriculture & Food Council)

Effects of the earthquake in Japan
Still it is difficult to evaluate the effects of the earthquake and the tsunami on imports of pork to Japan. Danish Crown was quick to report that there were no changes in the fine demand from Japan. In the US, the immediate reaction to the disasters in Japan was declining prices of pork futures due to American fear that a damaged Japanese infrastructure would prevent meat and other food products from reaching the consumers. Afterwards, the US future prices have adjusted and presently the US expect that Japan now and also on the longer term will need to increase its imports due to the catastrophe.
(Source, Markedsnyt for Svinekød)

Tulip invests in packaging lines
Investments in three new packaging lines ensure that the Tulip canning factory at Vejle has the lowest production costs in the entire group of companies. It is also a prerequisite for keeping jobs in Denmark in the long run, says head of factory, Keld Nielsen. The investments are necessary because the factory cannot keep up with the demand. Today, there are approximately 300 employees at the plant at Vejle, which exports to 83 countries including Japan, Korea, the US and the UK. The plan is to invest €8 million in the new packaging lines during 2011 and 2012. With a capacity of 360 packaged cans per minute, equivalent of 54 tonnes daily, one of the new lines replaces two old ones.
(Source, Vejle Amts Folkeblad)

Danish Slaughterhouses - payments Week 13
Slaughterhouse Danish Crown Tican
Slaughter pigs (70.0-86.9kg)
Difference to last week Euro 1.334
Unchanged Euro 1.334
Sows (Above 129.9 kg)
Difference to last week Euro 0,854
+0.027 Euro 0,854
Boars (Above 109.9 kg)
Difference to last week Euro 0.721
+0.027 Euro 0.721

“The ham segment does not generate impulsive purchases,” claims Patrick Lerüe Head of Charcuterie marketing for Fleury-Michon (FM). The new brands developed by FM should improve the already excellent health of the cooked ham market in France (+3 per cent in volume and value last year compared with 2009). The ‘New fresh’ offer described in the BPEX report a month ago should respond to a demand for authenticity detected by the French leading group. Four ‘kingdoms’ have been re-marketed: hams from our countryside, hams from pigs reared in mountains, prepared hams and organic hams. The new packaging includes crystal trays, with 50 per cent less plastic but 63 per cent paper, with photographs of producers for countryside range, photos of mountains for the mountain range and photos of green countryside for the organic products. Fleury-Michon is the third contributor to multiple’s growth in value behind Nestlé and Procter & Gamble, the group will increase its activity in the charcuterie market and in the prepared meals sector. FM increased its market share of the self-service charcuterie market in value by 16.7 points with 10.7 per cent market share in front of Herta with 10.3 per cent market share and Madrange. Own brands represent 50.4 per cent of the market and hard discount own brands represent 6.9 per cent of this market. The new base line: ‘Obsessed with goodness’ will appear on all products, including prepared meals.

They are enough slaughterings to cover needs, both in the export and the French market. With the beginning of spring, the prices of porkers should continue to rise. The increase in the cost of raw materials is always in the news. The cost of the feed is still very important for the breeders.

No big changes in the market.

Putting aside the normal monthly evolution of the prices of cuts, prices are increasing slightly. Besides, prices may increase if the nice weather settles for any length of time.

Pork prices RUNGIS week commencing 28 March 2011
Cut name Price range (Euro/Kg)
Back fat, rind-on 0.40
Trimmings 1.19
Leg 2.21
Loin including chump 2.93
Loin excluding chump 2.61
Belly extra without trimmings 1.67

Due to unsatisfactory margins, abattoirs and deboning plants are currently reducing the production of pig meat. Regional promotions offer collars, loins and chops at very competitive prices. Pig meat for processing, however, is marketed at mostly stable prices and sales of ham remain stable thanks to continuous demand from Italy. With the weather being relatively warm already, hopes are set on the barbecue season to start early this year.

Rising consumption
According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, meat consumption in Germany keeps increasing. On average, every German consumed 300g more meat in 2010 than in the previous year with pig meat and poultry accounting for the highest increase.
(Source, afz)

Pork Prices Hamburg Market Week commencing 28 March 2011
Cut Name Price Range (€ / kg)
Round cut leg 2.25/2.45
Leg (boneless, rindless max fat level 3mm) 3.25/3.40
Boneless Shoulder 2.40/2.60
Picnic Shoulder 2.25/2.45
Collar 2.45/2.60
Belly (bone in, ex-breast) 1.90/2.25
Sheet Boned Belly (rindless) 1.88/2.12
Jowl 1.05/1.20
Half Pig Carcasses U class. 1.92/2.02

Sánchez Alcaraz business increases by 28 per cent in 2010
The company from Toledo raised its turnover by 28 per cent in 2010 to €31.22 million, a figure double of 2004 turnover, the year before they started business with the German company, Abraham (owned by Bell Holding). The company’s growth is mainly due to the commercial arrangement with Abraham. Sánchez supplies whole pieces and processed ham in blocks, which are then sliced by Abraham. Most of the Spanish deliveries are distributed in Germany – in chains such as Aldi, Rewe and Lidl – and the rest in other European countries (Great Britain, Switzerland, Poland, Holland, etc). In 2010, these foreign expeditions accounted for a volume of 2,639t (2,551t of cured ham from white pigs and 88t of Iberian) compared with 1,856t sold in 2009, giving the company an export turnover of €16.96 million, a 52 per cent more than in 2009 (€11.17 million). Meanwhile, its business in the domestic market is estimated at €14.27 million.

Spanish government to complain at the Council of Ministers
The Government want to put pressure on France for a rapid cessation of French attacks on Spanish pork lorries.

Pork prices Barcelona Market Week Commencing 28 March 2011
Cut Name Price Range (€ / kg)
Carcases (secondary grade) 1,664/1,670
Gerona Loin Chops 2,43/2,46
Loin Eye Muscle 3,49/3,52
Spare Ribs 2,71/2,74
Fillets 5,83/5,86
Round Cut Legs 2,53/2,56
Cooked Ham 2,20/2,23
Rindless Picnic Shoulder 1,60/1,63
Belly 1,85/1,88
Smoked Belly with Spare Rib Section Cut off 2,28/2,31
Shoulder chap or Head Jowls 0,88/0,91
Back Fat, rindless 0,68/0,71

The Portuguese pork sector
  2005 2009 Variation
05 – 09 (%)
Production 326,850 373,529 14,3
Imports 104,231 114,316 9,7
Exports 2,770 12,891 365,4
Consumption 428,311 474,954 -10,8

Pork meat production between 2005 and 2008 was very positive but in 2009, the production fell two per cent. There are great contrasts between different operators: some are highly specialised groups and others are small farms. The majority of the breeding farms are located in the regions that are close to large populations (Leiria area, Alto Alentejo, Alentejo Litoral). The degree of self-sufficiency in pork is estimated at 65 per cent, leaning more and more to the need for imports to supply the local market. The production of this kind of meat is highly integrated within the farms but not so much with the slaughterhouses where there is no relevant groups within the sector. Portugal is a country with a large number of quality meats and processed meats. According to the EU records, there are 32 protected geographical denominations for fresh meat and 36 for processed meat (sausages and cured pork meat). In addition, it should be mentioned that in the case of the Iberian pork’s production, the Quality Standard that protects these products also protects the meat and meat products made with raw materials from animals reared in Portuguese pastures.

Demand for pork and places of purchase
The consumption of pork has remained stable. Despite the growth recorded at the beginning of the past decade, has not exceeded 454,000t. This makes the consumption per capita quite stable and is estimated at 43kg per person per year. With regards to places of purchase, retail shops and traditional butchers are the most visited but gradually, sales from supermarkets and hypermarkets are gaining in importance. The main companies in the retail industry are: Soae (Continente, Modelo and Modelo Bonjour), Jeronimo Martins (Pingo Doce and Feira Nova), Grupo Os Mosqueteiros (Intermarché and Ecomarché), Auchan (Pao de Açucar and Jumbo) and Carrefour (Minipreço and Día). There are also other companies engaged in the distribution but specialised in the field of wholesellers, such as Makro and Recheio. There are large groups that own establishments known as ‘entrepostos’. These centres are dedicated to cutting and filleting meat (both for domestic and imported meats) and also serve as logistical points from which they distribute to other commercial supply chains.

Pork is winning market share
Pork consumption is winning against beef and, to a lesser extent, against chicken. Pork is less than half the price of beef in Portugal and just slightly above chicken prices. Pork penetration reached 85.2 per cent in 2010 helped by the low prices of the ever-expanding supermarket chains and cheap imports from Spain. It gained new consumers mainly in the middle and lower classes. The latter eat more meat and meat products than the Portuguese average.

Price deflation at an end
Food prices are already rising in Portugal following years of retail price deflation and retail price wars due to the general increase of commodity prices. According to analysts, this will not affect fresh food volumes in Portugal but non-food budgets will suffer. For memory, GDP is expected to fall by 0.9 per cent in 2011.
(Source, Kantar).

Who is winning the retail war?
Sonae-Continente wins on confidence, quality and fidelity. Pingo Doce–Jeronimo Martins on convenience and Intermarché with people most affected by the crisis with its low prices. In balance, Sonae is the winner. The combined market share of its two store brands, Continente and Modelo, is 29 per cent, ahead of its competitors Jeronimo Martins with 16.1 per cent and Intermarché with 9.7 per cent.
(Source, Distribuição Hoje).

Pork producers destocking
In Portugal pig producers faced with losses are cutting back their sow numbers. Recently, productivity has increased and, despite the lack of national statistics, the number of 24.5 piglets born alive per sow is now considered the Portuguese average. Producers’ organisations are looking at solutions to the crisis. Much of the blamed is put on supermarkets that are paying their bills at 90 or even 120 days.
(Source, Vida Rural).

Feed grain in circumvention of the exchange auctions
Vladimir Putin, Prime-Minister of Russia, has signed the resolution on the distribution of feed grain to the animal producers without participation in the exchange auctions. The document states that soft 5th grade wheat and barley will be sold throughout Russian Federation at the price level of $211 per ton (VAT included).
(Source, RBK)

Cherkizovo expects more federal budget subsidies in order to level down negative impact of grain price increase and to secure profitability
The largest meat producer in Russia foresees a difficult year due to increasing primary cost of the products, which cannot be fully compensated by the increase of the final price for the consumers. Mr Putin instructed the Ministry of Finances and the Ministry of Agriculture to take a decision regarding direct subsidy assistance to the producers of pork and poultry within 10 days. According to the information provided in different mass-media sources, it is foreseen that more than $440 million will be allocated to the pig and poultry industry. A similar mechanism of state support was implemented in 2008 when the grain prices significantly increased and Cherkizovo received $33 million from the federal budget.
(Source, Finam)

New outbreak of ASF in Leningrad region
An outbreak of African swine fever on a farm in the Leningrad region has been confirmed on 18 March by the National Research Institute for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology of Russia. Following this confirmation, the Estonian Veterinary and Food Department introduced the ban on the import of pig meat and the products derived from it from Russia.

Belarus to lift temporary ban from the import of meat from Germany
The Ministry of Agriculture of Belarus announced that the ban on the import of pork and products derived from pig meat produced in Germany after 1 November 2011 has been lifted. The import of each batch of the these products should be accompanied by the negative results of the tests on the content of dioxin carried out by one of the certified laboratories in the EU. The temporary ban on the import of live animals for fattening and slaughtering, feed additives (exclusive of chemical and microbiological synthesis) and animal feed is still valid.

New initiative from Scan Sweden
By adding rapeseeds to the feed, Swedish company, Scan produces pork with more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat. Scan hopes that it will increase the demand for Swedish pork. In Finland, HK Scan researched in fat composition of pork after feeding with a crop closely related to rapeseed, and the result after 40 years of research is a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids and a lower proportion of saturated fat. Furthermore, a consumer survey showed that the meat was juicy, tender and easy to cook. So now Scan in co-operation with the Swedish pig producers will develop the rapeseed pig concept. The concept offers many health advantages, which Scan evaluates that the Swedish consumers demand. Scan and its suppliers want to establish competitive advantages that will strengthen and secure Swedish pork. Scan also wants to make its suppliers believe in the future, says Dennis Mattson of Scan. It is planned to produce 200,000 rapeseed-fed pigs.
(Source, Maskinbladet)

Japan likely to increase pork imports
In private discussions, Japanese operators have told BPEX that the nuclear incident had undermined confidence in Japanese food including pork and that this is likely to lead to higher imports. Meanwhile, domestic pork prices are soaring.

Foot and mouth outbreak
According to an unconfirmed US report, an outbreak of FMD has been detected in the country.
(Source, Pork Network Report)

April 2011
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 07, 2011, 09:11:26 AM
United Kingdom Pig Meat Market Update - April 2011
James Park, senior economic analyst with AHDB Meat Services Economic and Policy Analysis Group, explains the latest trends in the UK and EU.

UK Prices
During the first two months of the year, the DAPP weakened whilst in a number of other EU markets prices were on an upward trend. However, since the beginning of March, the DAPP has shown small but steady increases week-on-week on the back of tightening supply rather than a significant increase in demand. In the week ended 19 March the DAPP rose for third consecutive week to average 135.6p per kg, up over half a penny compared with the previous week. Nevertheless, producer prices are around five per cent lower than what they were a year ago and are two per cent lower than the start of the year. Pig producers are currently losing an average of £22.00 (AHDB MI estimate) on every pig produced; with little sign of conditions improving as the volatility of feed prices likely to undermine any recovery in the DAPP.

Average carcass weights in the DAPP sample remained at around 80kg in the first three weeks of March, one kilo heavier than the year-earlier values. Probe measurements reduced to 11.1mm throughout March, indicating that heavier carcass weights are not having adverse affect on producing lean pigs.

The average weaner price has followed the movements in the finished pig market as the price has slowly crept up since the beginning of March. In week ended 26 March, the average price increased marginally on the previous week to £41 per head. There are reports of a tightening in the supply of weaners in the market place. However, prices continued to be significantly below year-earlier quotations. Similarly to pig market, the weaner trade continued to be affected by increased feed costs.

Following the dioxin crisis, the average reference price for weaners in the EU increased 25 per cent in the eight weeks to 13 March. However, in week ended 20 March, the EU average weaner price was 11 per cent lower than in the corresponding week a year ago.

Exchange Rates and Prices
European pig prices have strengthened throughout February and into the first three weeks of March as markets responded to the private storage aid (PSA). In week ended 20 March, the average EU pig meat reference price at €149.62 per 100kg was more than one per cent higher than the previous week and almost nine per cent higher than the beginning of the year.

Prices in almost all Member States were significantly higher compared with the start of the year as demand in key countries appeared to be strengthening, with the exception of the UK. Prices in Spain recorded the largest increase, up 23 per cent, while prices in the Netherlands rose by 11 per cent since the beginning of the year. Germany and France also recorded improvements in the prices quoted, both increased by 10 per cent during this period.

In contrast, UK was the only major producer to record a decline in price during this period. The price premium which the UK has over the European average dipped significantly from 16p per kg at the start of the year to one penny per kg in week ended 20 March. However, with the UK and EU reference price being closer to parity there should be less incentive for retailers to import cheaper product.

UK Slaughterings and Production
The February slaughter data for the UK suggests that the regional trends were similar to January and show increased slaughterings across all the regions. More than 767,000 clean pigs were slaughtered in the UK in February, nine per cent more than in the corresponding month last year.

Throughputs at abattoirs in England and Wales at 595,000 head were nine per cent higher year-on-year and accounted for 76 per cent of total UK throughputs. Similarly, throughputs in Northern Ireland and Scotland also increased by nine per cent to 123,000 head and 48,000 head, respectively.

During the first two months of the year, clean pig slaughterings in the UK were up by eight per cent to 1.7 million head. Combined with an increase in carcass weights and the increase in throughputs resulted in pig meat production recording a nine per cent rise year-on-year.

In the first quarter of 2011, sow cullings were 13 per cent higher than in the same period in 2010. This incorporates a period where sow prices dropped considerably as a result of the dioxin crisis which occurred in Europe in mid-January. However, prices recovered and increased 10 per cent in March, despite higher supplies, further encouraging pig producers to reduce their herd through better returns for their cull sows.

Total UK exports of fresh and frozen pork in January 2011 totalled almost 10,000 tonnes, down eight per cent year on year. Exports to other EU member states declined by nearly 16 per cent with the largest decline recorded in exports to Germany. Shipments to this primary destination fell by almost 47 per cent year on year, a combined result of the dioxin crisis and poor weather across Europe. Exports to the Netherlands also fell considerably, down 19 per cent compared with same period last year. In contrast, this fall was offset in volume terms by increased exports to Ireland which rose by 13 per cent year on year.

Imports of fresh and frozen pork were three per cent lower in January 2011 in comparison with same month last year. However, imports from Denmark were up 23 per cent, but there was a 19 per cent decline in shipments from the Netherlands. Reduced shipments from Ireland and Germany also contributed to the fall in imports during February.

Feed Prices
On 24 March, prices consolidated after two weeks of high volatility. With the USDA planting and stock report released on 31 March, attention turned to this key part of new-crop information.

According to the International Grains Council’s monthly global supply and demand updates, the global wheat production for 2011/12 is forecast at 673 million tonnes, up by 24 million tonnes in 2010/11, and global maize production for 2011/12 at 841 million tonnes up by 33 million tonnes in the previous season. However, these higher figures are not new to the market as expectations of larger crops remain after the period of higher prices. The USDA report released on 31 March will take greater precedence as it likely to contain information on US maize plantings which will be an important factor in determining the long-term market trends.

In Europe, MATIF wheat was trading at €225 per tonne on the afternoon of 24 March; €1 per tonne lower than that recorded on 21 March; nearby LIFFE wheat in the UK was trading at £194 per tonne some £0.85 per tonne higher than at close of 21 March, with November 2011 trading at £157 per tonne, down £2.25 per tonne from close of business on 21 March. US markets are especially quiet ahead of the publication of the USDA report. CBOT wheat was trading at $263.8 per tonne on the afternoon of Thursday 24 March, down from $264.9 at close on 21 March. CBOT maize was trading at $266.9 per tonne relatively unchanged from Monday’s close of $270 per tonne.

Late news on Friday 25 March involved the sale of one million tonnes of US maize to an unknown destination. Trade sources believe that the destination for the maize was China, which is likely to have an impact on trading at the start of the week commencing 27 March as China is not normally a significant importer of grain.

The nearby European rapeseed market has seen some support in the first half of the last week as the need to ration demand for the old-crop supported the May contract and unfavourable growing conditions in Europe kept the November contract firm. As of 24 March, May MATIF rapeseed had gained six Euros per tonne over the week to trade at €456 per tonne, whilst November 2011 MATIF rapeseed had kept firm trading between €418 per tonne and €419 per tonne over the week so far.

Data for the four weeks to 20 March 2011 bucked the longer term trend for fresh and frozen meat and, in particular, the volume of pork purchases. In the four weeks to 20 March, three per cent less pork was purchased than in the same period last year. This was a result of fewer purchases, year on year, of pork loin and leg roasting joints. The reason behind the decline was a result of strong promotions by retailers in 2010. However, purchases of pork steaks were 19 per cent higher than a year ago while belly and chop purchases were also up, by three and six per cent, respectively.

The 12-week period is affected by similar circumstance, with pork volumes purchased down year-on-year with the average price being higher. However, the long term (52-week) period remains relatively strong with increased purchases of pork products.

Relative performance throughout 2011 at retail will be compared against 2010 where there had been strong growth in the pork market at consumer level.

April 2011
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 07, 2011, 09:26:10 AM
Monday, June 06, 2011
Timely Boost for Scotland's Pig Producers
SCOTLAND, UK - NFU Scotland has welcomed the announcement on Friday (3 June) that the Brechin abattoir in Angus will now be used for slaughtering pigs, as Tulip and A P Jess enter into a long term contract in the East of Scotland.

The move will greatly increase the processing capacity for pigs in Scotland to the benefit of both producers and consumers.

Philip Sleigh, Chairman of the NFU Scotland Pigs Committee said: “Today’s news is a timely boost to Scottish pig farmers who have been enduring rocketing costs and poor prices, sending many producers out of business.

“The contract at Brechin should ensure that the majority of pigs produced in Scotland will now be processed in Scotland. And competition for pigs in the market can only be a good thing for producers.

“Of course all pigs being processed in Scotland does not necessarily equate to profitability for the pig sector. We still need a decent return from the market that reflects the high quality and high welfare product we produce.

“Tulip and AP Jess have recognised that processing within Scotland makes commercial sense, and this investment sends a clear signal that the Specially Selected Pork brand is getting the recognition it deserves.”
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 25, 2011, 07:20:57 AM
Friday, June 24, 2011
UK Slaughter Statistics - June 2011
UK - The latest National Statistics produced by Defra on UK slaughterings of cattle, sheep and pigs were released on 23 June 2011 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Key points
Cattle: UK prime cattle slaughterings were 4 per cent higher than in May 2010 at 170 thousand head. Beef and veal production was 74 thousand tonnes, 7 per cent higher than in May 2010.
Pigs: UK clean pig slaughterings were 3 per cent higher than in May 2010 at 718 thousand head. Pigmeat production was 59 thousand tonnes, a rise of 3 per cent on May 2010.
Section 1: UK monthly slaughter estimates
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom. The survey is run according to statistical, rather than calendar months, the number of weeks in the statistical month is specified below.

Table 1: UK monthly slaughter estimates
Thousand Head
United Kingdom March 2011
4 weeks April 2011
5 weeks May 2011
4 weeks
Steers 84 100 79
Heifers 65 76 61
Young Bulls 23 28 29
Cows and Adult Bulls 44 48 46
Calves 8 8 6
Clean Pigs 763 891 718
Sows and Boars * * *
* Data are confidential

Section 2: UK average dressed carcase weights
This table shows the monthly average dressed carcase weight of livestock slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom.

Table 2: UK average dressed carcase weights
United Kingdom March 2010 April 2011 May 2011
Steers 369.2 367.3 368.0
Heifers 321.4 320.9 319.6
Young Bulls 339.3 340.1 344.3
Cows and Adult Bulls 320.4 321.6 321.1
Calves 38.5 42.5 42.4
Clean Pigs 79.0 77.5 77.6
Sows and Boars 145.5 151.1 154.4

Section 3: UK monthly home-killed production of meat
This table shows the monthly volumes of meat produced in the United Kingdom. Data is shown according to statistical, rather than calendar months, number of weeks in statistical month as specified.

Table 3: UK monthly home-killed production of meat
Thousand Tonnes
United Kingdom March 2011
4 weeks April 2011
5 weeks May 2011
4 weeks
Beef 74 86 74
Pigmeat 63 73 59

Section 4: UK average weekly slaughterings
This following table shows the average weekly slaughter figures for the last thirteen months. The monthly slaughter figures in section one are affected by the number of weeks in the statistical month. To get a clearer measure of trends weekly averages are calculated by dividing the number of livestock slaughtered each month by the number of weeks in the statistical month.

Longer term trends can be seen in the charts following this table.

Table 4. UK average weekly slaughterings
Thousand Head
United Kingdom 2010 2011
May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Steers 19 18 18 18 21 22 21 18 20 20 21 20 20
Heifers 14 14 13 13 14 15 17 15 17 17 16 15 15
Young Bulls 7 8 8 8 7 6 6 5 6 6 6 6 7
Cows and Adult Bulls 9 9 10 10 11 13 16 11 14 12 11 10 11
Calves 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 1
Clean Pigs 174 171 171 181 184 190 197 179 181 192 191 178 179
Sows and Boars 4 4 4 4 * * * * * * * * *
* Data are confidential

United Kingdom average weekly slaughtering – Cattle

United Kingdom average weekly slaughtering - Pigs
Section 5: UK slaughterings by country
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat in England and Wales, Scotland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Data are shown in statistical months, rather than calendar months. The totals for the countries may not add up to the Great Britain totals or the United Kingdom totals in section one, due to rounding.

Section 5. UK slaughterings by country
(Thousand Head)
  March 2011
4 weeks April 2011
5 weeks May 2011
4 weeks
England & Wales
Steers 51 62 49
Heifers 38 46 37
Young Bulls 16 19 20
Cows and Adult Bulls 34 37 35
Calves 8 7 5
Clean Pigs 593 688 551
Sows and Boars * * *
Steers 20 23 19
Heifers 16 18 14
Young Bulls 2 4 4
Cows and Adult Bulls 4 5 5
Calves 0 0 0
Clean Pigs 49 60 45
Sows and Boars 0 0 0
Great Britain
Steers 71 85 68
Heifers 54 64 51
Young Bulls 18 23 23
Cows and Adult Bulls 38 41 39
Calves 8 7 5
Clean Pigs 641 748 596
Sows and Boars * * *
Northern Ireland
Steers 13 15 11
Heifers 11 12 10
Young Bulls 5 5 6
Cows and Adult Bulls 6 7 7
Calves 0 0 0
Clean Pigs 122 143 122
Sows and Boars 1 0 0
*Data are confidential

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 28, 2011, 11:07:27 AM
Monday, June 27, 2011
European Pig Herd in Decline?
EU - During difficult periods within the European pig industry, many producers generally react by curtailing production levels by depopulating herds, reducing sow numbers or by exiting the industry, writes David Owens, Meat Division, Bord Bia - Irish Food Board.

This generally results in a decline in pig supplies and a lift in pig prices as per the ‘pig price cycle’. During the last feed crisis, in 2007/2008 production declined across Europe with reductions of over 20 per cent in many Eastern European countries. The more developed pig industries in EU-15 nations, due to the structure of the industry and the level of investment, react more slowly to difficult market periods.

Following only a few months of increased feed costs, last December’s European pig herd census reported a decline in EU sow numbers of two per cent compared to the previous year. Most nations within the EU reported declines in sow numbers, with greater falls evident again in Eastern Europe. The UK survey was in contrast to the rest of Europe with an increase of two per cent in sow numbers.

However, since these census figures were collected, on-farm issues have become much deeper and sow disposals have increased. A more recent April census return from Denmark, reported that sow numbers were down by six per cent with replacement gilts falling by 14 per cent. Sow disposals for Denmark and the UK have increased strongly this year, by eight per cent and 16 per cent, respectively.

For more detailed information on the EU pig herd census, please click here.

Pig supplies in the EU
An anticipated decline in pig production across the EU has been slow to emerge. The EU Commission forecast meeting from last April has indicated that production for the first half of 2011 will be around two per cent ahead of last year, aided by an increase in sow disposals. Looking ahead to the second half of the year they suggested stable output in quarter three with the decline expected to commence in the final quarter. For the year as a whole, production across the EU is forecast to increase by 0.9 per cent.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 28, 2011, 11:09:01 AM
Monday, June 27, 2011
Premier's Visit Boosts Poultry & Pork Exports
UK - Britain and China are expected to announce business deals worth UK£1 billion (US$1.60 billion) today, including increased exports of British poultry and pork to China.

Chinese sources say that the deals include the reopening of British poultry exports to China and increased UK pork exports.

The deals will be announced following talks in London today, 27 June, between British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who is in the middle of a European tour taking in Hungary, Britain and Germany.

Deals worth more than UK£1 billion are set to be announced after the talks between Mr Cameron and Mr Wen.

It gave no details but a government source said agreements could be reached in the energy, retail and design sectors.

The two sides are expected to announce the reopening of the Chinese market for British poultry exports, potentially worth £10 million a year, British officials said. China banned poultry products from Britain following an outbreak of bird flu at a farm in eastern England in 2007.

Britain and China will also announce an expansion of trade in pork products, following agreements last November to export British breeding pigs and British pig meat to China.

A further deal to supply 800 breeding pigs will be signed. Five more British farms will be approved to export pig meat to China in a deal worth more than £25 million pounds, Britain said.

Premier Wen's visit is the latest of several recent high-level diplomatic exchanges between Britain and China, including a visit to China by Mr Cameron last November.

Britain wants to double trade with China by 2015 to some US$100 billion, in line with the British government's strategy of expanding business with fast-growing emerging markets to help offset subdued domestic demand at a time of sharp spending cuts.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 05, 2011, 10:28:32 AM
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
End to Slaughter Without Stunning Welcomed
NETHERLANDS - Welfare campaigning organisation, Eurogroup for Animals, has welcomed the vote earlier this week by the Dutch Parliament which makes stunning prior to slaughter, including for religious slaughter obligatory in the Netherlands.

This is a step forward for animal welfare as it ends the exemption for religious slaughter where animals are killed fully conscious without stunning on religious grounds and this will alleviate the suffering of up to one million animals in the Netherlands, says Eurogroup for Animals.

The Bill, which received overwhelming support in the Parliament (116 out of 150 votes), is based on the strong scientific consensus that animals rendered unconscious prior to slaughter suffer less than animals bled while fully conscious.

Dr Michel Courat, Policy Officer for Farm Animals at Eurogroup for Animals, commented: "This is a major step forward for animal welfare and we urge all of the 26 other European Union member states to follow the example of the Dutch government. It will however be possible for religious groups to get an exemption, but only when they provide indisputably proof that their alternative method will not cause more harm to animal welfare than pre-slaughter stunning."

The ban is not directed against religious slaughter as such, it only states that religion is not a sufficient reason to let animals suffer unnecessarily, according to Eurogroup. As such it is an invitation to religious groups to explore the boundaries of what their faiths allows and to implement new, innovative animal welfare friendly methods.

Eurogroup has been monitoring the number of animals slaughtered without prior stunning in the EU and is very concerned that the amount of meat coming from animals slaughtered in this way is much higher than the amount required to meet the needs of the religious communities in the EU.

Dr Courat added: "It is a disgrace that consumers are buying meat from animals that have being slaughtered in this way without their knowledge and against their wishes. The Dutch have now sent a very clear signal and the European Commission must act to ensure that in future this is the standard across the European Union."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 08, 2011, 09:03:07 AM
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Spanish Hog Markets, June 2011
SPAIN - The Spanish pork market normally runs at its higher prices through spring and the summer seasons characterized for higher consumption pushed mainly by the tourism industry, writes Javier Santamartina, PhD, Genesus Representative in Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Pork Price Seasonality was broken this year (Thanks goodness!)
This condition is paired with a poorer hogs offer due to the warmer weather which impacts pigs growing. This scenario has been the standard way of fluctuation over the last 15 years. This trend has been broken this year with a flat price in May and June.

The performance of the price for this year compared to 2009 and 2010 shows us a completely different behavior for the price trend. 2010’s prices moved following the traditional pattern with higher prices occurring in May and in the summer months. The prices decreased around the weeks 32/33 as usual.

On the other hand in 2011 pork prices goes up earlier in the year and keep going through the spring showing no major increases around the week 20 as usual.

Some of the reasons supporting this new reality of the Spanish market as follow: - Lower price of meat in Europe. Spain exports at least 20% to the EU. – Dioxins crisis in Germany decreased pork consumption in this country and affected the continental pork price in Europe, and finally a good portion of frozen has been released into the European markets.From today until the week 33 are expected light increases in prices. After that week it seems like a question mark for the prices. It depends actually on how seasonal effect would impact the market. What I mean by that is if the pork offer will be lower we would have better prices than a year ago.

The packing industry is taken advantage of the decent hog prices today. As we wrote in the previous report the packing industry would be suffering, as usual, in the summer months, because the price is normally (and seasonally) higher. It will not be the case for this year so far. In a way is good for the producers because at the end of the day they are the buyers.

At this point in time the producers are working under breakeven basis and very few of them with light profit margins. The main cloud over their heads continues to be the cost of the grain and everyone is asking what would be the scenario in fall. Nobody wants to predict, simply because there is not crystal ball showing the future. The market has become almost unpredictable and totally volatile. Spain is getting a nice harvesting time right now with good yields for barley and wheat. Unfortunately it hasn’t been the same in Northern Europe; France, the UK and Germany have experienced not exactly a severe drought, but dryer season than average anyway.

The general comments are if the cost of production is going to keep these levels most of the protein production would be affected by liquidation. On the other hand there are people predicting a different picture. They say that today’s market is pretty much like 2008 when higher grain prices at the harvesting time were decreasing in the fall. There are also some measurements to control speculation implemented by the European Community. The new regulations have been directed by French Prime Minister Sarkozy.

The pork price seasonality was broken this year. May and June prices did not increase, as usual. The key point in swine production in the near future depends basically on the grain prices that highly affect cost of production. The big question is how the market will react after the summer months. Today is a big gap between the hog prices and the pork prices.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 30, 2011, 11:15:16 AM
Friday, July 29, 2011
Secret Film Claims Cruelty to Pigs in Abattoir
UK - Animal rights group, Animal Aid has released film footage it claims was shot secretly a pig slaughterhouse in Essex and that the group says shows severe animal cruelty.

The film, which Animal Aid says was recorded on a number of secretly installed cameras over a period of four days at Elmkirk Ltd (Cheale Meats), an Essex-based, family-run slaughterhouse – shows three different workers stubbing their cigarettes out on the faces of pigs, while one of the men landed a violent punch on the face of a pig who was walking by.

Animal Aid says that in addition, three seriously injured pigs were forced to crawl from the lairage, through the race and into the stun pen.

Animal Aid said it also filmed bad practice in the stunning process causing suffering to the pigs and it says there was also incorrect use of electric goads.

Animal Aid said that Cheale Meats is the ninth UK slaughterhouse to be secretly filmed by them in the past two-and-a-half years.

Animal Aid added that it sent the Cheale Meats evidence to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). It says it recevied a reply saying that: "Defra is not prepared to commence prosecution proceedings where the initial allegation is based on CCTV footage gained without the consent of the relevant Food Business Operator."

Kate Fowler, Head of Campaigns at Animal Aid says: "Since we first began investigating English slaughterhouses, we have been pressing everyone involved – regulators, industry bodies and the government – to act decisively to end the cruelty.

"At first, they appeared contrite and promised action but now their words ring hollow.

"If Defra won’t prosecute these flagrant breaches of the law; if the vets can’t or won’t act to stop the cruelties; and if the slaughterhouse owners look the other way, who is there to stop animals from being abused at the most vulnerable time of their lives? It seems that all involved are content to keep quiet and to allow these cruelties to continue. So much for the UK having the best welfare standards in the world!"

A statement from the solicitor for Cheale Meats, Jamie Foster, a Partner at Clarke Willmott LLP, said: "I am currently reviewing and taking instructions from my clients in relation to video footage provided by Animal Aid. Given the source of this material, Elmkirk would not accept that all or any of the activities shown on this video relate to their premises.

"Elmkirk Ltd have had CCTV installed for a decade. I am therefore surprised that Animal Aid felt it necessary to target our client's premises as we understood that the stated purpose of their activities was to encourage abattoirs in this Country to install CCTV.

"Clearly any footage which relates to our clients premises has been obtained unlawfully. I have been involved in cases previously where such evidence has been ruled to be inadmissible or the Prosecution has declined to rely on evidence which has been obtained by burglary or other unlawful means.

"A complaint has been made to Essex Police by our clients in relation to any unlawful entry into our client's premises by an employee of Animal Aid. The outcome of that complaint is awaited."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 08, 2011, 05:02:32 AM
Outdoor Bred Pig Meat Upgrades Sausages
UK - Snowbird Foods is re-launching its top selling Gourmet range of sausages exclusively using outdoor-bred, single-source pig meat to guarantee high quality, absolute consistency and total traceability.

Managing director Philip Paul watches the first run of Snowbird's new Traditional Lincolnshire Gourmet Sausage as it goes through the production process.It is the first time such a scheme has been undertaken in the UK by a manufacturer of fully cooked and frozen sausages and the London-based company, part of the VION Food Group, has teamed up with leading pig farmers to deliver a major improvement to the quality of its award winning products.

A specific breed of pig raised on Red Tractor Farm Assured holdings has been selected for this unique operation because it delivers high meat yield, improved quality, total traceability, absolute consistency - and just the right amount of fat to enable Snowbird to make the perfect sausage.

The company has also upgraded its specification to require a significantly greater quantity of shoulder meat in the recipe.

"As sector leader in the market for fully cooked and frozen sausages, we are really excited by this move to embrace the whole food chain, with pig farmers more deeply involved in the whole process of making higher quality sausages and customers welcoming the move," said Snowbird managing director, Philip Paul.

"We have worked for years to deliver the quality of products our customers want so it was a natural extension of this work to involve suppliers and they are excited to have the opportunity to be involved as our quality partners," he added.

Welcoming this move, BPEX Foodservice trade sector manager, Tony Goodger, said: "more and more foodservice businesses are looking to buy pork and pork products that come from assured pigs. By purchasing assured pork products caterers can be confident that the meat used has come from pigs that have been sourced from independently audited farms that meet high animal welfare conditions and offer the reassurance of full traceability."

To celebrate the launch, Snowbird has developed a Traditional Lincolnshire recipe as the new flagship product for its award-winning Gourmet range of sausages which is available exclusively to caterers and ready meal manufacturers. Cumberland, Pork, Pork & Leek, Olde English Pork, Pork & Mustard, Pork and Ale and other recipes are also available.

With a meat content in excess of 75 per cent, the Traditional Lincolnshire Gourmet Sausages have an exciting blend of herbs and spices which include sage, parsley and ground white pepper and are in natural casings.

Fully cooked to a golden brown and frozen at the factory stage, they are ready to heat (or simply defrost) from frozen and meet all Food Standards Authority 2012 requirements for low fat and low salt. Snowbird Gourmet sausages are available in weights from 12.5g to upwards of 150g. The standard link is 60g.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 11, 2011, 11:47:03 AM
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
EU Pig Prices: House Prices Made Again in Germany
EU - Currently, the individual EU member countries’ slaughter pig markets appear in varying ways. The quotations indeed remained on a constant level in a number of EU countries.

The slaughter pig supply is reported to be of quite some size but is nonetheless demanded swiftly by the slaughter companies in many countries.

In Denmark the quotation went into reverse, quoting minus 3 cents for this week, after an eight weeks’ period of constant prices. A 1 cent minus was reported from Great Britain, and the Swedish corrected price went down by 1.5 cents as a result of changes in the exchange rate. It is true that the price given by the producers’ association for livestock and meat went up by 2 cents in Germany. But the slaughter companies responded to that with significant resistance. On Friday afternoon already, Toennies and other major slaughter companies announced that they would not take part in this increase. Instead, they plan to pay a house price only of EUR 1.53 per kg this week. It needs to be noted that this week Westfleisch is not going to pay a house price, just as they did three weeks ago.

Trend for the German market: Although the slaughter companies pursue a policy of making house prices, the usual quantities on offer can be placed smoothly. It remains to be seen for the week ahead which one will prevail: the positive market assessment made by the producers or the massive blockage performed by the slaughter companies. From today’s point of view, everything seems possible. In any case it needs to be stated that the current price level is a ruinous one for both the piglet producers and the pig feeders.

Week 24 1.506 € 1.455 € 1.516 € 1.495 € 1.493 € 1.500 € 1.580 € 1.601 € 1.683 € 1.407 € 1.726 € 1.034 € 1.401 €
Week 25 1.506 € 1.455 € 1.515 € 1.482 € 1.485 € 1.528 € 1.568 € 1.639 € 1.683 € 1.407 € 1.700 € 1.026 € 1.401 €
Week 26 1.506 € 1.455 € 1.516 € 1.482 € 1.479 € 1.552 € 1.578 € 1.671 € 1.683 € 1.407 € 1.667 € 1.079 € 1.401 €
Week 27 1.506 € 1.465 € 1.516 € 1.482 € 1.478 € 1.519 € 1.564 € 1.671 € 1.683 € 1.407 € 1.637 € 1.085 € 1.401 €
Week 28 1.546 € 1.475 € 1.516 € 1.519 € 1.482 € 1.518 € 1.563 € 1.677 € 1.683 € 1.448 € 1.659 € 1.091 € 1.401 €
Week 29 1.546 € 1.455 € 1.516 € 1.507 € 1.493 € 1.503 € 1.611 € 1.690 € 1.683 € 1.448 € 1.666 € 1.075 € 1.401 €
Week 30 1.476 € 1.417 € 1.516 € 1.445 € 1.493 € 1.488 € - € 1.700 € 1.683 € 1.417 € 1.620 € 1.091 € 1.401 €
Week 31 1.476 € 1.408 € 1.517 € 1.445 € 1.499 €     1.706 € 1.683 € 1.417 € 1.605 € 1.092 € 1.401 €
Week 32 1.496 € 1.408 € 1.490 € 1.445 € 1.500 €     1.696 € 1.683 € 1.417 € 1.594 € 1.076 € 1.401 €

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 28, 2011, 07:18:25 AM
Vision for Future of the UK Pig Industry
UK - BPEX has just produced a new health and welfare strategy with support from across the industry and launched by Chief Veterinary Officer at a press conference in London yesterday, 24 August.

Improved pig health and welfare could easily be worth as much as £25 million a year to the British industry.

An extra 50g weight gain per day as a result of improved health would return between £2 and £3.50 per pig – between £15 and £25 million a year.

BPEX has just produced a new health and welfare strategy with support from across the industry and launched by Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens.

20:20 Pig Health and Welfare builds on the success of the first strategy launched at the end of 2003.

One of the key elements is the Pig Health Improvement Project (PHIP). The national Stage 1 is underway and in addition there will be pilot projects with groups of producers across the country. It aims to change completely the way endemic pig diseases are managed, mitigated and controlled across the country.

This will require a radical change in the mindset of all involved – from a rather singular, self-contained approach to a far more inclusive, co-ordinated and collaborative one.

BPEX Chairman, Stewart Houston, said: "Improving the health and welfare of pigs is of paramount importance to all of those involved in the industry in England.

"It affects our cost of production, our ability to compete in a highly competitive EU market, our impact on the environment, the safety of the food we produce, our responsibility to the animals in our care, our reputation as a producer of high welfare pork, bacon, ham and other pork products and ultimately our ability to produce a secure supply of food in an increasingly volatile world.

"Despite the progress we have already made we remain behind many of our immediate competitors on key measures of efficiency. Improving pig health is key to closing this competitiveness gap," said Mr Houston.

The key elements of the strategy are:

Support pig producers in delivering their objectives for continual improvements in pig health and pig welfare
Eliminate or control significant enzootic pig diseases locally, regionally and nationally
Eliminate or control significant infections of food safety and public health concern (eg Salmonella)
Develop and promote new knowledge on the assessment of welfare outcomes
Promote the open exchange of information on the disease status for herds and regions
Promote and encourage responsible and appropriate use of antimicrobials
Maintain freedom from notifiable exotic and emerging diseases of pigs
Deliver an integrated approach to improving pig health and welfare with all stakeholders, allied support industries, retailers, foodservice and Government.
BPEX Interim Head of Research and Development, Derek Armstrong, said: "The really encouraging part is that there are a lot of organisations committed to working together to deliver a coherent vision of health and welfare."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 04, 2011, 10:26:40 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Vision for Future of the UK Pig Industry
UK - BPEX has just produced a new health and welfare strategy with support from across the industry and launched by Chief Veterinary Officer at a press conference in London yesterday, 24 August.

Improved pig health and welfare could easily be worth as much as £25 million a year to the British industry.

An extra 50g weight gain per day as a result of improved health would return between £2 and £3.50 per pig – between £15 and £25 million a year.

BPEX has just produced a new health and welfare strategy with support from across the industry. It was launched by Chief Veterinary Officer, Nigel Gibbens.

20:20 Pig Health and Welfare builds on the success of the first strategy launched at the end of 2003.

One of the key elements is the Pig Health Improvement Project (PHIP). The national Stage 1 is underway and in addition there will be pilot projects with groups of producers across the country. It aims to change completely the way endemic pig diseases are managed, mitigated and controlled across the country.

This will require a radical change in the mindset of all involved – from a rather singular, self-contained approach to a far more inclusive, co-ordinated and collaborative one.

BPEX Chairman, Stewart Houston, said: "Improving the health and welfare of pigs is of paramount importance to all of those involved in the industry in England.

"It affects our cost of production, our ability to compete in a highly competitive EU market, our impact on the environment, the safety of the food we produce, our responsibility to the animals in our care, our reputation as a producer of high welfare pork, bacon, ham and other pork products and ultimately our ability to produce a secure supply of food in an increasingly volatile world.

"Despite the progress we have already made we remain behind many of our immediate competitors on key measures of efficiency. Improving pig health is key to closing this competitiveness gap," said Mr Houston.

The key elements of the strategy are:

Support pig producers in delivering their objectives for continual improvements in pig health and pig welfare
Eliminate or control significant enzootic pig diseases locally, regionally and nationally
Eliminate or control significant infections of food safety and public health concern (eg Salmonella)
Develop and promote new knowledge on the assessment of welfare outcomes
Promote the open exchange of information on the disease status for herds and regions
Promote and encourage responsible and appropriate use of antimicrobials
Maintain freedom from notifiable exotic and emerging diseases of pigs
Deliver an integrated approach to improving pig health and welfare with all stakeholders, allied support industries, retailers, foodservice and Government.
BPEX Interim Head of Research and Development, Derek Armstrong, said: "The really encouraging part is that there are a lot of organisations committed to working together to deliver a coherent vision of health and welfare."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 16, 2011, 10:53:13 AM
Pork Roast Sales up 40 Per Cent
UK - Supermarket chain, Morrisions, reports a near 40 per cent increase in sales of pork roasts in the past year.

Savvy British shoppers are increasingly turning to pork joints as a cheaper red meat roast alternative in a bid to try and save the pennies.

Figures from Morrisons have revealed a 39 per cent increase in the volume of sales of fresh pork joints compared to last year, with beef and lamb experiencing slower growth at just four per cent.

And the supermarket's policy of using only British pigs for its fresh pork joints means the rise is also good news for the British farming industry.

The rise in sales can be attributed to the big difference in price between the meats. The average cost of a pork joint in store during Q2 of this year (May to July) was just £3.61 compared to beef at £7.02 and lamb at £7.52.

Richard Hodgson, Group Commercial Director at Morrisons, said: "We are noticing more and more customers approaching our specialist butchers in store and asking them the best way to feed their families on a budget.

"Customers are sticking increasingly cooking roast dinners from scratch and our pork joints are proving to be the affordable favourite."

Louise Welsh, Agriculture Manager, said: "More of our customers are turning to these easy to cook pork joints for mealtimes and it is no surprise because pork offers everything our customers are looking for – a good quality, nutritious meal which offers value for money.

"This boost in sales is good news for our British pig farmers too. We're now buying over a million pigs a year from British farmers and only sell 100 per cent fresh British pork in our stores."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 01, 2011, 10:21:26 AM
Friday, September 23, 2011
ACMC Tip: Lighten Up for Breeding Sows
UK - The significance of light for maintaining pregnancy is well recognised, says Paul Thompson, veterinary consultant to pig-breeding company ACMC Ltd.

He points out that it is also important to ensure the weaned sow and service area is well lit, i.e. to an intensity of at least 200 lux and on a 16-hour light, 8-hour dark pattern.

Furthermore, good lighting in these areas highlights hygiene issues and aids heat detection.

It must be remembered that insufficient light can contribute to delayed returns to service.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 05, 2011, 09:19:34 AM
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Recipe for Success in Pig Industry
UK - Communication, communication, communication – that is where the future success of the pig industry lies, according to the winner of this year's David Black Award, Paul Toplis.

Paul Toplis is Technical Director of Primary Diets, a division of AB Agri Ltd, and has spent his working life in the feed business. He cited three key elements as examples for a successful and sustainable pig industry, research, salmonella and antimicrobial resistance. He believes all three should be tackled by the whole industry working better together.

Paul Toplis,
winner of this year's David Black AwardHe was presented with his award by Food and Farming Minister, Jim Paice, at an industry breakfast at the House of Lords yesterday, 2 November.

He said: "All of these need to be tackled on an industry-wide basis. For example, with salmonella, the industry already spends considerable sums to control salmonella. Now every part of the chain is being asked to spend more to reduce salmonella with no account of their relative effectiveness. This will increase some costs unnecessarily.

"The whole industry should get together, look at the whole chain, then target the spend where the greatest progress can be made rather than seeking expensive cuts across the board.

"The question of whether traces of antibiotics in feed contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a controversial one and there probably isn't a simple answer but we must be guided by the very best science available.

"That may well end up saying there's no (AMR) problem with the majority of in-feed antimicrobials but we're not so sure about these few. With co-operation across the EU, I'm sure science and sense will prevail.

"Finally, there is a huge amount of research going on but I feel it has become diluted and less effective. There could be greater co-ordination and concentration which would benefit the whole industry."

Paul Toplis said he feels his main role is Knowledge Transfer by both getting research quickly into farm diets and through frequent farmer talks and farm visits.

He said: "I started work on experimental farms with RHM in Dorset and at that time relationships with academia were poor. However, I could see so much lost potential so I went banging on the door, then started building bridges. Gradually a really good relationship was built up."

Of the award itself, Paul Toplis said he was extremely honoured: "I do feel this is much more a recognition of my role than of me as an individual because of the KT role."

BPEX Director, Mick Sloyan who chaired the judges, said: "Paul has worked tirelessly with modesty and enthusiasm to help pig producers.

"Through working in a quiet and determined way across the whole spectrum of the industry, including farmers, feed suppliers and vets, he has made a significant contribution to the industry over many years."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 10, 2011, 09:02:14 AM
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
CCTV Encouraged in Slaughterhouses
UK - The British Food Standards Agency is to encourage slaughterhouses to use CCTV to monitor animal welfare in their plants.

A paper to be presented to the FSA Board next week encourages CCTV as part of a range of safeguards to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare.

The FSA says it continues to work with businesses and meat industry representatives to encourage voluntary installation of CCTV as best practice.

In addition, the FSA is currently gathering a body of evidence from a range of sources, including those businesses that already use CCTV, to determine the benefits of CCTV.

The FSA said that it is encouraged though that the number of businesses with CCTV in place for animal welfare has more than doubled since June 2010.

In June 2010, about seven per cent of slaughterhouses had CCTV installed for monitoring animal welfare in the stunning/slaughter area, with eight per cent having CCTV in place for monitoring animal welfare in other areas.

This accounted for 13 per cent of cattle, 16 per cent of sheep, 42 per cent of pigs and 40 per cent of poultry processed during the period April to June 2010.

In September 2011, the FSA gathered information on the further uptake of CCTV has changed since June 2010. The number of establishments with CCTV in place for animal welfare has more than doubled.

There are now 19 per cent of red meat slaughterhouses with CCTV in place to monitor animal welfare. These account for around 48 per cent of red meat volume over the period July 2010 to July 2011, and 29 per cent of white meat slaughterhouses. These account for 59 per cent of poultry volume in the same period.

These increases have been driven in part by individual businesses and in part by the major retailers, both independently and through their assurance schemes. Asda, Morrisons, J Sainsbury, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Iceland, The Co-operative and Waitrose all now require CCTV monitoring of animals at slaughter throughout their supply chains.

In the report to be discussed next week, the FSA says: "Businesses who have CCTV in place are keen to demonstrate to our officials the highest standards to which their operatives work and have not provided any resistance to FSA officials viewing footage when requested.

"This is evidenced by the visits which senior FSA officials have recently undertaken in order to gather evidence for this paper. At each establishment with CCTV, access to footage was provided and monitoring systems demonstrated."

The FSA said it would consider that, where CCTV is in place for monitoring animal welfare, certain simple best practice guidelines should be followed.

These include:

CCTV should be monitored on a daily basis both by FSA OVs and the business. Where this is not happening, we are reminding OVs and businesses to do this;
Daily checks should be undertaken on a regular basis, but at different times, and should be part of the OV's ongoing checks of business compliance. Similarly, the business' checks should be part of their own internal verification procedures;
Checks should be at a frequency associated with the potential risk of non-compliance for each particular practice undertaken; for example, gas killing of poultry has less potential for adverse practices than group stunning of pigs or lambs;
Checks should also be risk based on the known compliance of the business with welfare legislation and recognised best practices;
Where monitoring of CCTV footage by FSA regulatory officials indicates potential evidence for enforcement action, that footage should be retained for a sufficient period from the date it was taken to enable proper investigation and, if appropriate, enforcement action to be taken;
CCTV footage should be made available to officials in the course of enforcement.
CCTV footage should be used for the training of new slaughtermen, and
CCTV footage should be used in the training of new OVs and Meat Hygiene Inspectors.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 17, 2011, 07:32:03 AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
IKEA Netherlands Stops Meat from Castrated Pigs
NETHERLANDS - Eurogroup has been recently confirmed that IKEA Netherlands decided to completely remove castration in their pig supply chain.

This decision will apply to products which are purchased in the Netherlands. Eurogroup applauds the initiative.

"This is great news, and we urge other food retailers across Europe to follow the example," said Sonja Van Tichelen, Director of Eurogroup.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 22, 2011, 10:42:15 AM
Monday, November 21, 2011
Pig Farmers Not Benefiting from Rising Market
IRELAND - The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) says that Irish pig farmers are not benefitting despite the rise in pig market prices and strength in exports.

IFA National Pigs and pig meat Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan said, "We are calling on Enterprise Ireland to relook at the structure of the pig meat sector and we are seeking an urgent meeting with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton Minister as it appears that only for the campaigns run by IFA such as the DNA traceability, processors would be unable to secure or maintain markets at home. If they cannot make a profit when demand on the export markets is so strong, we, pig producers, have to be concerned about what the future holds for the industry.

"The industry is in serious trouble and producers are questioning the ability of those in the processing sector to sufficiently capitalise on positive market conditions." 
IFA National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan
"Pig prices have risen considerably since the start of October in almost all major pig producing countries except Ireland. German and Dutch prices increased by 10c/kg and Danish prices have increased by 7c/kg. These countries are exporting to the same markets as Irish factories but they are managing to return a price increase to their suppliers. While EU prices have been going up, Irish prices from some factories have dropped by 4c/kg.

"Producers are at a loss to understand why prices are not increasing considering the strong exports, falling EU supplies and the fact that pig meat retail volume and value year on year has increased on the home market. The IFA National Pigs and pig meat Committee has worked tirelessly to secure market share for Irish Quality Assured Meat and this campaign has been very successful. Farmers have gone as far as introducing a DNA traceability programme to ensure that the consumer is not being misled as to the origin of their meat. Despite all this, pig producers continue to lose money.

"50 per cent of the processing is now in the hands of one company and this one company is holding all the cards with access to all the best markets. Processors have told us that they are passing back all that they can. If this is the case, the industry is in serious trouble and producers are questioning the ability of those in the processing sector to sufficiently capitalise on positive market conditions.

"Pig prices must rise this week to show producers that the factories are serious about protecting the industry."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 17, 2011, 08:56:11 AM
Friday, December 16, 2011
Pig Prices Move Closer to Production Cost
FRANCE - French pig prices are moving closer to cost of production after increases in recent weeks, according to the French Pig Producers Federation.

Producer prices have risen at a time of year typically not very favorable for pork, said the Federation Nationale Porcine.

Prices have been insufficient to cover costs since feed expenses started rising in the summer of 2010.

"The economy remains precarious for the producers whose treasuries have been depleted by successive crises," said the federation.

"That's why the producers will be vigilant in coming weeks about the evolution of pork prices and the attitude of industry operators."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 19, 2011, 01:00:30 PM
United Kingdom Pig Meat Market Update – December 2011
Unusual pig meat price movements have occurred in both the UK and EU this year, according to Stephen Howarth, Senior Analyst (Pigs), AHDB Market Intelligence, in his latest explanation of the UK and EU trends. In the UK, prices are up on last year and feed prices are down although the UK pig reference price premium over the EU average has narrowed. The overall stability in the EU average pig reference price, which has been apparent since May, continued through the first half of October, over a period when a peak and then decline form the usual pattern.

UK Prices
The monthly average DAPP for October was little changed from September at 145.52p per kg deadweight (dw). After falling seasonally, prices stabilised in the first half of October, significantly earlier than in recent years, before rising later in the month and into early November. As a result, the October price was nearly seven pence higher than in October 2010. The recent rise has taken the DAPP to 147.48p per kg in week ended 19 November, more than 11 pence higher than the same week last year. The price increase has come despite supplies remaining relatively high. Robust demand in anticipation of a positive Christmas market, strong export demand and high EU prices have all played a part in driving prices higher.

The premium for the UK pig reference price compared with the EU average has remained at about 6p per kg since early September. This is much lower than the premium seen for much of the last two years, which averaged around 16p per kg, although it is higher than it was during the spring, when UK prices were briefly lower than the EU average.

Carcass weights of pigs in the DAPP sample decreased slightly in October, against the normal seasonal trend. The average weight through the month was 79.3kg. This is less than one per cent below the September average but is one per cent lower than in October 2010. Carcass weights have remained slightly above 79kg during November, around 1kg lower than a year earlier.

Weaner prices have also begun to strengthen, having hit a low point of around £40 per head in mid-October. The average price for the month was £40.31 per head, marginally below the September average but prices have since increased, reaching £42.17 by week ended 19 November. This is virtually the same as a year earlier, when prices were falling. Recent reductions in the price of feed have meant that demand from finishers has increased.

Cull sow prices continued on the upward trend seen since June. This is mainly due to strong export demand as supplies are tight on the continent, whilst demand from manufacturers is high. The average price during October was 108p per kg, two pence higher than in September and eight pence higher than a year earlier. The price rise accelerated into November, reaching 115p per kg by week ended 19 November, the highest figure for more than two years. This comes as there are reports of increasing demand from UK processors, given the lower cost of sow meat at a time when consumers are price-conscious.

EU Prices and Exchange Rates
The general stability in the EU average pig reference price, which has been apparent since May, continued through the first half of October. This is a very different trend to that seen in recent years, where prices have normally peaked in the summer before falling back rapidly during the autumn. By the end of October, prices are typically 12 per cent lower than in mid August; this year, they had fallen by less than one per cent. Although supplies have been tighter in some Member States, the higher price is largely driven by export demand from non-EU markets, particularly in the Far East. The October average EU price stood at €156 per 100kg dw. This is around €19 higher than in October 2010. From late October, prices began to ease higher, at a time of year when they are normally still falling. By week ended 20 November, they had risen above €160 per 100kg.

Economic uncertainty has led to fluctuations in the exchange rate between the pound and the euro. However, the net result has been little change in the rate, which has remained close to €1.14 for much of the year. During November, the euro has weakened as a result of the sovereign debt crisis, and the exchange rate reached close to €1.17 by mid month.

UK Slaughterings and Pig Meat Supplies
Clean pig slaughterings in the UK totalled 994,000 head in October 2011. This was six per cent higher than in October 2010. Throughputs were higher across all parts of the UK, but the largest rise was in Scotland, where 68,000 pigs were slaughtered, 19 per cent more than in the same month last year. Northern Ireland recorded more modest growth, up just one per cent to 159,000 head.

AHDB estimates for October are that sow slaughterings remained above year earlier levels, totalling 24,000 head, a rise of 10 per cent year on year. High prices are still encouraging producers to replace less productive sows. This brings the estimated slaughterings for the year to date to 203,000 head, 14 per cent higher than during the first 10 months of last year.

Continuing the pattern of most recent months, the average clean pig carcass weight during October was slightly lower than a year earlier. The October average was 78.2kg, which was 1.2kg lower than in the same month last year. The average carcass weight for cull sows was 154.8kg in October.

Total pig meat production in October was 82,000 tonnes, up four per cent compared with the same month last year. This brought the total pig meat production for the year to 677,000 tonnes, six per cent higher than during the same months of 2010. With carcass weights slightly down on last year, this rise was driven by increased throughputs, with clean pig slaughterings for the year totalling 8.2 million head, also six per cent higher than last year.

UK imports of fresh and frozen pork during September 2011 totalled 30,000 tonnes. This was eight per cent lower than in September 2010. The five largest suppliers shipped lower amounts than a year earlier, with the biggest fall being in imports from Belgium, which were down by 39 per cent. This was partly offset by increased volumes from France, Spain and Italy. Shipments of bone-in hams were higher than a year earlier but most other fresh pork cuts were imported in lower quantities. There was an increase in frozen shipments, although they only accounted for 17 per cent of the total.

Once again, bacon imports in September were slightly lower than a year earlier, although the difference was only one per cent. A fall in shipments from the two largest suppliers, Denmark and the Netherlands, was largely offset by increased volumes from Germany and smaller suppliers such as France and Ireland. In contrast, imports of sausages were up by 38 per cent, largely due to a massive increase in imports from Ireland, which more than trebled compared to September 2010. France and Spain also shipped much higher volumes.

Despite September’s fall, imports of fresh and frozen pork for the first nine months of the year were five per cent higher than in the same months of 2010. The growth has been driven by shipments from Denmark, up by 28 per cent. Germany and Ireland also recorded increased imports but the Netherlands and Belgium shipped lower volumes. In contrast, bacon imports were down by 13 per cent year on year, with all major suppliers experiencing reduced shipments. Given that bacon consumption remains strong, this suggests that more imported pork is being cured in the UK.

Exports of fresh and frozen pork from the UK in September were nine per cent higher than in September 2010 at 14,000 tonnes, the second highest monthly total on record. As in most recent months, growth in exports to Hong Kong/China was a significant factor. However, there was also significant growth in volumes sent to some EU Member States, including Belgium, Denmark, France and Cyprus. In contrast, Ireland and the Netherlands took less British pork, whilst shipments to Germany were virtually unchanged compared to September 2010.

Pork exports for the first nine months of the year were up 17 per cent on the same period last year, totalling 108,000 tonnes. Germany remained the largest market, with shipments being four per cent higher than year earlier levels. Volume growth was seen in most significant markets, with only Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy taking less British pork.

Feed Prices
LIFFE wheat prices for May 2012 delivery have fallen over recent weeks as the markets react to uncertainty over the economic situation in the Eurozone. On 22 November, the price stood at £146 per tonne, down £9 per tonne since the end of October. French wheat prices have also declined over this period dropping €8 per tonne to €175 per tonne on 21 November.

The first supply and demand estimates for 2011-12 have been published by DEFRA. Feed usage of wheat is expected to increase five per cent year on year to 6.45 million tonnes. This offsets a projected decline in human and industrial usage, four per cent lower than 2010-11 at 6.91 million tonnes. Increased usage of wheat rather than barley in feed, due to price differentials, is a key reason behind this.

The Early Bird Survey produced by Andersons on behalf of HGCA/AHDB suggests that the 2012 wheat area will be unchanged at 1.97 million hectares. Increases are forecast in winter barley (up five per cent), oilseed rape (up seven per cent) and oats (up six per cent). Spring barley (down six per cent), pulses (down 22 per cent) and arable fallow (down 12 per cent) areas are predicted to reduce.

Strategie Grains has estimated that European wheat plantings for harvest in 2012 will be one per cent higher year on year at 23.2 million hectares. Wheat production is forecast at 135 million tonnes, four per cent above 2011 levels as yields are expected to increase. Barley plantings are expected to be lower at 4.55 million hectares, but higher yields could mean that production will still be higher.

The 2011 Russian grain harvest yielded 92 million tonnes clean weight, up from 61 million tonnes in the drought-hit 2010 season but less than 2009 levels. Ukraine’s grain harvest has reached 54.1 million tonnes compared with 41.2 million tonnes in 2010. A higher maize crop is responsible for the increase; at 22 million tonnes, it is double the 2010 harvest.

The USDA November forecasts put 2011/12 global wheat production 2.1 million tonnes higher than previously at 683.3 million tonnes with increases recorded in the EU and Kazakhstan. Global demand is forecast at 676.8 million tonnes, up 2.4 million tonnes in 2011/12 as feed demand increases.

Global maize production is forecast to reduce by 1.1 million tonnes in 2011/12 to 860 million tonnes as the US crop is expected to be lower. However, demand for maize in the US is forecast to reduce by 2.5 million tonnes due entirely to lower feed demand. High prices relative to wheat are anticipated to discourage demand for maize. For oilseeds, global soybean production in 2011/12 is forecast at 258.9 million tonnes, down marginally from October’s estimates.

UK FEMAS soyameal prices, ex-mill Liverpool, were quoted in week ended 19 November at £288 per tonne, down £1 per tonne on the previous week, and almost £20 per tonne lower than at the start of the month. Rapeseed meal prices increased £2 per tonne to average £155 per tonne for ex-mill Erith. However this was £5 per tonne lower than the levels at the end of October.

With prices for most components of pig feed falling, the average cost of production has begun to fall. Average costs in November are estimated to be about 3p per kg below those in October, with a further fall of 2p expected in December. Nevertheless, the November figure remains around 10p per kg below the DAPP, equivalent to a loss of around £8 per pig. The recent falls in feed prices could improve the situation but further falls will be needed for producers to return to a profitable situation.

 In the 12 weeks to 30 October 2011, the amount of fresh and pork purchased was up two per cent compared to the same period last year, while expenditure increased by seven per cent due to increased average prices. A major driver of the overall rise was increased purchases of loin roasting joints, up 41 per cent, driven by increased promotional activity. Other roasting joints sold in lower quantities due to fewer price promotions than a year ago. Purchases of pork belly were up by six per cent but households bought four per cent fewer loin steaks.

In the latest four-week period, households purchased eight per cent more fresh and frozen pork than a year earlier. Slightly higher prices meant expenditure was 10 per cent higher. Pork took market share from all other major meats, as overall purchases of meat were three per cent lower on the year. Sales of most cuts increased, with loin and shoulder roasting joints leading the way, with volumes up by 86 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. Purchases of pork belly were 15 per cent higher, whilst nine per cent more chops were sold. In contrast, purchases of frying steaks were down by eight per cent, whilst those of leg roasting joints were little changed.

In the latest four-week period, three per cent less bacon was purchased than a year earlier, although spending on bacon was slightly up as prices rose by four per cent. However, over the last 12 weeks, household purchases were still one per cent higher than a year earlier. Most processed pig meat products also recorded increased purchases in the last 12 weeks, with sausages up by four per cent and sliced cooked meats up by six per cent.

Trends in retail meat purchases (period ended 30 October 2011)

December 2011
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 22, 2011, 10:04:21 AM
BPEX Export Bulletin – December 2011 – Week 50
The British Pig Executive's (BPEX) Export Bulletin reports pig industry trends from around the world. Among the highlights are that the UK Government is to launch a food and drink export action plan in January, which is to include a strategy to remove animal health trade barriers in key markets such as China and Russia. Regulations on imports to South Africa of pork originating from non PRRS-free countries have been issued.

In his Autumn statement, the Chancellor announced that the Government will launch a food and drink export action plan in January 2012, including development of a cross-Government strategy on removing animal health trade barriers in key markets such as China and Russia; regional road-shows for prospective exporters; a food and drink business ambassador; and steps to reduce blockages to UK food exports. In addition a summit will be held in March 2012 to boost innovation in small agri-food businesses.

The much-delayed regulations on imports to South Africa of pork originating from non PRRS-free countries were issued on 5 December. The 22-page document is available from the export office. All such imports will be subjected to further processing. No date for implementation has been given but the EU and Canada plan to protest to the South African authorities prior to lodging a complaint to WTO as PRRS is not a notifiable disease under OIE rules. [For more information on PRRS, click here].

Heard at a meat conference at the National Veterinary School at Maisons-Alfort near Paris: ‘Meat and bone meal was initially used in Germany in the 1830s and it is about time that we stop making pigs vegetarian.’

New research programme on castration
The EU has committed €1.8 million in new research programmes regarding castration.
(Source, Agrarisch Dagblad)

On the European market, fresh legs are sold at unchanged or slightly decreasing prices. Other cuts are sold steadily at an unchanged price level. On the British bacon market, the situation remains unchanged compared to the latest weeks. Exports to third countries remain unchanged.
(Sources, Danish Crown, Tican, Danish Agriculture and Food Council)

New positive forecast
Expectations as to Danish pig prices for 2012 are strongly increasing. Danish Agriculture and Food Council predicts that the pig quote for all 2012 will end at €1.426 per kg compared to €1.400 at the latest forecast for pig prices in September. Hereby Danish Agriculture and Food Council follows other analysts that lately evaluated that next year pig prices will continue increasing. The forecasted pig quote excludes the annual residual payment to the co-operatively owners of the slaughterhouses. In particular, it is the prospect of a significantly better first quarter of 2012 which altogether will lead to an improvement of 2.6 cents per kg. In a commentary, the market analyst, Karsten Flemin, of Danish Agriculture and Food Council writes that he will make an upward adjustment of 8.7 cents per kg for the last quarter of the year due to the fine export markets outside the EU. In particular, the development of prices during the first six months of 2012 is expected to be somewhat better than previously expected.
(Source, Landbrug og fødevarer, Landbrugsavisen)

Pig producers will get increasing earnings
The long-expected progress in earnings for pig producers will really work through during 2012 and 2013 according to a new forecast from Danish Agriculture and Food Council. In particular, it is the case for piglet producers who will change from a deficit of €13,000 this year to an average profit of €100,000 in 2013. The slaughter pig producers can expect a more moderate increase from a profit of €13,000 this year to a profit of €53,000 in 2013. A strong improvement is expected in 2012 due to an improved exchange ratio combined with productivity improvements and continuing low interest rates. Prices of feed grain are expected to be slightly declining as well.
(Source, Landbrugsavisen)

DanePork expands daily production
The slaughterhouse DanePork is planning a strong expansion and has filed an application for permission to expand production from 90 tonnes to 600 tonnes daily for slaughtered pigs. It corresponds to slaughtering approximately 42,360 pigs weekly, and it will make DanePork reach almost half the size of Danish Crown at Horsens, which slaughters 100,000 pigs weekly. CEO of DanePork, Leo Groenvall, stresses that they do not plan to immediately carry out the expansion applied for.
DanePork, at first called Slagtergaarden St. Lihme A/S, is an independent, privately owned pig slaughterhouse situated near Vejle. It was established in 1989 and was approved by the EU in 1996. In 2001, the slaughterhouse was approved for exports to the US and Japan. DanePork employs approximately 140 dedicated employees.
(Source, Landbrugsavisen)

Charcuterie and football
Saïd Chabane, Head of the Charcuterie group Cosnelle based in the west of France (Sarthe department), is now the major shareholder of the football club, SCO Angers, that was in the French first league a few years ago. Charcuterie processor, Cosnelle, has a turnover of €55 million.

Madrange – end of story
Three months following the purchase of the cooked ham manufacturer, Madrange, the group Financière Turenne-Lafayette of Monique Piffaut re-baptised the company 'Limogeoise de Salaisons' (LDS). A €6-million programme of investments is now engaged and 137 permanent jobs will be removed from the Limoges sites and 102 interim contracts will not be renewed. Also, the pig meat boning plant will cease its activities. In the end, the ex-Madrange group will have lost €6 million in 2011.

If some people consider that prices should remained stable on Thursday at Plérin, others do not hesitate to think that an increase is possible. Everything will depend of the demand; offers are not expected to be higher. Abattoirs could hesitate due to the absence of additional public holidays for Christmas and New Year in France.

It is no great surprise that the market is very calm before Christmas. Sales are regular but not very good. At the same time, retailers maintain the pressure on prices. Abattoirs will be very watchful for the next commercial negotiations for the promotions of January.

As elsewhere, the market is calm before Christmas and the approaching holidays are not yet very noticeable in terms of meat sales. Filets are sold at slightly higher prices and loins are marketed a bit more quickly. Prices for meat for processing keep being subdued. Demand is expected to increase just briefly before the holidays.
(Source, AMI)

Import figures
Imports of meat and by-products into Germany have increased in volume by some seven per cent to 1.69 million tonnes and in value by 15 per cent to €4.15 billion between January and September 2011. Overall meat imports reached a value of about €5.1 billion and a volume of 2.03 million tonnes, of which meat products accounted for 17 per cent with the import volume having increased by 13 per cent to 343,500 tonnes. The pig meat sector accounted for nearly half of the overall imports with 99 per cent of the fresh and frozen pig meat imported (-2.6 per cent = 704,900 tonnes) originating from other EU member states.
(Source, fleischwirtschaft)

Label delayed
The first products carrying the Animal Welfare label developed jointly by VION, Coop Kiel and the German Association for Animal Protection (DTB) will only be hitting the Coop Kiel shelves by summer 2012. Norbert Barfuss, CEO of VION Food Germany, stated that the delayed launch was due to “not always the easiest of discussions” with the DTB.
(Source, topagrar)

Contingency plans
Agrarisch Dagblad reports that the main exporting Dutch agri-businesses, Friesland-Campina, Vion and Van Drie are preparing contingency plans in the case of serious financial trouble in the EU and further afield.

Weaner price on the way up
Weaner prices have shot up from €23 to €32 between weeks 42 and 48, reflecting a tightening of EU pork supplies.
(Source, Agrarisch Dagblad)

No maximum size for new pig units
Despite strong actions from lobbying groups – the latest involved people dressed as pigs having a mud bath in front of the Parliament in The Hague – and support from four small political parties, there is no appetite in the country to limit the size of pig units.
(Source, Agrarisch Dagblad)

Spanish courting COFCO
Rosa Agular, the Minister of Agriculture met the management of COFCO, the largest Chinese meat importer and a State-owned company. Spain is the fifth largest exporter of pork to China. The Minister offered to open a buying office for COFCO in Spain and invited the company to be guests of honour at Alimentaria.
(Source, Eurocarne)

The rise and rise of Vall Companys
The integrated company now produces 189,000 tonnes of pork (Patel, Frivall, Frimancha), 85,000 tonnes of poultry and 18,000 tonnes of beef. It has 1,900 associated farms under contract and employs 2,500 staff. It also owns one of the largest flour mills in Spain, giants feed mills, a logistics arms and stands as a manufacturer of veterinary products.
(Source, Vall Companys)

Republic of Ireland
Results of the June census
BPEX recently reported a surge of pig production in Ireland. This may only be due to higher productivity as the June census shows a drop of three per cent in the number of sows to 156,000. However, the five per cent increase in the numbers of maiden gilts seems to indicate a potential recovery.
(Source, Various).

ASF outbreaks in Orenburg oblast
After testing meat samples taken from pig corpses in several villages in Orenburg oblast, Rosselkhoznadzor veterinary officials detected the genetic material of the ASF virus in them. The total number of animals that died of ASF in this oblast is 34; 268 more were slaughtered to prevent the spread of ASF. Measures were taken by the local authorities to prevent the virus from spreading further. Quarantine was imposed on the territory of Totsky region of Orenburg oblast.

On the Russian-Kazakh border, disinfection barriers are built on nine border crossings in order to minimise the threat of ASF infection spreading to Kazakhstan. It should be mentioned that the deputy director of Rosselkhoznadzor and chief veterinary inspector of the Russian Federation, Nikolay Vlasov, suggests that the programme of fighting ASF should be managed by one of the vice prime ministers of the Russian Government, because in the process of the implementation of the programme, there is a need to coordinate work of different departments.
(Source, Rosselkhoznadzor)

Call for increase of import duties on pork
The Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation asked the Government to increase import duties on pork in order to protect domestic manufacturers. They asked to increase duties on the following kinds of pork: ‘other pork’ (the front side and its offal, Ukrainian Classification of Goods in external economic activity (UCGEEA) code: 0203291100), (loin and its offal, UCGEEA code: 0203291300), (rib with fat and its offal, UCGEEA code: 0203291500) from Brazil, Poland, Germany – from 10 per cent to 20 per cent; ‘frozen pig liver’ (UCGEEA code: 0206410000), ‘other sub products from domestic pigs’ from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland – from 12 per cent to 25 per cent; ‘pork fat and lard’ (UCGEEA code: 0209001100) from Poland, Germany and Netherlands – from 15 per cent to 30 per cent. According to the data provided by the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation, during 2008-2010, the import of ‘other pork’ (the front side and its offal, loin and its offal, and rib with fat and its offal) increased by 41 per cent; import of ‘sub products’ increased by 63 per cent; imports of pork fat increased by 23 per cent.

Ukrainian pig breeding: November 2011 results
At the beginning of December 2011, the total number of pigs in Ukraine was 7,835,800 – 5.5 per cent or 455,900 pigs fewer than the same date in 2010. Against the backdrop of a general decrease in pig population, there was a positive tendency of pork production registered in November. In November, there were 40,200 tonnes of pigs in live weight bred in Ukraine, and 36,800 tonnes of them were slaughtered. Because of a seasonal price increase, the average pork price reached UAH17,134 (US$2,139) per ton.
(Source, National Statistic Committee)

Exports freed
Member States have unanimously given their go-ahead to a draft Decision tabled by the Commission that will authorse trade of Romanian pig meat to other EU Member States. This is the first time that Romania is authorised after its accession because of the classical swine fever (CSF) situation that has however largely improved in the last years. During 2011, in view of this favourable situation Romania has developed a strategy based on a ‘channelled system’ that would allow fresh pig meat and pig meat products from certain designated farms operating a common enhanced bio-security management system and only through selected slaughterhouses and meat establishments. This system has been fine-tuned during the last months and finally Romania has substantiated the favourable situation and the reliability of the ‘channelled system’.
(Source, EC)

JBS posts loss
The world’s largest meat processor posted a loss of 67.5 million real (BRR; UK£23.8 million) in the third quarter, following a loss of BRR180.8 million (£63.7 million) in the second quarter, much of it related to losses incurred with its Pilgrim US chicken business. However, turnover of the UK pork business is up 12.3 per cent to US$867 million (£555 million).
(Source, Brazilian Meat Monitor)

New pork promotion body?
The parliament is tabling a motion for the creation of the Instituto de Promoción de la Carne Porcina Argentina to promote Argentine pork at home and abroad.
(Source, Eurocarne)

Agreement with China
Mexican producers’ associations have signed an accord of collaboration with China Meat Association. Mexico is in negotiations with AQSIQ.
(Source, Eurocarne)

Corn harvest revised up
The USDA has issued a new revised forecast for the corn harvest, an influential indicator of future feed price prices. With Canada, China and the EU also up on earlier forecasts, a record world corn harvest is expected.
(Source, USDA)

New Internet site regarding air pollution
Purdue and Michigan universities have a new portal to present a balanced view regarding livestock production and air pollution [click here].

L.E. Giles & Son's licence revoked
The Victoria abattoir has had its slaughtering licence revoked due to alleged breaches of animal welfare. Pigs must now travel much further to the other plants in the State. The business had operated for 60 years and was employing 34 people.

December 2011
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 29, 2011, 01:53:49 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Pig Industry Finishes Strong in 2011
UK - The end of the year normally marks a good time for a look back and a look ahead and on this occasion the pig industry has finished 2011 in a much stronger condition than at the start, writes Peter Crichton in his Traffic Lights commentary for 23 December.


Although there were some signs earlier in the week that shout price buyers might try and take a leaf out of Mr Scrooge's book, as it turned out most quotes were at generally positive stand-on levels with the odd copper or two more available from some outlets with spot bacon mainly traded in the 145p–150p range according to specification.

  1 January 2011 23 December 2011
DAPP 137.42p 147.66p
Spot bacon average 136.50p 147.75p
Tulip shout price 134.00p 146.00p
AHDB weaner price £41.69/head £44.12/head
Sow price 90p/kg 115p/kg
Wheat ex-farm £193.20/t £139.80/t
Euro 83.30p 83.36p

All of the shout prices remained unchanged following Tulip's decision to stand on at 146p last night, but it will be interesting to see how this much criticised pricing system stands up to the test next year when spot prices are expected to improve.

The latest placings in the shout price Partridge-in-a-Pear-Tree table are:

Partridge — Gill, Woodhead 148p
Turtle dove — Tulip 146p
French hens — Cranswick, Vion 144p

Despite turmoil in eurozone countries, a glance at the chart above reveals that the euro is worth almost exactly the same as at the start of the year, but producers are reminded of the instant effect any changes in the value of the euro can have on the price of imports and the value of cull sow exports.

On the subject of cull sows, this sector is showing the largest overall price rise since January, helped by much more competition now that we have Dawkins with an additional slaughter plant in Suffolk, and Cranswick are putting large volumes through their Watton Norfolk plant as well, so the number of outlets has effectively doubled and with transport costs continuing to rise two new East Anglian outlets have come as an early Christmas present to owners of breeding herds in the region.

Although very few culls are being moved next week, prices were generally holding firm in the 115p region, but shrewd sellers were still able to get a premium of a copper of two, space permitting. With reports of better home demand for sow manufacturing meat rather than it going to Europe, it will be interesting to see what effect this has on the overall market, especially at a time when sausage sales are soaring.

Weaner prices continued to recover after hitting a very flat spot in the middle of the year with the latest Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm weaner average rising to £44.12/head now that finishers have been able to lock in to cheaper rations due to falling cereal and soya prices.

The latest HGCA ex-farm feed wheat price is now £139/tonne and those who claim to know about these things are not suggesting any sharp prices rises in the next few months, but bear in mind that currency movements or the Chinese clicking their fingers for an extra few boat-loads can soon move the market one way or the other.

With the Olympics to look forward to in 2012 hopefully our beloved pig industry will remain as one of the winners rather than losers next year.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 08, 2012, 11:56:13 PM
Friday, January 06, 2012
Millions of Piglets' Lives Can be Saved
DENMARK - Research results regarding feeding are being applied directly in the sow barn with the result that piglets are given a better chance of survival. This means better finances for the farmer, improved welfare for the animals and better conditions for the climate and environment.

In Denmark almost every fourth piglet dies either during the farrowing process or within a few hours or days after its birth. The good news is that many of these young lives can be saved by applying research results from Aarhus University in the feeding of pregnant and lactating sows.

This is exactly what a new project led by the feed company DLG is focusing on. The project has been granted DKK 4.5 mill. by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Green Development and Demonstration Programme (GUDP).

Optimized sow feeding can help increase piglet survival rates. Scientists from Aarhus University are collaborating with the industry to apply research results directly in the pigpen. [Photo: Janne Hansen]
The project aims at optimizing sow feeding in the transition period comprising the last part of gestation and the first part of lactation. The goal is to reduce piglet mortality, minimize nutrient surplus and reduce the impact on the environment.

In the course of the project DLG will develop a new sow feeding concept that builds on knowledge created by scientists from Aarhus University. Thereafter, the Pig Research Centre will demonstrate the effect of the concept and generate new recommendations for advisors and farmers.

Research-based feeding on the farm
In the first part of the project the scientists from Aarhus University will create more knowledge about how the sow’s production of colostrum and milk is improved by the new feed programme for the transition period from the last part of the sow’s gestation to the first part of her lactation. This knowledge will be used by DLG to compose new nutrient packages and transition feeds so that they can act together with the scientists’ new feeding strategy to provide the sows with an optimal nutrient supply.

"In Denmark and other countries sow feeding is based on what is practically viable for the feed industry and the farmer. Sow feeding is not based on what is optimal for the sow. This can have unfortunate consequences – particularly in the transition phase from gestation to lactation," said senior scientist Peter Kappel Theil from Aarhus University.

Typically, the sow will switch from gestation feed to lactation feed about one week before farrowing. She will thus be fed a lactation feed in the last part of her gestation, in the early part of her lactation and when her lactation is at its peak. The feed’s composition matches the sow’s requirements at the peak of lactation but not the other periods.

The first two days of a piglet’s life are the most critical and it is during this time period that mortality is at its highest. A high colostrum production is an important prerequisite for keeping the newborn piglet alive. The sow produces most of her colostrum in the week prior to farrowing which is exactly the same period in which she has to adjust to lactation feed.

The all-important fatty acids
If the sow is to satisfy her piglets’ interests as well as possible, then the feeding of her at the end of her gestation and the beginning of her lactation must be changed markedly.

In a recent study the scientists found that short-chained fatty acids increase sow colostrum production. These fatty acids originate from bacterial fibre metabolism in the sow’s caecum and large intestine. When the sow is subjected to a feed change it affects the bacterial metabolism. In addition, lactation feed contains less fibre than gestation feed. Both these factors affect colostrum production negatively.

"The reduced fibre content can also easily lead to constipation, which in turn can lead to farrowing difficulties," said Dr Theil.

The fibre content is but one of the factors the scientists will investigate in the new project. Earlier studies at Aarhus University have also shown that feed fatty acid content and composition affect colostrum production and that the feed dose is also an important factor.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 11, 2012, 03:35:04 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
EU Pig Prices: Markets Strongly Uncertain
EU - This current week, the slaughter companies are in the position to have clear price reductions being enforced on almost all European markets.

With nine cents in Germany and eight cents in the Netherlands these countries report the most important price reductions. Thursday last week already, even before the prices were announced by the producers’ association, VION had corrected their price by 10 cents downward, thus exerting massive pressure on the market.

As a result, stronger pressure was exerted on other neighbouring countries of Germany, such as Austria and Belgium where a six cents’ minus was noted. A comparably small price reduction (minus four cents) was reported from Denmark. So, Denmark goes on benefitting from the stable meat business towards Great Britain and Asia, in particular towards Japan and China.

Trend for the German market:
The prices above all for ham and rolled fillet of ham have come under severe pressure. The business is going very slowly, which is typical for this time of year. The prices for neck, shoulder and belly went down less, because those pieces on the one hand are either stored for the next barbecue season and, on the other hand, are supported by exports to Asia and South Korea in particular. From today’s point of view, an assessment can hardly be made on whether or not the demand for pork at strongly reduced costs will get brisker and the producer prices can be stabilised this way.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 12, 2012, 03:53:35 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Where Does our Pork Come From?
UK - More and more people are thinking about where their pork comes from after they were challenged by the Pork Promise campaign run by BPEX.

The campaign, which was launched in autumn 2011, used outdoor poster, print and online advertisements, and engaging social media activity to reach consumers and highlight the reasons to choose quality assured pork.

Latest research has shown increased awareness of Red Tractor pork with consumers suggesting they are actively motivated to look for the logo when shopping, as well as putting Love Pork in the top ten Facebook pages with the highest consumer engagement rate.

BPEX Head of Marketing Chris Lamb, said: “Consumer response to the advertising message has been positive. There are high levels of awareness, understanding and likeability of the adverts, which included thought-provoking headlines such as ‘Pork not Porkies’ and ‘Grill it before you buy it’.

“Eight out of ten consumers said the advertising made them think where their pork comes from, 77 per cent think Red Tractor pork has higher standards than other pork and over half are more likely to look actively for the Red Tractor.

Chris said the social media element of the BPEX campaign had been a tremendous success.

He said: “Love Pork has grown its consumer base on Facebook to well over 70,000 ‘likes’ and has an engagement rate equalling those achieved by some of the UK’s biggest consumer brands active on Facebook, including Sony UK and Walkers.”

While the campaign will continue throughout 2012, with further advertising executions public affairs, consumer PR and online activity, BPEX is also calling on the supply chain to back the Pork Promise on the Love Pork website and Facebook page and raise awareness of the campaign amongst their customers.

Given the welfare legislation changes that will come into effect throughout the rest of the EU on 1 January 2013, with the introduction of the partial ban on sow stalls, BPEX is urging retailers to put in place as soon as possible the dedicated supply chain arrangements that will ensure the guaranteed supply of Red Tractor and/or EU-compliant pork and pork products.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 18, 2012, 03:23:40 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
EU Pig Prices: Pig Prices Reach Bottom
EU - It seems that the bottom has been reached on the EU markets with regard to pig prices.

The quotations in France, Denmark and Spain went down by 2 to 3 cents, but after last week’s 9 cents’ reduction of the German leading quotation, this seems to be quite a moderate price reduction. Apart from the unchanged German quotation, no price changes were reported from many other countries such as Austria and Italy.

So it looks quite questionable a matter whether or not the market assessments, which were made by some of the major German slaughter companies over past days, were justified. It rather seems to be a kind of strategy pursued by the German companies – and VION in particular – that the prices are already announced in writing to the suppliers on Thursday although valid for the next week only. With prices falling far behind the real demand-supply ratio on the live-animals’ market, fear is obviously meant to be fuelled of house prices.

Furthermore, pressure seems to be intended to be exerted on those who register prices. Or should it be possible that the pricing system, which is widely accepted by producers, marketers and slaughter companies all over Germany, is intended to be pushed ad absurdum? What’s for sure is that all parties involved are very much rattled by such negative market assessments. This also goes for the buyers of pork. A negative price spiral for the whole value chain would be the consequence.

Trend for the German market: Currently, the quantities of pigs mature for slaughter on offer are rather below average and are constantly in demand. According to what market participants report, the demand on the part of the slaughter companies is currently exceeding the offer. So, for the week ahead stable quotations are the least thing expected.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 19, 2012, 02:45:11 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Meat Industry Hits Back over Cancer and Meat Claims
UK - The British pig industry has hit back following the publication in the British Journal of Cancer by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm suggesting eating two rashers of bacon a day can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 19 per cent.

A statement from the British Pig Executive, BPEX, said: "There is no evidence that a moderate intake of lean red meat, when consumed as part of a healthy balanced diet, has any negative health effects.

"It is over-simplistic and misleading to link a single food or category of food to a specific disease such as cancer. Cancer like other chronic diseases is multi-factorial and a wide range of diet and lifestyle factors are thought to contribute.

"One of the key limitations of these types of studies is that processed meat is typically poorly defined. As a category it encompasses a wide range of products and patterns of consumption differ around the world.

"Average consumption of bacon in this country is well below the amount mentioned in the report so the vast majority of people would have nothing to worry about."

In a report on the website Sense about Science, Nigel Hawkes, Director of Straight Statistics says: “According to the researchers the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is quite small, one in 77 for men and one in 79 for women. Office of National Statistics mortality figures don't quite agree. They show 7,146 people dying of pancreatic cancer in 2009, out of a total of 489,097 deaths, i.e. one in 68.

"If eating one less sausage a day reduced the risks by 19 per cent, as the paper suggests, the risk of dying of pancreatic cancer would be reduced to one in 84. The deaths saved per year would be 1,357. If we take the population of the UK to be 60 million, and assume 50 million eat sausages (subtracting infants and vegetarians) then more than 36,000 people would have to make this dietary change to save one death per year.”

The report adds: "In our Making Sense of Statistics guide writer and broadcaster Michael Blastland said: 'Why do reports prefer to talk about relative percentage risks without mentioning the absolute risk? The suspicion must be that this allows the use of ‘bigger numbers’: 20 per cent is big enough to be a scare, an absolute change of one per cent or even 1 person in every 100, is less disturbing'.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 20, 2012, 01:37:05 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Animal Protein Feed for Fish Only, Says FEFAC
EU - Last year, the European Commission put forward a proposal to lift the 11 year old feed ban for non-ruminant processed animal proteins (PAPs) to non-ruminant farm animals on scientific and sustainability grounds.

The European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) says that that the proposed zero-tolerance for intra-species recycling would make the use of non-ruminant PAPs practically impossible in the feed chain outside aquafeed production.

The European Commission presented its TSE Roadmap II proposals in July 2010, in which they concluded that the fight against the BSE disease has been successful thanks to the stringent public health measures taken at EU level, among which the total feed ban for the feeding of processed animal proteins to food producing animals introduced in 2001.

On the basis of this conclusion, the European Commission has tabled a draft proposal in 2011 foreseeing a lifting of the feed ban measure for the feeding of non-ruminant processed animal proteins to pigs, poultry and fish. In other words, the European Commission intends to reauthorise the feeding of:

poultry meal to pigs;
pigmeal to poultry;
pig and poultry meals to farmed fish under strict conditions.
The main control requirements linked to this proposal therefore are the single species dedication of the whole production chain from slaughterhouse to farm level and the “zero-tolerance” requirement based on analytical controls using the official microscopic method and the new PCR test whose main role is to identify the species-specific animal proteins in feed. Ruminant and the feeding of processed animal proteins to ruminant animals remain banned.

FEFAC members are supporting the reauthorisation of non-ruminant as a valuable protein source, under practical conditions, based on the positive opinions of EFSA on the safety of and their positive contribution to improve sustainability of EU livestock production.

FEFAC members are requesting the setting of a practical tolerance for in non-target monogastric feeds, in order to allow the use of these products in monogastric feed mills, producing feed for poultry and pigs on the same production site.

FEFAC members therefore recommend implementing a step-wise approach by limiting the reauthorisation of non-ruminant processed animal proteins for use in fishfeed only, until the EU has validated a quantification method.

The EU fishfeed sector is the only sector whose production lines are fully dedicated. In line with the EU policy objectives for the sustainable development of EU Aquaculture, EU fishfeed producers could use non-ruminant processed animal proteins to replace fishmeal.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 20, 2012, 09:53:45 PM
Friday, January 20, 2012
Pork Turning Up the Volume
UK - Last year was good for fresh and frozen pork as volume sales were 2.2 per cent up on the year – the only meat to show an increase.

Bacon too was riding high with a 3.5 per cent increase year-on-year and sausages were in the same league, up by 3.1 per cent.

BPEX Head of Marketing Chris Lamb said: "People are switching to pork as they continue to recognise that it is extremely good value for money, versatile, convenient, for money, healthy and nutritious."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 25, 2012, 03:18:43 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
EU Pig Prices: Scarce Supply Makes Prices Go Up
EU - In line with the German quotation, which went up by 9 cents on Friday, the prices in other EU member countries also increased.

In the Netherlands and in Austria, the market is only narrowly supplied, and thus the slaughter companies’ demand cannot be covered sufficiently. Consequentially, the prices went up by 9 cents in the Netherlands and by 8 cents in Austria. In Belgium too, a clear mark-up of plus 7 cents could be pushed through. The prices in Denmark did not go up this week, but from there as well decreasing supply is reported about. In France and Spain, the prices also remained on last week’s level.

As a result of the German and Dutch price increases, the gaps between the individual European quotations narrowed considerably this week. Germany is now leading the ranking list of the five most important pig producers in Europe, closely followed by Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and France.

Trend for the German market: At present, all that happens is strongly influenced by the live-animals’ market given its scarce supply. In the face of the steady demand for pigs mature for slaughter, the slaughter companies’ statement cannot be understood that the meat business were very unsatisfactory. As a result of the scarce supply, the slaughter companies should soon be able to pass on the increased start-up costs to the next level in the process. At the beginning of the week, the pigs are well demanded even at the new market price and too little quantities are available. Thus, further price increases are expected to be the consequence.

Week 48 1.576 € 1.513 € 1.614 € 1.556 € 1.578 € 1.502 € 1.584 € 1.873 € 1.571 € 1.479 € 1.658 € 1.226 € 1.411 €
Week 49 1.576 € 1.522 € 1.615 € 1.556 € 1.555 € 1.531 € 1.677 € 1.842 € 1.565 € 1.479 € 1.678 € 1.249 € 1.411 €
Week 50 1.576 € 1.522 € 1.615 € 1.556 € 1.567 € 1.582 € 1.651 € 1.829 € 1.565 € 1.479 € 1.703 € 1.153 € 1.411 €
Week 51 1.576 € 1.522 € 1.561 € 1.544 € 1.539 € 1.632 € 1.677 € 1.829 € 1.546 € 1.479 € 1.717 € 1.151 € 1.411 €
Week 52 1.496 € 1.446 € 1.534 € 1.482 € 1.499 € 1.613 € 1.674 € 1.778 € 1.527 € 1.417 € 1.697 € 1.107 € 1.411 €
Week 01 1.496 € 1.446 € 1.534 € 1.482 € 1.473 € 1.568 € 1.622 €   1.502 € 1.396 € 1.658 € 1.114 € 1.411 €
Week 02 1.406 € 1.369 € 1.493 € 1.421 € 1.465 € 1.533 € 1.589 € 1.665 € 1.493 € 1.335 € 1.630 € 1.070 € 1.411 €
Week 03 1.406 € 1.369 € 1.466 € 1.408 € 1.440 € 1.469 €   1.665 € 1.470 € 1.335 € 1.570 € 1.064 € 1.411 €
Week 04 1.496 € 1.455 € 1.466 € 1.482 € 1.440 €     1.551 € 1.470 € 1.417 € 1.523 € 1.077 € 1.411 €

1corrected quotation: The official Quotations of the different countries are corrected, so that each quotation has the same base (conditions).
base: 56 per cent lean meat; farm-gate-price; 79 per cent killing out percentage, without value-added-tax (VAT)

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 30, 2012, 11:39:15 PM
Monday, January 30, 2012
Danish Pig Sector Internationally Competitive
DENMARK - The Danish pig industry is in many respects competitive with foreign countries, but the historic gap is eaten up by distorting terms, according to a new analysis of the entire pig sector's competitiveness.

Exports of pork are one of Denmark's main exports and has had, for many years, a major impact on the country's total export revenue.

"Denmark shows records of specialisation in the country's exports made by the OECD, the top five Danish products are from the food industry," says Leif Nielsen, Chief Economist, Business Organisation Food & Agriculture.

Danish pork has historically had a relatively large impact on its exports. Over the past year, growth has been put under pressure due to competitiveness. Countries such as Spain, Holland, and Germany have, in recent years, greatly increased their exports of pork.

Competitors' success is due to favourable conditions for both primary producers and processors. High taxes, environmental costs and administrative burdens have further deteriorated the conditions in an otherwise strong Danish industry.

"The Danish slaughterhouses have managed to develop exports to new markets such as China. This is seen by the export of meat increasing by 24 per cent from DKK 970 million in 2009 to DKK 1.2 billion in 2010. We do not expect it to stop here, there is a potential for over DKK 2.5 billion to be exported to China by 2019," says Mr Nielsen.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 30, 2012, 11:41:13 PM
Friday, January 27, 2012
Improving AI to Improve Commercial Pig Herd
UK - Fresh work on the study of porcine semen production could go a long way to improving the commercial pig herd in the UK, writes editor in chief, Chris Harris.

Over the last 20 years, the research into boar semen production has been limited and the research that has been carried out in continental Europe often has not been wholly applicable to the industry in the UK.

The continental research has naturally been tailored to the specific needs of that industry – often catering for large indoor operations.

In the UK, 40 per cent of the sows are served outdoors under a wide range of environmental conditions.

In Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, many of the studs are close to the major pig production centres.

However, in the UK, according to Sue Corning, the general manager of PIC UK, the focus on a high level of health and biosecurity means that the majority of the studs are based remotely from the pig population concentrations. This, in turn, means that when breeding operations are being served through artificial insemination, there are increased travelling times for the semen batches.

The research and development that is being carried out by pig breeding company, PIC, at its Genetic Transfer Centre in Bedfordshire in the UK aims to ease the use of artificial insemination in the commercial environment.

The use of AI on the farm has several key areas where it can also improve the commercial practices and the commercial viability of the pig farm through:

Improved accuracy of the genetic improvement programme
Faster genetic dissemination
Access to top indexed boars at commercial level
Known semen quality
Improved health control supporting Closed Herd Semen only programmes
Supporting Batch Farrowing Programmes
Flexibility to meet varying market requirements.

Sue Corning, general manager of PIC UK.Ms Corning said that AI helps to speed up the commercial use of genetics by ensuring a swift transfer of the boar genetic nucleus down to the commercial level and while improvements in traits such as robustness are being developed in the genetic nucleus they can also be transferred straight to the farm.

There is also an opportunity to use a wider range of products through AI bringing clear benefits.

In pig production across Europe, the use of AI is commonplace with 95 per cent of production in the Netherlands being through AI and 97 per cent in Denmark.

The Dutch industry has around 920,000 with farm sizes on average 400 sows per farm and 4.5 million AI doses issued per year.

However, in the UK, the uptake is just 75 per cent and over the last few years, the UK has been fairly static in its use of AI.

According to Ms Corning, the average farrowing rate in the UK is 75.79 per cent while the top farrowing rate is around 95 per cent. If this gap between the average and the top can be closed, it could be worth up to £100 per sow to the farmer and a total of £40 million to the industry as a whole.

The new PIC R&D centre in the UK acts as a staging post between the studs and the farms. It acts to work to improve on-farm reproductive performance to retain and improve the competitiveness of UK pig producers.

The centre with its state of the art technology is continually receiving samples from its boar stud units around the UK. In all, 650 boars are tested every four weeks and PIC has set a target that if there are more than 30 per cent abnormalities in each ejaculate then the boar is withdrawn from commercial sales. The boar is then tested on a weekly basis and if the abnormalities do not improve, the boar is taken out of the system completely.


The Hamilton Thorn – IVOS equipmentThe latest equipment with a Hamilton Thorn – IVOS – an integrated visual optics system for sperm analysis using strobed illumination to visualise sperm motion showing results for sperm which are motile, progressively motile and static, a fluorescence microscope that allows a sample to be illuminated with a light of a specific wavelength, which fluorophores (stains previously attached to the sperm) will absorb, then emit light at a longer wavelength (fluorescence allowing the determination of live and dead sperm cells, the morphology of live sperm and capacitation status and a NucleoCounter SP-100, which measures sperm cell concentration and viability in raw and diluted semen samples, allows the research team to find and select the strongest and best boars from the stud).


Fluorescence microscopeWhile at the moment, the research is looking at the motility and health of the stud samples, work at the laboratory will focus on projects directly relevant to the UK pig industry with the overall objective of improving reproductive performance on farm.

Work areas, over time, are likely to include: the effect of temperature on semen production and viability including the effect of temperature in boar accommodation, in drop-off boxes and semen storage units; the effect of UV exposure on semen quality; improved monitoring of morphology; more detailed review of factors which affect morphology, and comparisons of extenders used as part of the semen production process.

The centre is also a training centre for people on the studs and also for farms where the flat­pack semen batches are dispatched.

It also acts as the hub for dispensing the flat­pack AI packs to about 130 farms a week from the Channel Islands to the Orkney Islands.

Chris Harris, Editor-in-Chief
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 01, 2012, 06:43:09 AM
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
EU Pig Prices: Scarcity Continues to Raise Prices
EU - Like last week, this week too sees that the supply of slaughter pigs available on the European markets is insufficient for the most part to cover demand.

As a consequence, the quotations continued to go up in the majority of the European countries. In France, the producers were able to push through a price which exceeds by 6 cents the last week’s price as a result of the scarce supply.

The prices in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria developed in a synchronous way, just as they had over the past weeks. There, the prices went up by 5 cents. In Spain, a 3 cents’ price increase could be realised. Germany now has seized the top position within the European price structure, closely followed by Belgium and the Netherlands.

The price level currently prevailing is a quite unusual one to be documented in the month of January. Such prices were lastly quoted in 2001, when the market was strongly characterised by the BSE crisis. The supply getting scarcer in Europe must well be attributed to the bad economic situation the piglet producers had to cope with over the past two years.

The decisive impetus given to the market is based on booming exports to non-EU countries and to Russia and the Asian countries in particular. From the producers’ point of view the price level prevailing currently is a very welcome one. Yet, the producers find it long overdue for covering the considerably increased costs in pig production.

Trend for the German market: The atmosphere proves to be friendly on the German market. Even at the new prices, the pigs mature for slaughter are well in demand. In view of the scarce market supply, the increased prices should as well be enforceable in trade and industry. On top of that, this week’s icy temperatures will most probably be resulting in a decreasing quantity of supply. Therefore, the prices are expected to remain steady at least.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 03, 2012, 01:26:24 AM
Thursday, February 02, 2012
British Pork Production Highest Since 2002
UK - Last year, United Kingdom pig slaughterings were their highest since 2002, at 9.8m head — up six per cent on the previous year.

The key driver was increased productivity, which is being seen across much of the European herd, and for which the PCV2 vaccines can claim some of the credit.

Scotland recorded the strongest growth, up 12 per cent on the previous year. Northern Ireland was up five percent.

Official figures no longer cover sow slaughterings, but Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board estimates 250,000 culls were killed during 2011, 13 per cent more than in 2010.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 07, 2012, 10:38:23 AM
Monday, February 06, 2012
European Pig Prices Starting to Fall
GLOBAL - Following the end of the dioxin crisis in Germany at the end of January 2011, the EU cull sow market gradually recovered and prices increased steadily through most of the year.

Prices were in general slightly higher than year earlier levels, particularly in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

After reaching a peak in early December, prices have started to fall back.

After several years of intense cow culling, the Brazilian beef industry is still facing lower availability of cattle for slaughter, according to the AHDB European Market Survey.

The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) show cattle slaughterings in the year to September were almost three per cent down on 2010 at 21.5 million head. Production fell by five per cent year on year to five million tonnes indicating a marked fall in carcase weights.

Increased domestic demand and hence firm beef prices, plus a strong real, put pressure on export levels in 2011. Exports of fresh and frozen beef declined 14 per cent year on year.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 11, 2012, 10:53:00 AM
Thursday, February 09, 2012
2011 Pork Imports Higher Than a Year Ago
UK - Imports of fresh and frozen pork from January to November 2011 were three per cent higher compared to the same months of 2010.

According to BPEX's UK Pig Meat Market Update, improvement in herd productivity was the main driver that led to an increase of 6 per cent in clean pig slaughterings during 2011. This is the highest level recorded in the last nine years.

Pigs were marketed earlier due to high feed costs. This led to little change in the average carcase weight of clean pigs. However, this resulted in a temporary cutoff in the steady upward trend of previous years.

During the month of December, producers tend to market pigs before the holiday season, and as a result, clean pig carcase weights tend to decline. The December 2011 reduction was lower than usual, so the average carcase weight was higher compared to December 2010.

UK imports of fresh and frozen pork during November 2011 was one per cent higher than in November 2010. The value of imports rose by as much as 14 per cent as prices were significantly higher.

Imports of fresh and frozen pork during the first eleven months of 2011 also rose by 3 per cent compared to the same months of 2010. The growth was driven by imports from Denmark, Germany and France. However, the Netherlands and Belgium shipped substantially lower volumes in comparison.

Exports of fresh and frozen pork from the UK during November 2011 was 18 per cent lower compared to the same month the previous year. Hong Kong was the country's largest market, taking in 22 per cent of pork exports. On the other hand, exports to EU countries dropped by more than 30 per cent compared to a year earlier.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 15, 2012, 02:34:12 AM
Monday, February 13, 2012
Spanish and European Hog Market
EU - Hog live prices have been going down over the last weeks of December and most of January, which is usual for this time of the year, writes Javier Santamartina from Sales & Service at Genesus Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Traditionally hog prices in Spain push up a little higher around 6th to 7th week of the year. However in 2011 the prices started to increase a little bit before these weeks. This year the prices have been steady which is not normal because of higher pork available, but packing plants are freezing pork and store it up for the months ahead when the price will be higher.

Pork primal cuts are receiving a lot of pressure on decreasing value. Also Spaniards are having a hard time selling hams for this time of the year. The good news is that the amount of market hogs is lower helping prices.

In Italy, for example, the breakeven will arrive later for the national swine industry, meanwhile in other European countries with more activity on international markets, like Denmark price goes much better. In fact, just last week Denmark reinitiated selling pork to Russia.

Korea keeps the demand of belly at its maximum point and it is expected that China will continue pushing for more pork over the next months. There are concerns in Europe about how to satisfy demand from countries like Korea or China. Is USA, Brazil or EU prepared for even a higher demand? On the other hand the exchange rate between Euro and American Dollar is helping Europeans to go a little further in international markets. But also a weaker Euro makes cost of production even higher here in Europe because grains (soybean specially) and fuels are more expensive.

The International Monetary Fund IMF has released a new document showing no growth for Spain’s economy over the next 2 years. On top of that new environmental and animal welfare regulations are ready to take place in the country. Currently about 30 per cent to 40 per cent of pig farms meet 2013 standards.

At the beginning of 2011 a lot of clouds were on the horizon for pork producers. At the end the reality showed different results. If is fair to say it was not a brilliant year in terms of profits, neither was a nasty year. Most of people had breakeven and some made some profits.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for week of 30 January 2012
Country Domestic price
(own currency) US$
(per pound liveweight)
USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 86.75¢
US$/lb carcass 64.19¢
Canada (Ontario) 1.59
C$/kg carcass 57.91¢
Mexico (DF) 25.08
MXP/kg liveweight 89.83¢
Brazil (south region) 2.45
BRR/kg liveweight 64.42¢
Russia 92
RUB/kg liveweight $1.39
China 17.04
RMB/kg liveweight $1.22
Spain 1.16
€/kg liveweight 68.82¢

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 16, 2012, 01:26:56 AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Danes Cut Pre-Weaning Mortality through Breeding
ANALYSIS - By including piglet survival rate at five days of age as a breeding objective, researchers at the University of Aarhus in Denmark have already had success in cutting pre-weaning mortality from its previous 25 per cent, writes senior editor, Jackie Linden.

According to a University of Aarhus report, it was not unusual for 25 per cent of Danish piglets to die before weaning, mostly within the first few days of life. Furthermore, the mortality rate was on the rise as the main focus of the breeding programme had been on numbers born.

The University had identified a number of alternatives for reducing the mortality rate, one of which was through the use of genetic tools and as early as 2004, the industry had begun to adjusted its breeding objectives to take into account piglet survival rates to five days of age.

Senior scientist, Peer Berg, from Aarhus University who is one of the geneticists behind the founding research, commented: "The report confirms that the introduction of the day five breeding target has reduced mortality in breeding and [multiplier] herds and that this improvement, in time, is expected to be reflected in production herds.

"We can expect that the reduced mortality in the breeding and propagation herds will make it through to the production herds within the next five years," he added.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 21, 2012, 01:52:00 AM
Friday, February 17, 2012
HKScan Grows Stronger in Last Quarter
FINLAND - Finnish pig meat processor HKScan’s net sales rose to €2 491.3 million last year compared to €2 113.9 million the year before - a rise of 17.9 per cent.

The company said that the protracted challenges in the pork business began to ease towards the end of the year and the situation is stabilising, especially in the market area of Finland.

There have been no significant changes in market position in any of the Group’s market areas during the year. The market position continued to strengthen in Finland, however.

EBIT came in at €39.6 million compared to €48.0 million in 2010. EBIT for 2012 is expected to be better than 2011.

Net financial expenses rose considerably during the year compared with the previous year was considerable, because of higher loan margins. They were up to -€30.9 million compared to -€13.8 million.

CEO Matti Perkonoja said: "HKScan’s EBIT in the last quarter of 2011 recovered after the poor trend at the beginning of the year. The quarter went as expected, and in terms of performance, was the year’s best.

"HKScan’s market position is strong in all the company’s market areas and there have not been any significant changes in it.

"In Finland, sales price increases implemented at the end of the year and cuts in costs, for their part, returned the profitability of the business to a better level. The transition to more controlled contract production in the pork chain is proceeding as planned. The most important launch in 2011 in Finland was Rapeseed pork, which turned out to be commercially very successful.

"HKScan is launching similar pork meat on the Swedish market in 2012 under the name Svensk Rapsgris.

"In Sweden, the market continued to be challenging throughout the year.

"Swedish meat raw materials are in short supply and producer prices are high. Meat imports to Sweden have increased significantly, which is largely based on the favourable exchange rate situation for importers.

"In Denmark, considerable effort was devoted in 2011 to the new structuring of the business. In accordance with its strategy, Rose Poultry is developing fresh produce for its domestic markets, especially for Sweden.

"In the Baltics and Poland, strong development of the business continued both in the last quarter and throughout the whole year.

"The Group's financial costs have increased substantially. A key near-term goal is to strengthen cash flow and with this to reduce interest-bearing liabilities.

"Meat consumption has increased in all the Group’s market areas. Consumers want high-quality and responsibly produced food. The Group is a responsible player in the meat sector whose starting point in product development and production is excellent taste and high quality. The basis is an efficient and transparent production chain.

"In 2011, a corporate responsibility scheme was implemented by the HKScan Group in the subsidiaries in Finland, Sweden and the Baltics. In Denmark, Rose Poultry A/S joined the scheme during the year.

"The problems in the global economy have only a minimal impact on consumer demand for HKScan’s products, as the Group’s comprehensive product portfolio offers options for the diverse needs of different consumers groups.

The prevailing trend in which the consumer market is becoming fragmented into smaller consumer groups is continuing to grow. Successful operators in the industry are those who understand and exploit the change more readily. A key success factor for the future is to develop the offering under the strong brands of the HKScan Group to meet consumer expectations. The taste and quality of food, sustainable production methods and the positive experience engendered by good food are highlighted.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 22, 2012, 02:45:28 AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Pig Meat Demand Fairly Stable in Denmark
GLOBAL - In 2011 German consumers bought less meat and meat products compared to the previous year. However, in 2011, Germany was again the world’s largest exporter of fresh and frozen pig meat.

Pig meat demand on the Danish market has been fairly stable throughout January and into February. However, by the end of January, there was a slight decline in supply from slaughterhouses, leading to a push in prices. Danish Crown estimates that it will be possible to sell 100,000 more organic pigs than the current amount. The only setback lies in inadequate supply of pigs to sell. Prospects are that production of organic pigs will stay unchanged.

In France, and in Europe in general, offer is on the decline. At the same time, demand is high, particularly for exports.

Demand on the German wholesale market has been staying quiet. Last year, consumers bought less meat and meat products compared to 2010. According to data, 2.2 per cent less meat was purchased. Pig meat and beef prices rose by 9.4 and 4.4 per cent respectively. Germany was marked as the number one exporter of fresh and frozen pig meat in the world last year. Between January and December 2011, 1.41 million tonnes of pig meat was exported.

The Governor of the Russian province, Kuban, Aleksander Tkachov, laid off deputy-governors because they did not show professional skills in the fight against ASF, according to BPEX's Weekly Export Bulletin. The Governor also passed several regulations to help stop the disease. Also, according to the country's Ministry of Agriculture, production of pork trebled over the last half decade.

Chinese pig meat production has dropped by 3 per cent. Direct imports of pork rose in 2011. The USA comprised more than half, followed by Denmark, Canada, Spain, France and Germany.

South African retailers are expanding aggressively all over Sub-Saharan Africa and are due to benefit from rising consumption in these parts. Food labelling remains a difficult area with the new GMO labelling legislation postponed and country of origin labelling for meat yet to be implemented.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 23, 2012, 08:05:10 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Pig Farmers Back in the Black
DENMARK - Early indications are that the profitability of pig production improved in 2011 and producers are seeing modest profits again, a situation which is forecast to improve further this year.

The first accounts to be finalised indicate that in 2011, pig farms returned to profitability, according to BPEX, citing a report in Landbrugsavisen.

The first 61 accounts for all types of pig farms from LandboNord, LandboSyd and LROE show an average operating result of €10,000. Compared to 2010, this represents an improvement of €35,000. The pig farms improved their operating results by approximately €19,000 after modest increases of capacity costs. Interest costs increased slightly due to higher debt and higher interest on debts to banks.

The forecast for 2012 indicates an improvement of €65,000 in average gross margin.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 24, 2012, 02:55:27 AM
UK Slaughter Statistics - February 2012
UK clean pig slaughterings for January 2012 were 943,000 head and pig meat production was 78,000 tonnes.

Key Points
Pigs: UK clean pig slaughterings were 5 per cent higher than in January 2011 at 943 thousand head. Pigmeat production was 78 thousand tonnes, a rise of 5 per cent on January 2011.
Cattle: UK prime cattle slaughterings were 12 per cent lower than in January 2011 at 185 thousand head. Beef and veal production was 84 thousand tonnes, 11 per cent lower than in January 2011.
Sheep: UK clean sheep slaughterings were 4 per cent lower than in January 2011 at 978 thousand head. Mutton and lamb production was 23 thousand tonnes, 5 per cent lower than in January 2011.
Section 1. UK monthly slaughter estimates
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom. The survey is run according to statistical, rather than calendar months, the number of weeks in the statistical month is specified below.

Table 1: UK Monthly Slaughter Estimates
Thousand Head
United Kingdom November 2011
4 weeks December 2011
4 weeks January 2012
5 weeks
Clean Pigs 829 743 943
Sows and Boars * * *
Steers 81 69 89
Heifers 66 57 74
Young Bulls 21 17 22
Cows and Adult Bulls 63 46 59
Calves 7 5 6
Other Sheep and Lambs 1136 1007 978
Ewes and Rams 171 158 171
* Data are confidential

Section 2. UK average dressed carcase weights
This table shows the monthly average dressed carcase weight of livestock slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom.

Table 2. UK average dressed carcass weights
United Kingdom November 2011 December 2011 January 2012
Clean pigs 78.8 78.0 79.1
Sows and boars 144.1 151.3 148.7
Steers 359.0 365.4 368.4
Heifers 316.6 320.7 325.0
Young bulls 347.4 348.4 348.5
Cows and adult bulls 310.4 311.6 318.7
Calves 49.3 50.5 49.6
Other Sheep and Lambs 19.2 18.7 19.6
Ewes and Rams 25.0 24.7 25.5

Section 3. UK monthly home-killed production of meat
This table shows the monthly volumes of meat produced in the United Kingdom. Data is shown according to statistical, rather than calendar months, number of weeks in statistical month as specified.

Table 3. UK monthly home-killed production of meat
(thousand tonnes)
United Kingdom November 2011
4 weeks December 2011
4 weeks January 2012
5 weeks
Pig meat 68 61 78
Beef 77 64 84
Mutton and Lamb 26 23 23

Section 4. UK average weekly slaughterings
This following table shows the average weekly slaughter figures for the last thirteen months. The monthly slaughter figures in section one are affected by the number of weeks in the statistical month. To get a clearer measure of trends weekly averages are calculated by dividing the number of livestock slaughtered each month by the number of weeks in the statistical month.

Longer term trends can be seen in the charts following this table.

Table 4. UK average weekly slaughterings
(thousand head)
United Kingdom 2011 2012
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan
Clean pigs 180 191 189 177 178 185 187 190 199 199 207 186 189
Sows and boars * * * * * * * * * * * * 5
Steers 20 20 21 20 20 18 17 19 22 21 20 17 18
Heifers 17 17 16 15 15 14 13 14 15 15 16 14 15
Young bulls 6 6 6 6 7 8 7 6 6 5 5 4 4
Cows and adult bulls 14 12 11 10 12 12 11 12 13 15 16 11 12
Calves 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1
Other Sheep and Lambs 205 207 201 192 180 211 260 279 291 312 284 252 196
Ewes and Rams 39 40 35 34 34 35 39 40 40 45 43 39 34
* Data are confidential

United Kingdom Average Weekly Slaughtering - Pigs

United Kingdom Average Weekly Slaughtering – Cattle

United Kingdom Average Weekly Slaughtering – Sheep
Section 5. UK slaughterings by country
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat in England and Wales, Scotland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Data are shown in statistical months, rather than calendar months. The totals for the countries may not add up to the Great Britain totals or the United Kingdom totals in section one, due to rounding.

Section 5. UK Slaughterings by Country
(thousand head)
  November 2011
4 weeks December 2011
4 weeks January 2012
5 weeks
England & Wales
Clean pigs 639 574 724
Sows and boars * * *
Steers 50 42 55
Heifers 39 32 44
Young bulls 15 12 15
Cows and adult bulls 48 34 45
Calves 5 5 6
Other Sheep and Lambs 964 864 826
Ewes and Rams 165 153 165
Clean pigs 59 56 64
Sows and boars 0 0 0
Steers 18 16 20
Heifers 16 16 18
Young bulls 2 2 2
Cows and adult bulls 6 5 6
Calves 0 0 0
Other Sheep and Lambs 147 120 129
Ewes and Rams 3 3 2
Great Britain
Clean pigs 697 629 788
Sows and boars * * 26
Steers 68 58 75
Heifers 56 47 62
Young bulls 17 13 16
Cows and adult bulls 54 38 51
Calves 6 5 5
Other Sheep and Lambs 1111 983 954
Ewes and Rams 167 155 167
Northern Ireland
Clean pigs 131 113 155
Sows and boars 0 0 0
Steers 13 11 15
Heifers 10 9 12
Young bulls 4 4 5
Cows and adult bulls 9 8 9
Calves 1 0 0
Other Sheep and Lambs 25 24 23
Ewes and Rams 4 2 3
*Data are confidential

February 2012
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 03, 2012, 03:06:39 AM
Friday, March 02, 2012
HKScan Sees Sales Rise
FINLAND - Finnish meat processor HKScan’s net sales rose to €2,491.3 million compared to €2,113.9 million in the previous year - a rise of 17.9 per cent.

EBIT came in at €39.6 million, which was down from € 48.0 million in 2010.

The company said that the protracted challenges in the pork business began to ease towards the end of the year, and the situation is stabilising, especially in the market area of Finland.

HKScan added that ther have been no significant changes in market position in any of the Group’s market areas during the year. The market position continued to strengthen in Finland, however.

Net financial expenses were minus €30.9 million compared to minus €13.8 million in 2010. The rise compared with the previous year was considerable with higher loan margins the main reason.

The company is confident that EBIT for 2012 will be better than last year.

The Group’s net sales grew in the last quarter of the year by 9.1 per cent and totalled €649.8 million compared to €595.7 million in 2010.

EBIT came in at €17.6 million compared to €15.7 million, up by 12.1 per cent.

In Finland, net sales were €217.6 million compared to € 198.2 million and EBIT was €7.2 million compared to € 4.7 million. Measured by profitability, the quarter was one of the best in recent years.

In Sweden, net sales were €275.6 million compared to €275.0 million and EBIT was €7.4 million compared to €8.0 million the previous year.

The comapny said the movement in net sales was a result of, among other things, a quieter Christmas season than expected.

In Denmark, net sales came to €54.3 million compared to € 21.8 million and EBIT was minus €1.3 million. The business development programme also continued to erode performance in the last quarter. The Danish company was consolidated into the HKScan Group on 29 November 2010.

In the Baltics, net sales grew to €44.9 million compared to €42.0 million and EBIT stood at €2.8 million compared to €1.8 million. Development of the business continued to be strong, the company reported.

In Poland, business progressed as planned. Net sales came to €73.9 million compared to €72.6 million and EBIT was €3.5 million compared to €3.0 million.

HKScan CEO Matti Perkonoja said: “HKScan’s EBIT in the last quarter of 2011 recovered after the poor trend at the beginning of the year. The quarter went as expected, and in terms of performance, was the year’s best.

"HKScan’s market position is strong in all the company’s market areas and there have not been any significant changes in it.

"In Finland, sales price increases implemented at the end of the year and cuts in costs, for their part, returned the profitability of the business to a better level. The transition to more controlled contract production in the pork chain is proceeding as planned. The most important launch in 2011 in Finland was Rapeseed pork, which turned out to be commercially very successful.

"HKScan is launching similar pork meat on the Swedish market in 2012 under the name Svensk Rapsgris.

"In Sweden, the market continued to be challenging throughout the year. Swedish meat raw materials are in short supply and producer prices are high. Meat imports to Sweden have increased significantly, which is largely based on the favourable exchange rate situation for importers.

"In Denmark, considerable effort was devoted in 2011 to the new structuring of the business. In accordance with its strategy, Rose Poultry is developing fresh produce for its domestic markets, especially for Sweden.

"In the Baltics and Poland, strong development of the business continued both in the last quarter and throughout the whole year.

"The Group's financial costs have increased substantially. A key near-term goal is to strengthen cash flow and with this to reduce interest-bearing liabilities."

Mr Perkonoja added: "Meat consumption has increased in all the Group’s market areas. Consumers want high-quality and responsibly produced food. The Group is a responsible player in the meat sector whose starting point in product development and production is excellent taste and high quality.

"The basis is an efficient and transparent production chain. In 2011, a corporate responsibility scheme was implemented by the HKScan Group in the subsidiaries in Finland, Sweden and the Baltics. In Denmark, Rose Poultry A/S joined the scheme during the year.

"The problems in the global economy have only a minimal impact on consumer demand for HKScan’s products, as the Group’s comprehensive product portfolio offers options for the diverse needs of different consumers groups.

"The prevailing trend in which the consumer market is becoming fragmented into smaller consumer groups is continuing to grow. Successful operators in the industry are those who understand and exploit the change more readily. A key success factor for the future is to develop the offering under the strong brands of the HKScan Group to meet consumer expectations. The taste and quality of food, sustainable production methods and the positive experience engendered by good food are highlighted."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 06, 2012, 08:00:46 AM
Monday, March 05, 2012
Half of French Sows Now Group–Housed
EU - The French pig producers’ association is calling for a doubling of financial support to farmers to help them convert to sow stalls to systems that comply with the coming EU regulations.

The support system for post–2012 is being finalised at the FNP (French National Federation of Pig Producers), according to the latest BPEX Export Bulletin.

By 1 January 2013, all pig houses will have to be up to EU standards and according to FNP, 10 to 12 per cent of producers will not be able to cover the required costs.

Previous estimates have already pointed to a reduction of the breeding herd and the financial support to pig producers to raise their standards will be €15 million. This amount is due to be confirmed at the next board meeting of FranceAgriMer on 22 March.

Jean–Michel Serres, President of FNP, has called for this amount to be doubled. The deficit of trade balance of France with EU countries amounts to €139 million and pig meat consumption in France decreased by 1.9 per cent in 2011. The development of the VPF logo will not be enough to solve all the problems of the industry, he says.

In the same BPEX report, Boerderij Vandaag is cited as reporting that 50 per cent of sow places in France are now converted to group housing systems that comply with the coming EU regulation. This compares with 80 per cent in Denmark, 70 per cent in Italy and the Netherlands and 50 per cent in Spain.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 08, 2012, 12:34:00 PM
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
French and Spanish Pig Prices Bucking the Trend?
ANALYSIS - Pig prices in France and Spain in recent weeks have been bucking the trend and in the last week in particular, they have shown a significant rise according to figures released by the German price tracker ISN, writes editor in chief, Chris Harris.

Last week, while ISN were showing prices for most of the rest of Europe hovering between €1.5 and €1.55 per kg France had their prices at €1.71 and Spain at €1.70.

ISN said the prices were up by five Euro cents per kilo in Spain and six Euro cents in France. This is the largest quotation for France since the change over to the Euro.

ISN put it down to a scarce supply of pork and strong world demand.

However, while the price rises might at first appear significant, the increases in France and Spain might not be quite as dramatic as they seem.

According to the Market Intelligent Unit at the UK's Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board, of which the British Pig Executive is a part, the reference prices across the EU including France and Spain are fairly similar. The average is about €1.60 for the reference price and France and Spain were coming in at about €1.55.

£The French prices were below the EU average of E grade pigs," said Stephen Howarth from the market intelligence unit.

However, he said there has been a noticeable increase in prices for both France and Spain. The differences in the prices have been put down not only to supply issues but also to the fact that France and Spain have different products from much of the rest of Europe. France, for instance, has heavier pigs, sending them for slaughter at around 116kg compared to the UK, which is much lighter at just over 100kg slaughter weight.

However, supply issues are the main driver for higher prices, although Mr Howarth said that France and Spain could have also taken a little longer to react to market forces than other EU countries.

In the Breton market last week, supplies were down by 10 per cent on the same time a year ago.

Chris Harris, Editor-in-Chief
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 09, 2012, 08:03:27 AM
Thursday, March 08, 2012
2011/12 Pig Slaughter Figure Adjusted Upwards
EU - The 2011 and 2012 pig crop and slaughter figure is adjusted upwards based on higher than expected breeding efficiency, likely caused by the restructuring of the industry.

In 2011, the EU swine sector started with a significantly smaller breeding stock than a year before; the number of sows and covered sows were reduced by 2.2 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively, according to the USDA GAIN: EU-27 Livestock and Products Semi-annual report.

Breeding and fattening is expected to continue on a high level until 2013, the year when the new environment and animal welfare regulations will be imposed.

Due to good demand on the world market, most of this additional volume of pork produced is expected to be destined for exports.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 10, 2012, 12:45:38 PM
Friday, March 09, 2012
UK Pigs Numbers Have Decreased by 1.3%
UK - The total number of pigs in the UK has decreased by 1.3 per cent since December 2010 to just over 4.3 million, which is the smallest pig herd at the 1 December since 1992 (the first year for which figures are easily available), according to the latest farming statistics. 

The total number of pigs in the UK decreased by 1.3 per cent since December 2010 to just over 4.3 million, which is the smallest pig herd as at the 1 December recorded since 1992 (the first year for which figures are easily available). The English pig herd fell by 0.7 per cent to 3.5 million over the same period. The UK’s number of breeding pigs has fallen to 500 thousand animals in December 2011, and the English breeding herd remained unchanged from December 2010’s figure of 415 thousand pigs.   

The UK’s herd of fattening pigs shrank by 50 thousand to 3.8 million pigs, with England’s herd remaining at 3.1 million for the second year running as at the 1 December. This stability and consolidation of pig numbers perhaps reflects producers continuing to wait and see how their markets develop over the next few months, particularly in England. 
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 10, 2012, 12:47:08 PM
Friday, March 09, 2012
Welsh Pig Numbers Fell 4% by December 2011
WALES, UK - After a small increase in December 2010, the number of pigs in Wales fell by four per cent by December 2011, according to the December 2011 Survey of Agriculture, by National Statistics Wales.

Over the period 2000 to 2011 as a whole, the number of pigs more than halved from 65,000 to the latest figure of just under 26,000. This continues a downward trend that has been fairly constant for the last 20 years or so. The reason for this fall is economic. Following the UK’s entry into the European Union (EU) in 1974, the pig industry in this country was faced with cheaper, imported meat from countries such as Denmark and Germany. The continuing expansion of the EU has meant that the UK market is exposed to more and more competition from overseas, particularly with the entry of Eastern European countries such as Poland.

These market forces have meant that often pig meat production is no longer viable for smaller producers. The majority of the Welsh pig population are to be found on a relatively small number of holdings. To illustrate this, almost three-quarters of the pigs in June 2011 were to be found on less than 50 holdings. The majority of the remainder of holdings with pigs would be using them for personal consumption only and/or as pets.

The breakdown of the total number of pigs shows that the vast majority are kept for fattening in order to produce meat. The number of sows that are in pig is a large proportion of the total number of breeding pigs. This would indicate that sows and gilts (sows being used for breeding for the first time) are being used for breeding throughout the year (unlike sheep, for example). Sows that are now unable to produce litters are included with the fattening pigs as this would be their only possible use to the farmer. However, in terms of producing meat, the farmer would breed pigs especially for this purpose which is why the number of barren sows is so low.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 15, 2012, 04:59:46 AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
EU Pig Prices: Situation Well-balanced in EU Markets
EU - The European slaughter pig market proves to be in a steady shape this week. Unchanged pig prices are quoted in almost all countries.

In France alone, the price had to be corrected downwards by as much as 5 cents. The clear price gap between France and the other major pork-producing EU countries had made the French companies having to tackle reduced competitiveness.

Given the latest price adjustments, the French quotation exceeds the German price by 10 cents. In Belgium, the price went slightly down by -1 cent. Supply and demand are quite well balanced in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy and Denmark. So, no price changes are reported about from those countries.

The slaughter companies swiftly demand the supply, which is not too extensive. Currently, there is too little impetus for price increases coming from the meat trade. Compared with other parts, ham and cutlet are sold at too low a price at the moment.

Trend for the German market: As has been over the past weeks, demand for pigs mature for slaughter is exceptional at the beginning of this week. For this reason, the prices are expected to remain steady at least for the week ahead.

Week 04 1.496 € 1.455 € 1.466 € 1.482 € 1.440 € 1.466 € 1.560 € 1.551 € 1.470 € 1.417 € 1.523 € 1.077 € 1.411 €
Week 05 1.546 € 1.503 € 1.466 € 1.532 € 1.497 € 1.534 € 1.560 € 1.557 € 1.502 € 1.468 € 1.494 € 1.063 € 1.411 €
Week 06 1.546 € 1.513 € 1.493 € 1.532 € 1.558 € 1.596 € 1.572 € 1.563 € 1.545 € 1.468 € 1.529 € 1.069 € 1.411 €
Week 07 1.546 € 1.503 € 1.521 € 1.532 € 1.594 € 1.602 € 1.573 € 1.589 € 1.594 € 1.468 € 1.495 € 1.074 € 1.411 €
Week 08 1.546 € 1.503 € 1.520 € 1.556 € 1.653 € 1.613 € 1.594 € 1.639 € 1.650 € 1.468 € 1.528 € 1.071 € 1.411 €
Week 09 1.546 € 1.513 € 1.520 € 1.556 € 1.714 € 1.606 € 1.582 € 1.643 € 1.701 € 1.499 € 1.520 € 1.072 € 1.411 €
Week 10 1.546 € 1.513 € 1.520 € 1.556 € 1.690 € 1.614 €   1.646 € 1.713 € 1.499 € 1.606 € 1.071 € 1.430 €
Week 11 1.546 € 1.513 € 1.520 € 1.544 € 1.640 €     1.646 € 1.713 € 1.499 € 1.634 € 1.062 € 1.430 €

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 16, 2012, 03:20:26 AM
Monday, March 12, 2012
BPEX Issues Dysentery Warning
UK - BPEX is urging pig producers to be extra vigilant for symptoms of swine dysentery and step up defences after further cases of the disease have been reported across the North Yorkshire region.

“The disease spreads rapidly, particularly in the current cold weather conditions,” warns BPEX Veterinary Projects Manager, Helen Clarke.

She said, as a highly economically damaging infection, it is imperative any suspected symptoms are reported as soon as possible. “Swine dysentery causes a rapid loss of condition in affected pigs and, eventually, loss of stock. Clinical signs affecting growing and finishing pigs include bloody diarrhoea but, for outdoor breeding units, clinical signs may not be evident at all.”

She recommended all producers tighten up on biosecurity measures. Helen said: “The bacterium Brachyspira hyodysenteriae live in the large intestine and are passed out in dung. This is why it is so easily spread on boots, vehicles and implements, as well as by rodents and birds, and why hygiene is so important.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 16, 2012, 03:21:30 AM
Monday, March 12, 2012
Advances in AI – The Future
UK - Already delivering the ‘best of the best’ genetics and farrowing rates of up to 95 per cent, the role of AI in pig production is assured. But what of the future? What is the focus of current research and development? Here, Head of Science Stephen Waite and Stud Manager Steve Cook of JSR Genetics tell how latest research initiatives offer plenty for pig producers now and even more to look forward to.

“In AI, we’re giving our customers the ‘best of the best’ genetics,” says Steve Cook,” quicker and without the time and effort involved in looking after a boar. As Stud Manager, much of my focus is on the practical side, improving services to my customers. Last November we invested heavily in the 100 per cent changeover of two studs to fully automatic packing machines that, using touch screen technology, fill up to 1,300 flat packs of semen per hour with an accuracy of +/- 1 per cent.

The biggest bonus for customers is the new flat pack itself. Designed with a tapered spout they will fit onto any catheters with a tight, leak free fit and the easy to use twist off end can be resealed if opened by mistake. Knowing that lighting can be very subdued in some sheds, we also insisted that our new flat packs had clear, easy to read labels.”

On-going research at JSR is also being undertaken on the viability of offering sex selected semen. “This would be a pivotal development for the pig industry,” explains Head of Science Stephen Waite, “being able to offer producers single sex semen, with the majority being females, as they are far more valuable. In the pig industry, a potentially achievable, and preferable, split would be eight gilts to two boars. However, the barrier to progress is being able to sex semen at a speed that is commercially viable.”

Currently, the BPEX semen dosage standard guarantees over 2 billion single sperm in every single dose. This means that to offer a single dose of single sexed semen, over two billion sperm have to undergo the sex selection process. In pigs, this process is achieved using flow cytometers which work by detecting the tiny weight differential between male and female sperm – only around 0.8 per cent. For pigs, the quickest you can do this is 2,000 cells per second so it takes 11.5 days to produce a one billion female only dose or 23 days to sex a two billion female only dose, which is not viable due to cost.

“By comparison,” explains Dr Waite, “in cattle, where a single dose only has to contain 2.5 million sperm, and the male/female weight differential is more marked, 10,000 cells can be processed per second. That’s what makes sexed sperm a commercial proposition for the cattle industry and we believe that, given lobbying to have the UK standard dose lowered is successful, this can become the case for the pig industry too.”

At present, JSR is working closely with research partners Harper Adams University College, conducting trials on the effect of semen concentration on farrowing rates. This is a vital consideration when investigating the possibility of lowering the amount of semen per dose to make sexed boar semen a valid proposition.

“Having started with a 100 million sperm dose, then 200 million and 400 million, all inseminated using deep inter-uterine catheters, we are confident of proving that using a lower dose will work without compromising production,” says Dr Waite, “and animals at Harper Adams that are now about to farrow will provide constructive results. Once we can ascertain an optimal low dose for pigs – and we suspect this may be around 400 million - we will carry on our work with the University of York, who are currently involved in research with leading flow cytometer manufactures, to make that dose as easy as possible to sex. Every year, sexing cells is getting faster, say by a factor of ten, but there is still some way to go. Having said that, new chemicals that bind onto the male/female cells to make them easier to sort by weight are opening up yet another promising avenue for research. Just one breakthrough could completely revolutionize the industry.”

Another project, for which JSR together with the University of Kent and the Bridge Fertility Centre, have just been awarded a £500,000 Technology Strategy Board Grant involves research into pig IVF- an initiative that will be of particular interest to international customers.

“Currently, sending genetics in the form of live animals, to international customers, whilst hugely beneficial, can be a complex and costly exercise. In 2011, JSR hired an entire Boeing 747 to send 1,000 pigs to China. To comply with export regulations each animal has to be tested at around £250 per animal – that’s £250,000 for the whole consignment - and travel in more spacious accommodation than most humans. By comparison, embryos suspended in a flask require just one test and can travel as luggage on a normal commuter flight.”

“Working with the Bridge Fertility Centre and Dr Kate Fowler of the University of Kent, who JSR also sponsored as a PhD student, is an excellent example of promoting skills and expertise together,” says Dr Waite. “At present, different people have managed to do different parts of the process but no one has managed to pull the whole process together. We think that there will be gains all round for both human and animal fertility. At JSR we will be able to offer a more convenient, more cost-effective service with substantial savings to the value of around £600,000 per 1,000 animal order being passed down the supply chain.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 17, 2012, 03:37:58 AM
Friday, March 16, 2012
Pig Compound Feed Production Falls
EU - According to the preliminary statistical data provided by the European Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC), compound feed production in the EU-27 in 2011 may have reached a level of 150 million tonnes, one per cent below the figure for 2010 (151.4 million tonnes).

2011 Estimations
Cattle and pig feed have seen their production fall, respectively by -3 and -1 per cent, whereas poultry feed increased by per cent, thereby confirming its position of leading segment of compound feed slightly above pig feed.

The most important factors which have weighed in on the EU feed demand in 2011 were the still fragile economic situation of the pig sector and the high feed material costs. As regards ruminants, the severe drought on the first months led to a lower forage harvest during the spring cut but this was offset by the good autumnal weather conditions that favoured grass growth.

Most EU Member countries saw their production fall, sometimes dramatic as e.g. Ireland (-9 per cent) or The Netherlands with -5 per cent, while a few country such as Italy or Germany managed to buck the general market trend with positive growth around 3 per cent, supported by a surprisingly quick recovery of pig farming activity mainly due to increasing exports.

The high cereal prices over the last two years contributed to improve the competitive market position of industrial compound feed production vs. home mixing. However, this gain was offset to a certain extent by the development of alternative pig feeding strategies based on roughly grinded feed and liquid feeding.

As a result Germany’s position as leading EU country in terms of total compound feed production before France was strengthened, with Spain scoring third.

The final estimate and detailed breakdown of the 2011 results will be presented on the occasion of the next FEFAC Annual General Meeting on 15 June 2012 in Brussels.

2012 Predictions
FEFAC experts foresee a stabilisation in cattle feed production, a further reduction in pig feed production (-0.5 per cent) and a slight increase in poultry feed demand (+1 per cent) which however could be offset by a significant setback for layers feed production in certain countries, as a direct consequence of the application of the new cages standards from 1 January 2012 on.

Further market uncertainties are linked to the development of the Schmallenberg virus in ruminant populations and the new group-housing requirements for sows which may lead to a significant reduction in young sows replacement in certain producer regions. Overall, compound feed production is expected to remain unchanged vs. 2011.

Feed material markets are characterised by the upward trend on soybean meal quotations due to high Chinese demand and seasonal drought in South America. Price quotations for cereals are at high levels and may remain so while experts are still evaluating the impact of February frost in a large part of the EU countries and while fear of a potentially severe drought in Western Europe is growing. Access to raw materials may be further curtailed by the persisting problems linked to asynchronous approval of not yet authorised GM events.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 24, 2012, 09:09:14 AM
Friday, March 23, 2012
UK Pig Industry Becoming More Competitive
UK - Pig producers are not looking at the future with any degree of confidence, though others in the supply chain have a more optimistic view.

This is the key finding from the annual BPEX Confidence Survey sent out to 630 people, covering producers, processors, allied industry, vets, retail/foodservice and civil servants which is now in its sixth year.

The measure of industry confidence is based on a number of factors, including attitude towards capital investment and perceptions of relative competitiveness with EU businesses.

The results revealed producers expressing increasing uncertainty over profitability and price volatility in the past year deterring them from making investment in their business for reasons other than those driven by the need for replacement or to increase efficiency, with little investment being made to increase the size and throughput of businesses.

The competitive outlook for the next 12 months is more optimistic with an increase in the proportion of people who felt their business would become more competitive in 2012.

BPEX Head of Communications Andrew Knowles said: "The industry has been going through a difficult time, producers are continuing to tread water waiting for evidence from supply chain partners of stability and direction which will give them the confidence to invest for the future and grow their businesses.

"It is good to see the overall view is the competitive outlook is more optimistic which is probably tied in to the forthcoming EU partial ban on stalls which will go some way towards creating a more level playing field for the UK and its major European competitors. But the industry must not be distracted by changes in EU welfare legislation and continue to address the fundamental gap that exists in terms of physical performance between UK and EU average performance."

The survey also looked at the quality of BPEX services and whether they were what was required.

In total, BPEX services were used by 75 per cent of respondents over the past 12 months showing that the organisation is reaching out to a wide audience across the different sectors.

When looking at specific sectors, the producer category has increased their use of BPEX services, increasing from 71 per cent in 2011 to 76 per cent in 2012.

Satisfaction with BPEX services remains high with 83 per cent of customers rating services as excellent or very good.

Andrew Knowles said: "We have worked hard to try to ensure BPEX services are commercially relevant to our customers and their business and the feedback is encouraging.

"We still have lots more work to do in this area and the recently published Directory of Services is another way for our customers to understand how we can help them."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 26, 2012, 11:30:40 PM
UK Slaughter Statistics - March 2012
UK clean pig slaughterings for February 2012 were 767,000 head and pig meat production was 64,000 tonnes.

Key Points
Pigs: UK clean pig slaughterings were 1 per cent higher than in February 2011 at 767 thousand head. Pigmeat production was 64 thousand tonnes, which was the same as in February 2011.
Cattle: UK prime cattle slaughterings were 6 per cent lower than in February 2011 at 159 thousand head. Beef and veal production was 70 thousand tonnes, 6 per cent lower than in February 2011.
Sheep: UK clean sheep slaughterings were 5 per cent lower than in February 2011 at 788 thousand head. Mutton and lamb production was 19 thousand tonnes, 4 per cent lower than in February 2011.
Section 1. UK monthly slaughter estimates
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom. The survey is run according to statistical, rather than calendar months, the number of weeks in the statistical month is specified below.

Table 1: UK Monthly Slaughter Estimates
Thousand Head
United Kingdom December 2011
4 weeks January 2012
5 weeks February 2012
4 weeks
Clean Pigs 743 943 767
Sows and Boars * 26 19
Steers 69 89 78
Heifers 57 75 62
Young Bulls 17 22 19
Cows and Adult Bulls 46 60 45
Calves 5 6 6
Other Sheep and Lambs 1007 977 788
Ewes and Rams 158 170 138
* Data are confidential

Section 2. UK average dressed carcase weights
This table shows the monthly average dressed carcase weight of livestock slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom.

Table 2. UK average dressed carcass weights
United Kingdom December 2011 January 2012 February 2012
Clean pigs 78.0 79.1 79.3
Sows and boars 151.3 148.7 149.6
Steers 365.4 368.4 369.6
Heifers 320.7 325.0 325.2
Young bulls 348.4 348.5 347.8
Cows and adult bulls 311.6 318.6 319.0
Calves 50.5 49.5 46.1
Other Sheep and Lambs 18.7 19.6 19.8
Ewes and Rams 24.7 25.5 25.8

Section 3. UK monthly home-killed production of meat
This table shows the monthly volumes of meat produced in the United Kingdom. Data is shown according to statistical, rather than calendar months, number of weeks in statistical month as specified.

Table 3. UK monthly home-killed production of meat
(thousand tonnes)
United Kingdom December 2011
4 weeks January 2012
5 weeks February 2012
4 weeks
Pig meat 61 78 64
Beef 64 84 70
Mutton and Lamb 23 23 19

Section 4. UK average weekly slaughterings
This following table shows the average weekly slaughter figures for the last thirteen months. The monthly slaughter figures in section one are affected by the number of weeks in the statistical month. To get a clearer measure of trends weekly averages are calculated by dividing the number of livestock slaughtered each month by the number of weeks in the statistical month.

Longer term trends can be seen in the charts following this table.

Table 4. UK average weekly slaughterings
(thousand head)
United Kingdom 2011 2012
Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb
Clean pigs 191 189 177 178 185 187 190 199 199 207 186 188 192
Sows and boars * * * * * * * * * * * 5 5
Steers 20 21 20 20 18 17 19 22 21 20 17 18 19
Heifers 17 16 15 15 14 13 14 15 15 16 14 15 16
Young bulls 6 6 6 7 8 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 5
Cows and adult bulls 12 11 10 12 12 11 12 13 15 16 11 12 11
Calves 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 2
Other Sheep and Lambs 207 201 192 180 211 260 279 291 312 284 252 195 197
Ewes and Rams 40 35 34 34 35 39 40 40 45 43 39 34 34
* Data are confidential

United Kingdom average weekly slaughtering - Pigs

United Kingdom average weekly slaughtering – Cattle

United Kingdom average weekly slaughtering – Sheep
Section 5. UK slaughterings by country
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat in England and Wales, Scotland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Data are shown in statistical months, rather than calendar months. The totals for the countries may not add up to the Great Britain totals or the United Kingdom totals in section one, due to rounding.

Section 5. UK Slaughterings by Country
(thousand head)
  December 2011
4 weeks January 2012
5 weeks February 2012
4 weeks
England & Wales
Clean pigs 574 720 591
Sows and boars * 25 19
Steers 42 55 48
Heifers 32 45 37
Young bulls 12 15 12
Cows and adult bulls 34 46 34
Calves 5 5 6
Other Sheep and Lambs 864 825 661
Ewes and Rams 153 165 134
Clean pigs 56 64 52
Sows and boars 0 0 0
Steers 16 20 18
Heifers 16 18 15
Young bulls 2 2 2
Cows and adult bulls 5 6 4
Calves 0 0 0
Other Sheep and Lambs 120 129 110
Ewes and Rams 3 2 1
Great Britain
Clean pigs 629 784 643
Sows and boars * 26 19
Steers 58 75 66
Heifers 47 63 52
Young bulls 13 17 14
Cows and adult bulls 38 51 38
Calves 5 5 6
Other Sheep and Lambs 983 953 770
Ewes and Rams 155 167 135
Northern Ireland
Clean pigs 113 155 124
Sows and boars 0 0 0
Steers 11 15 12
Heifers 9 12 10
Young bulls 4 5 4
Cows and adult bulls 8 9 7
Calves 0 0 0
Other Sheep and Lambs 24 23 18
Ewes and Rams 2 3 3
*Data are confidential

March 2012
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 28, 2012, 03:54:32 AM
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Danish Pork Exports Up in 2011; Dutch Exports Down
GLOBAL - While Danish exports of fresh and frozen pork were five per cent higher in 2011 than the previous year, Dutch exports fell marginally.

China accounts for nearly 50 per cent of global production and consumption of pig meat. However, given the scale of the industry, small production changes can have a significant impact on price. During summer of last year, Chinese pig meat prices rose to record highs. Since then, there has been a steady fall in prices.

According to the AHDB European Market Survey for 23 March, pig meat prices in China are now less than 5 per cent higher than their level a year ago.

Some of the major factors contributing to falling prices in China is the expansion of the Chinese pig herd as a result of improved profitability, government subsidies and warmer weather, which led to a lower incidence of disease outbreaks this winter.

The Chinese government has recently released its 12th five-year plan for agricultural development. The plan aims to increase Chinese pig meat production by six per cent by 2015. It also sets out goals to modernise the industry and improve productivity.

2011 witnessed a contrast in Dutch and Danish pig meat exports. While Danish exports of fresh and frozen pork were five per cent higher in 2011 than the previous year at over 1.2 million tonnes, Dutch exports of fresh and frozen pork fell marginally in 2011, compared with 2010, despite a rise of two per cent in production.

The growth in Danish exports emulates an increase in pork production over the same period and some an increase in export demand. Trade with other member states of the EU rose by three per cent year on year. Shipments to non-EU states rose by 10 per cent but still only accounted for 29 per cent of trade.

Dutch pig meat trade with other EU member states dropped by 4 per cent year on year, whereas exports to non-EU markets increased by 20 per cent to make up 17 per cent of the total. The average export price increased six per cent year on year. By value, Dutch exports to non-EU markets increased by 30 per cent.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 31, 2012, 09:32:59 AM
Friday, March 30, 2012
Pork is Tops When Eating Out
UK - The popularity of pork is growing when people are eating out of the home with bacon leading the way.

New figures from NPD Group/Crest show that pig meat, including pork, bacon, sausages and ham, the most consumed red meat in the out-of-home market with 68.7 per cent of all red meat servings.

It also experienced the greatest increase in servings in 2011 compared with a year ago. The figures show total pig meat servings increased by 8.1.

In the main this growth was driven by bacon, which saw servings grow by 29.5 per cent and sausages, which grew by 21.3 per cent. Ham has also moved up the charts, by 11.7 per cent and pork saw an increase of 4.6 per cent.

BPEX foodservice trade manager, Tony Goodger, said: “Quality assured bacon is a fantastic ingredient for all types of menus. It’s hugely versatile and delivers a punch of flavour to dishes.

“Sausages made from quality assured pork also continue to be one of the most popular foods eaten out of home, appealing to both adults and children alike.

“Both are relatively low-cost proteins and, in the current climate when every penny counts, chefs are clearly recognising their profit potential.

“Pork has always represented good value for money in comparison with other meats, but now we’re starting to see more chefs buying whole pig carcases and experimenting with a wider range of cuts.”

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 31, 2012, 11:38:04 PM
Irish CSO Livestock Slaughterings February 2012
The number of pigs slaughtered in February 2012 was 11.5 per cent higher than in February 2011.

The number of cattle slaughtered in January-February 2012 was 2.7 per cent lower than the corresponding 2011 period.

Over the same period there was an increase of 9.0 per cent in sheep slaughterings and an increase of 12.1 per cent in pig slaughtering.

Comparing EU figures for the periods January to December 2010 and January to December 2011, Ireland showed a 9.3 per cent increase in pig slaughterings while of the major EU pig producing countries, Poland, Denmark, Spain and Germany recorded increases of 5.1 per cent, 3.8 per cent, 3.0 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

During the same period France recorded a decrease of 0.5 per cent.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 06, 2012, 09:16:22 AM
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Help from Southern Hemisphere for English Pigs
UK - Australian pig expert Dr Paul Hughes will reveal the latest knowledge on pig reproduction next month at two special BPEX Two-Tonne Sow events for English pig producers. ‘Reproduction: What’s New?’ will be held in Chippenham and Wetherby on the evenings of 9 and 10 May 2012.
When Paul visited two years ago, his meetings were a sell-out success. He provides a clear and often challenging view on the practicalities of breeding herd management and how to improve performance, drawing on years of pig farming experience and his research at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI).

BPEX knowledge transfer manager Angela Cliff said: “New ideas and advice on how they can be put into practice are invaluable, as we move the English industry nearer to the two-tonne sow goal.

“We’re really looking forward to this update and are thrilled to offer producers the chance to talk with Paul directly.”

The topics for both meetings are:

Gestation management (housing and feeding)
Seasonal infertility
Feeding for litter size
Lactational oestrus
There will be an open discussion afterwards, troubleshooting problems commonly seen out in the field, including a small panel of English pig industry representatives; Mick Hazzeldine from Premier Nutitrion and Dr Steven Jagger from ABN will be among those on the panels on 9 and 10 May respectively.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 10, 2012, 01:17:31 AM
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
JSR Launches ‘Faster Finishing’ Boar
UK - Pig and Poultry Fair 2012 will see the launch of a keenly anticipated new Sireline, the ‘faster finishing’ JSR Geneconverter 800m Boar, by leading global pig breeders, JSR Genetics.

Bred specifically for speed of growth, JSR Geneconverter 800m progeny are up to three days faster to finish, giving an extra five kilos for those wanting more weight at the end of the production cycle. In JSR’s nucleus units, the top 10 per cent of animals are consistently achieving 100kg in 120 days with weaning–to–finish growth rates well in excess of 900g per day.

The new Sireline, whose development is a result of JSR’s international breeding programmes and advanced development technologies, is also a response to direct customer demand.

Dr Grant Walling, JSR Genetics Managing Director, said: “We enjoy very close links with our customers and had become aware that for many, faster growth – so reducing days to slaughter – is a real priority that’s not being adequately met."

With its genetic development programmes continually developing new lines, JSR has been able to focus on traits that have now delivered market leading products.

Stephen Waite, Head of Science for JSR Genetics, commented: “We are always seeking new products, and constantly have new innovations in the pipeline. It means we have been able to focus on providing new genetics that we believe will provide these much needed traits for producers. Interestingly, it was by looking at the early growth stages, often neglected, that we have been able to achieve such remarkable results.

“We now have a new, very exciting boar that is exceptionally fast growing. The animals that we are selecting from on our nucleus farms are consistently exhibiting exceptional growth,” added Mr Waite.

JSR Geneconverter 800m
JSR Geneconverter 800m – top 10% nucleus performance
100kg in 120 days
40kg in 63 days
630g per day from birth up to 40kg
1320g per day in the 40–91kg growth stage
900g per day from weaning to finish
“630 g/day is remarkable growth in small piglets,” added Dr Walling, “making the JSR Geneconverter 800m ideal not only for producers looking for quicker returns but also those wanting to improve productivity by getting more kilos in a set period of time. Our commercial trials on GC800m progeny have confirmed the ability of these genetics to consistently deliver outstanding results on farm.”

Commercial progeny trial data
Birth weight: 1.81kg
Weaning weight: 9.32kg
Weaning age: 27.60 days
Weight at slaughter: 106.20kg
Days to slaughter: 151.64
The new ‘faster growing’ JSR Geneconverter 800m boar will now take its place in the JSR Sireline range alongside the JSR Geneconverter 700, the choice for feed efficiency; the JSR Geneconverter 600, chosen for carcass yields and the Geneconverter 500 which gives exceptional meat eating quality.

The benefit of JSR research and development is that each and every candidate line – whilst bred to focus on individual characteristics – is subject to all of the breeding technologies that JSR have invested in.

Dr Walling confirmed: “Every breed routinely undergoes intra–muscular fat (IMF) scanning to determine subcutaneous fat, muscle and intra muscular fat percentages and also CT scanning to ensure large yields in the most profitable cuts. They are also tested for feed efficiency in our custom built FIRE (feed intake recording equipment) testing house.

“For the JSR Geneconverter 800m, this means that good grading, very competitive feed efficiency figures – and of course, being robust, healthy and easy to handle – have all been delivered alongside its key strength of strong growth and fast finishing. That’s where it really excels.”

Recommended for use with the JSR Genepacker 90 for indoor production units, or outdoor producers with a predominantly white genetic makeup, JSR Geneconverter 800m genetics will be available only from JSR AI studs with a limited opportunity to purchase boars for AI collection on farm.

Visitors to the Pig & Poultry Fair are invited to visit JSR’s stand to find our more about the new JSR Geneconverter 800m – including how it tastes! Bacon rolls and sausages sandwiches, provided by the Geneconverter 800m will be available.

Meet the JSR team and find out more about the new JSR Geneconverter 800m at the Pig & Poultry Fair on 15 and 16 May 2012 on JSR Stand 98 in Hall 02 or visit the company’s web site.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 18, 2012, 09:57:00 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Don’t Forget Water, Says BPEX
UK - The priority for newly weaned pigs is to maximise water and feed intake.
Water can often be the ‘forgotten nutrient’ but feed intake is determined by water consumption, not the other way round. The most important points for piglet water supply are:

It should be good quality clean water
Check it regularly
The welfare code and Red Tractor recommendations are to maintain a minimum flow rate of 300ml per minute. Preferably, it should be 450 to 600ml per minute
Ensure header tanks are clean and covered.
For more information, download the factsheet 2TS Action for Productivity 16 Water supply from here.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 21, 2012, 08:48:37 AM
Friday, April 20, 2012
Steady Growth in Rosderra's Pig Exports to China
IRELAND - Irish meat processor Rosderra is one of the companies with an existing relationship with the giant Yurun Group that is based in Nanjing. The company has been selling pigmeat into China since the country gave final approval to Ireland to resume exports in 2007. reports that Rosderra's exports have grown steadily to China during this period and the total for 2011 topped €30m.

Rosderra boss Jim Hanley expects trade with China to expand further this year as the company continues to broaden its customer base.

"We will ship between €5m and €6m worth of pork in the next six weeks to China," Mr Hanley said.

He points out that the company exported 34,000 tonnes of pork produce to China last year, which accounted for between 11pc and 13pc of their total output.

While Britain remains the primary export market for Irish pork and bacon, China has overtaken our near neighbours in terms of importance for Rosderra.

Mr Hanley explains that imports of pork into China exceeded 126 million tonnes in 2011, the highest level ever recorded. And this is despite over 660 million pigs being slaughtered annually by China for domestic consumption.

With pork continuing to be the primary protein source for the country's urban population, the volume of imports is forecast to increase significantly over the next 10 years.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 27, 2012, 09:44:19 AM
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Meat from New Pig Breeds: Tender and Delicious
DENMARK - New pig breeds provide meat that is tender and tasty. Production of high-quality meat from alternative pig breeds may be fertile ground for new Danish niche products.

Crossings between the Hungarian curly-haired hog and traditional Danish breeds has resulted in exciting, new types of meat. [Photo: Danish Pig Production]What happens when you cross a Hungarian pig with a sheepskin coat with one of the traditional Danish pig breeds? Or, if you mate a normal Danish pig with the dark-skinned Iberian pig? This is the question scientists from Aarhus University decided to investigate in cooperation with the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Meat Research Institute at the Danish Technological Institute.

The aim was to identify differences in flavour, tenderness, texture, water distribution, fatty acid composition and metabolic products. The results from the research will be presented at a workshop on 31 May at the Aarhus University’s Research Centre Aarslev on Funen.

For years, Denmark has been able to deliver pork of a uniform and high quality, but there is a growing trend among consumers that they would like unique niche products. The introduction of new, alternative pig breeds can open the door for the development of such new gourmet meat products. The scientists therefore examined meat from crosses of boars of the Iberian breed and the Hungarian curly-haired hog (Mangalitza) and sows of the Duroc and Landrace/Yorkshire crosses produced under Danish conditions.

Flavour and chemistry studied
Meat and meat products from the various crosses were compared by the scientists in a number of detailed chemical and physical analyses. The flavour of the products was assessed by sensory analysis. It turned out that the meat from the crossings with the alternative breeds was tender and delicious and had a good texture.

The chemical characterization of the meat showed that offspring of pigs crossed with the Iberian breedhad a slightly different profile of metabolic products than traditional Danish pigs. This could indicate that the exotic crosses are less sensitive to stress, which may explain the improved texture of meat from these pigs.

The chemical and flavour analyses showed that the different pig breeds did not have significant differences in their composition of flavour substances.

During the project, the scientists also examined the effect of high-pressure processing of the meat. High-pressure treatment of meat at 5000 to 6000 bar effectively kills bacteria and safe meat products with a longer shelf life can be produced without heat treatment. Pressure treatment also affects the meat texture and water-binding capacity, which makes it possible to produce meat products with less salt and fewer additives. The longer shelf life means that freezing and consequent loss of quality can be avoided.

The project was supported by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Svineafgiftsfonden and Promilleafgiftsfonden.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 29, 2012, 08:36:32 AM
Friday, April 27, 2012
Bone Disease Causing Recumbency in Pigs
UK - Respiratory disease prominent with an upsurge of PRRS in East Anglia, streptococcal disease, which is still a common diagnosis in post-weaned pigs and another case of bone disease causing recumbency in pigs on an inadequate diet have been observed in the latest AHVLA Scanning Surveillance Report.

Reproductive Disease
Fungal infection as part of a larger problem of reproductive failure
Fungal abortion was diagnosed by Bury St Edmunds in one litter from a closed indoor breeder-finisher unit on which more widespread abortion was suspected as sows were coming into milk approximately three weeks early as if due to farrow but piglets were never found. A high regular and irregular return rate was also occurring. Sows were vaccinated for erysipelas and PRRSV, parvovirus vaccination was also undertaken but only in gilts. One aborted piglet was submitted together with five mummified piglets from a different full-term litter. Aspergillus species was isolated from foetal stomach contents of the aborted piglet in pure growth, no other causes of abortion were detected, in particular no parvovirus antibody or virus was detected. Fungal abortion can occasionally occur in pigs, usually related to mouldy feed or bedding. It can cause sequential foetal death as seen in some litters on this farm, however it is unlikely (unless mycotoxins are involved) to cause infertility and a second submission of aborted and mummified piglets was submitted to investigate further. Porcine parvovirus PCR and other tests on these piglets did not yield any infectious causes of abortion and no fungal growth was obtained. Histopathology on the hearts did not reveal myocarditis making PCV2 associated foetopathy and EMCV unlikely. Investigations continue on this unit.

PRRS outbreak causing abortions, stillbirths, weak piglets and deaths of farrowing sows
severe PRRSV outbreak was diagnosed on an indoor weaner-producer unit. Disease began a month prior to submission as respiratory disease manifesting as coughing, inappetence and malaise mainly in the gilt yard which then spread to sows. In the week prior to submission six sows died just after farrowing after showing respiratory disease. Abortions also increased in the month prior to submission and, of 14 sows to farrow at the weekend prior to submission, 50 per cent of piglets had died either as stillbirths or having been born weak. Fifteen dead piglets from three litters were submitted which were stillborn or weak at birth. Given the prominence of the respiratory disease on the unit and the relationship of respiratory disease to sow deaths and stillborn/weak piglets, the likely diagnoses were considered to be PRRS and/or swine influenza, rather than notifiable disease. The unit was urged to submit a dead sow to investigate further and the following day, a sow dying after farrowing was submitted. This sow had severe well-established fibrinous pleuropneumonia with most of the lung consolidated and from which Pasteurella multocida was isolated. PRRSV was detected in the sow by PCR and also in two of the piglets tested and in the serum of another affected sow, consistent with a diagnosis of PRRS. The unit was vaccinating for PRRS with no obvious problems with vaccine storage or administration to account for the apparent vaccine failure and a report was made to VMD. No swine influenza virus was detected. Since the diagnosis was made, morbidity and mortality have reduced and the clinical situation is improving. Vaccination has been intensified on the unit.

Alimentary Diseases
Coccidiosis causing widespread diarrhoea from a week of age
Three live 10-day-old piglets were submitted to Shrewsbury to investigate the cause of diarrhoea affecting up to 70 per cent of piglets from 7-10 days of age with 45 piglets dying in the previous batch of 200 piglets. Sows were vaccinated for E. coli and clostridial disease. Gross findings were similar in all three pigs, with the entire length of the intestines dilated with watery to creamy, yellow-green, somewhat smelly contents. Histopathology revealed marked villus stunting and blunting with variable numbers of developing intraepithelial Isospora within the more distal aspects of the villi and in all three piglets there was a fibrinopurulent and necrotising enteritis associated with isosporosis. Live typically affected piglets are ideal for diagnosis of coccidiosis in preweaned pigs as significant disease may be present without detectable oocyst excretion.

Further outdoor units affected with intestinal torsion in replacement gilts
Four of 25 190-day-old replacement gilts were showing lethargy, reduced appetite, dyspnoea and coughing and two died. The problem began six days prior to submission approximately one week after the gilts arrived on the outdoor breeding unit. One dead gilt was submitted to Bury St Edmunds in good body condition. The gilt was dehydrated and post mortem examination revealed a clear significant intestinal torsion with no evidence of respiratory disease. There was a significant proportion of sandy material in the large intestine. It was recommended that any further gilts dying be submitted to determine whether this was a one-off or part of a group problem. We have seen several ‘outbreaks’ of intestinal torsion in replacement gilts after their arrival from indoor units onto outdoor breeding units. Excessive ingestion of sandy soil and stones is likely to be playing a part and amongst the measures which might be taken to reduce the risk of torsion are provision of plentiful straw to distract the gilts in the paddocks and feeding more regularly.

Respiratory Diseases
Active PCV2 associated disease with swine influenza causing respiratory disease
Live six-week-old pigs were submitted to Thirsk for post mortem examination to investigate wasting evident from two to three weeks post weaning on a 350 sow weekly farrowing farrow to finish indoor unit. Pigs were vaccinated at eight weeks old for PCV-2 and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. The pigs were wasted and hairy and had variable cranioventral purple lung consolidation with some significant interlobular oedema. In one pig there was excess fibrinous pleural fluid and early visceral pleurisy. Swine influenza was detected by PCR and a variety of bacterial causes of pneumonia were isolated, including Haemophilus parasuis, Pasteurella multocida and S. suis. Histopathology confirmed severe lymphadenopathy with lymphoid depletion and some intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies typical of PCV-2 associated disease. A diagnosis was made of swine influenza superimposed on a background of active PCVAD, with secondary bacterial pneumonia. It was recommended that the PCV-2 vaccination protocol should be reviewed.

An upsurge of PRRS outbreaks was diagnosed in the Bury St Edmunds region. Several typical cases are described below. Whether this upsurge relates to the spread of a particular strain, different strains or to disease manifesting on units where it had previously been controlled is, at this stage, unclear and is being investigated.

Widespread respiratory disease due to PRRS with pasteurellosis after entry to finishing unit
Approximately 50 per cent of 1,300 indoor 14-week-old finishers were reported to be showing respiratory signs with 14 deaths over a two week period. One fresh pluck was submitted showing consolidation of the ventral parts of both middle lung lobes. Pasteurella multocida and PRRS virus were detected. Immunohistochemistry confirmed PRRSV involvement in the pneumonia. The pigs had been vaccinated for PRRSV on arrival nine days prior to submission but were already coughing and it was suspected that the pigs had been challenged prior to arrival.

Mixed bacterial infection with PRRS in wasting growers
Wasting and respiratory disease were reported in approximately 10 per cent of growers in each batch of 300 in straw yards on an indoor breeder finisher unit. Pigs were vaccinated for Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and PCV2, PRRS vaccine had also recently been initiated although the submitted pigs were not vaccinated. Mortality was approximately 2 per cent. Three pigs in poor body condition were submitted, two had chronic extensive pneumonia while two had significant diarrhoea without specific mucosal lesions. Both Haemophilus parasuis and Pasteurella multocida were isolated from the pneumonic lung and PRRSV was detected in the pigs by PCR. Immunohistochemistry confirmed involvement of the PRRS virus in the pneumonia. Brachyspira pilosicoli was isolated from one of the pigs with diarrhoea supporting a diagnosis of concurrent Brachyspira pilosicoli colitis. The unit has initiated PRRS vaccination of rearing pigs.

Poor response to antimicrobial treatment in coughing finishers with PRRS challenge
Clotted blood samples were submitted from a group of 2,000 16-week-old housed finishers in which approximately 10 per cent were affected by coughing, wasting, reddened ears and approximately 20 deaths with a poor response to antimicrobial treatment. PRRS was suspected to be underlying the problem and this was confirmed by detection of PRRS virus in two pools of five sera by PCR and seropositivity in unvaccinated finisher pigs.

PRRSv detected in coughing unwell gilts on outdoor unit
Mixed tissues including a pluck were submitted from a 26-week-old gilt on an outdoor unit. The gilt was one of a group of 30 all of which were coughing, lethargic and inappetent over a three day period prior to submission. The rest of the group improved following antimicrobial treatment. This one gilt died. There was a severe fibrinous pericarditis and endocarditis affecting the left atrioventricular valve and a nontypable Streptococcus suis was isolated from the heart valve. More significantly, with respect to the clinical disease in the rest of the group, PRRS virus was detected by PCR and was considered to be the most likely cause of the group problem.

Mixed viral infection with Glasser’s disease causing rapid wasting and coughing
Concurrent swine influenza, PRRSV and Glasser’s disease was diagnosed as the cause of rapid wasting with coughing in 15 of 340 13-week-old pigs, six other pigs had died over the previous week. One dead pig in poor body condition was submitted which was quite pale with watery blood due to a deep gastric ulcer affecting the entire pars oesophagea. There was a fibrinous polyserositis and a generalised lymphadenopathy. Haemophilus parasuis was isolated confirming Glasser’s disease and both swine influenza (not pandemic H1N1 2009) and PRRSV were detected by PCR. Dual infection with both swine influenza and PRRS was likely to be a significant factor precipitating Glasser’s disease.

Glasser’s disease diagnosed with underlying swine influenza in weaners
Increased mortality in seven-week-old weaners with nervous signs, swollen joints and low grade cough was found to be due to combined Glasser’s disease and swine influenza. The pigs had shown a poor response to antimicrobial treatment. Three dead pigs were submitted which had fibrinous polyserositis typical of Glasser’s disease which was confirmed by isolation of Haemophilus parasuis and swine influenza (pandemic H1N1 2009 strain) was detected by PCR.

Swine influenza with mixed bacterial infections
Four six-week-old weaners were submitted to Thirsk to investigate increased respiratory disease and wasting on an indoor 600-sow farrow to finish unit. There was also an increase in abattoir pleurisy lung scores. In summary, porcine respiratory disease complex was diagnosed due to Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis infections with underlying influenza and salmonellosis. It is likely that the incursion of influenza allowed other pathogens to manifest. It is not uncommon for pigs in which influenza is diagnosed to have been submitted as a result of the secondary infections rather than the influenza itself.

Concurrent swine influenza and PRRS associated with salmonellosis post-weaning
Multifactorial disease with both swine influenza and PRRS infections was diagnosed as the cause of a very poor performance in pigs post weaning on a 300 sow indoor farrow to finish unit. Pigs were reported to scour, become dyspnoeic and approximately 10 per cent then lose condition and die within the first ten days post weaning. Lung lesions were significant with multifocal haemorrhages, wedge-shaped purple/black areas of discolouration, some grey consolidation of cranioventral lobes and some areas of firm beige rubbery lung. Both PRRS and pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza were detected by PCR and Salmonella Typhimurium Copenhagen was isolated from lung. Dual infection with PRRS and influenza was likely to have compromised the pigs and led to salmonellosis. Vaccination of the sow herd for PRRSv is being considered (the herd was not previously vaccinated) as well as diligent attention to hygiene and acidification of water in order to mitigate the effects of the salmonellosis.

Urinary Diseases
Kidney infection causes sow deaths on outdoor unit
Chronic pyelonephritis was diagnosed as the cause of illness and death of a sow on an outdoor unit on which there had been two previous unexplained sudden deaths in sows in the previous week. The sow had been treated with antibiotics and the causative organism was not isolated. The sow was estimated to be five weeks pregnant, interestingly sows are considered to be more susceptible to pyelonephritis in the three weeks post-mating when their urine is more alkaline and supports the growth of organisms causing pyelonephritis better.

Nervous Diseases
Streptococcus suis type 7 was isolated from a swab taken from the meninges of a ten-week old grower to investigate the cause of sudden death. Ten pigs had been affected out of a group of 400, eight of which had died. S. suis 7 is an uncommon cause of primary disease in UK pigs but is prominent in some European countries.

Streptococcus suis type 2 continues to cause mortality in pigs of a range of ages and several examples are described below.

The carcase of a three-month-old gilt was submitted to Winchester with a history of fitting prior to death. The liver was markedly congested with fibrin strands present on the surface. The meninges were congested and haemorrhagic in appearance and S. suis type 2 was isolated confirming streptococcal meningitis.

Four dead six-week-old pigs were submitted to investigate the cause of lameness and nervous signs, manifesting as recumbency with tremors, in 45 of 1,200 pigs with 21 deaths over a two week period. There was a fibrinous meningitis and polyarthritis in two of the three pigs, S. suis type 2 was isolated from meninges, joints and liver confirming a diagnosis of S. suis type 2 disease. No involvement of swine influenza or PRRSV was detected.

Systemic and Miscellaneous Disease
Neonatal mortality due to lack of milk
A single whole litter of neonatal piglets were found dead one morning, resulting in the submission of two carcases to Preston. There was no indication that the piglets had sucked (no milk found in the alimentary tracts) and, as no other diagnosis was established, it was concluded that the likely cause of death was starvation complicated by a liver rupture and haemorrhage in one piglet. The farmer was advised to check the milk supply of sows if further cases occurred.

Musculoskeletal Disease
Streptococcus suis type 14 polyarthritis
Streptococcus suis type 14 was isolated from joints of a 2-week-old piglet submitted to Leahurst with polyarthritis, peritonitis and pericarditis. Fourteen of 35 piglets were affected by sudden recumbency over the period of a week. In the previous batch of litters, 3 of 35 had died and several recovered following antibimicrobial treatment. S. suis type 14 is as recognised cause of such outbreaks.

Poor bone mineralisation causing recumbency suspected to be due to an inadequate diet
Eight of a batch of 71 four month old pigs fed confectionery and custard waste with sow nuts were affected with hind limb weakness leading to reluctance to stand and recumbency. Post mortem examination at Shrewsbury revealed synovial changes involving the stifles and hip joints but no significant bacteria were isolated. There was also no evidence of neurological disease on neuropathological examination. Bone analysis revealed a significantly low bone ash content with normal calcium and phosphorus content. The poor bone mineralisation was suspected to be due to dietary deficiency. Review and improvement of the mineral content of the diet was prompted by these findings.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 08, 2012, 09:07:56 AM
Monday, May 07, 2012
Weather Not Helping with Pig Meat Demand
UK - The recent spell of dull, cold, wet, miserable, gloomy, inclement weather is doing nothing to perk up demand for pig meat at a time of year when the prices normally start to rise as barbecues are fired up on the nation's patios and al fresco eating becomes the norm, writes Peter Crichton.


The DAPP added 0.59p to stand at 146.92p at a time when its future as an index price is under threat from abattoirs who had previously complained it was ahead of the market. The irony is that the DAPP is now 1.28p below the average shout price.

However despite poor retail demand and a short week ahead, prices have held reasonably firm with three of the main shout price buyers following Tulip's example and standing-on and Cranswick putting an extra 1p in the pot and lifting its contract price to 147p to narrow the gap between it and Vion with the rest of the field.

As a result the latest league table standings are now as follows:

150p Woodhead
149p Gill
148p Tulip
147p Vion, Cranswick

Although some spot bacon buyers were suggesting they might trim their bids back by a copper or two, once again the underlying shortage of pigs in the supply chain meant that they had to stand-on to secure the supplies they needed and once we return to a full working week and (hopefully) better weather, demand should pick up.

Most spot bacon was traded at around the 150p mark with small premiums available for lighter weights, but no pigs were reported to have been rolled which might let us start the following week with a clear sheet.

In addition to the unseasonal weather the euro continues to face a crisis of confidence and traded on Friday afternoon worth a mere 81.19p compared with 87.87p a year ago effectively reducing the delivered cost of imported pigmeat by 10 percent compared with 12 months ago.

Cull sow prices also came under pressure because of a mixture of a weaker euro as well as reports of falling pigmeat prices across many of the northern European countries with the result that British cull sow operators pulled their prices back by between 3p–4p/kg with most delivered quotes now between 122p and 125p according to spec.

On the feed price front ex-farm feed wheat is still trading at around £170/tonne, although futures quotes have eased a shade reflecting higher estimated yields at harvest time and better worldwide cereal availability.

The weaner market remains very much under pressure mainly due to the high cost of feed as well as a lack of any real confidence in pig prices in three months' time with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board 30kg ex-farm average weaner price static at a disappointing £45.29/head.

Many pundits are however pointing to a much brighter outlook for GB pig producers once the effects of the European Union mainland stall ban start to bite with signs that pig prices could follow what happened in the egg industry and put a smile back on producers' faces.

It will be interesting to see what the general mood of the industry is for the upcoming Pig and Poultry Fair that takes place at Stoneleigh on the 15-16 May, but "glass half empty" seems to be the current view.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 18, 2012, 11:34:35 AM

UK Minister Opens up Food, Pig Exports to China
17 May 2012


UK & CHINA - From food and drink, to skills and technolgies, British businesses trying to break in to China are getting Government backing as Food and Farming Minister, Jim Paice, heads out to the country on a mission to open up trade, particularly for British breeding pigs.

As the world's biggest economy with the largest population, China offers huge opportunities for Britain’s farming, food and drink sector, which has a reputation for food quality and safety and for innovation and expertise in farming.

Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice said: “Food and farming already plays a vital role in the UK economy but I believe there are still huge opportunities for growth in emerging markets like China.

“We need to keep ahead of the game by developing strong trade relationships with the world’s second largest economy. That’s why I’ve made this trade mission a priority.

“China wants what Britain has to offer – outstanding food and drink, high quality animals for breeding and farming skills and expertise that are second to none.”

China’s growing middle class is increasingly buying foreign food and drink seeing it as aspirational and recognising its high quality. Whether it is Scotch whisky or frozen lobster, artisan crisps or malt drinks, an increasing number of British favourites are becoming supermarket staples and delighting Chinese consumers. That is why Jim Paice will look to build relationships with key retailers and importers to smooth the path for other British producers looking to make their mark on China.

He will also promote British businesses offering high quality breeding pigs to China. Pork is the fashionable, meat of choice, for the Chinese and with a growing population with more money in their pockets, the demand for pork is booming. And while the trade in breeding pigs is worth millions to the UK economy each year, the skills and technologies we sell to support breeding programmes has the potential to be even more lucrative.

In Beijing, the Minister will meet key Chinese officials to develop trade relationships and seek out further export opportunities.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 22, 2012, 03:34:43 AM

Is the EU Serious About Continuing to Produce Pigs?
18 May 2012

IRELAND - IFA National Pigs and Pig Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan called a high level meeting of Teagasc and UCD pig feed research and advisory specialists as well as the main nutritionists and input traders that supply compound feed and ingredients to the pig industry in Portlaoise.

Mr Cullinan said: “The unprecedented volatility in feed markets is causing serious financial losses on Irish pig farms. Pig prices should be increasing with input prices, but this is simply not happening fast enough. Everyone in the chain upstream and downstream from the pig farm appears to have a margin except the pig producer. All the while the EU is not making progress to help the industry by approving the novel feedstuffs that we so desperately need to reduce costs. New varieties are being planted around the world while we are at a standstill unable to import them due to political upheaval on the subject without any scientific basis.”

Professor John O'Doherty, UCD said that feed is the greatest single cost factor (70 per cent) in pig production. “In pig diets, energy accounts for the largest proportion of the cost (82 per cent) and it is critically important that the energy content of a diet is characterized in the best possible way. Net energy has been proposed as a superior system that describes the feed energy a pig actually uses. However, NE is much more difficult to determine and more complex than DE, which may be a reason why it is not as widely used as it should be. Currently, only France, The Netherlands and Germany have developed net energy systems to describe dietary net energy contents.”

“Ultimately the consequence for diet formulation is that rations formulated under the NE system will be lower in protein, because the cost/MJ energy prohibits the inclusion of a large amount of soya bean or rape seed meal, and favours the inclusion of free amino acids. At the same time, choosing ingredients with a low cost of energy will reduce the cost of a mixed diet by as much as 5 per cent during the grower and finisher phases,” Mr O'Doherty claimed.

It was also discussed at the meeting that a trend has developed in trading of cereals in the past few years where up to 30 per cent of cereals are traded by cereal farmers before the planting actually takes place. Thereafter this product can be traded up to seven times before reaching an end user.

Mr Cullinan said: “Currently it can be assumed that each transaction is creating a profit for traders while producers at the end of the chain are unable to buy feed at a cost that will covered by the price of pigs. Irish pig feed prices can be up to €30/tonne more expensive than that used on the continent. The feed industry must focus on where a reduction in the cost of feed can be achieved for Irish producers.”
Due to the downturn in the world economy and the increase in demand for food worldwide this serious volatility in commodities has become a factor that must be contended with by all in the industry. The advice coming from the feed industry was that pig farmers need to take longer positions in the market.

“However all elements of the pig production chain need to realise that this volatility will feed right through should more pig farmers go out of business with the result of meat becoming scarce and less need for feed,” Mr Cullinan concluded.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 31, 2012, 07:09:26 AM

EU Pig Prices: Record Prices in Spain
30 May 2012


EU - This week, friendly European pig prices are prevalent in markets, even if price increases could not be enforced everywhere.

In Spain, the price went up to a converted €1.77 per kg slaughter weight, the highest level experienced there for more than eight years.

At the beginning of the holiday season, the Spanish slaughter companies’ demand for pigs for slaughter still cannot be covered.

After the French prices have not made any progress for a long period of time, remaining at a very unsatisfying level, they now also went up by +5 cents. This may be attributed to increasing domestic demand on the one hand and to lower quantities on offer of pigs mature for slaughter on the other hand. Yet, the French producers are far from cost-covering prices, at €1.55 per kg.
In Denmark, the quotation went up by +3 cents. There, the meat business is reported to be improved, and the Danish exports are still going well. The Belgian quotation also could go up by €1.61 per kg. Just like in Germany, no price changes were reported from Austria and the Netherlands.
Trend for the German market: The German slaughter companies’ demand continues to be good. Although this week one day of slaughter has been missing due to Pentecost, no backlog supply has piled up. Batches were sold at a 5 cents’ additional charge on the concerted price for the new week of slaughter at the ISN market. The meat business proves to have become friendlier over the past weeks.

As a result of the weakening euro as well, the export business also gathers momentum. As a consequence, the prices are expected to remain at least stable.















Week 15














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Prices in Euros (€)


Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 07, 2012, 11:25:38 PM

European Pork Exports to China Rise in Q1 of 2012
07 June 2012

EU - In spite of several difficulties faced by the EU, pork exports to China rose 111 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year.

According to BPEX's latest Export Bulletin, EU exports rose 9 per cent in total in the first quarter of 2012.
According to a recent report, the French poultry and pig meat industries appear to have been asleep since 2002 and have lost their competitive edge. The main factor obstructing development in these sectors is the environmental challenge.
In Germany, the market situation ranges from a surplus in pig supplies in some areas to shortage of pigs in other regions. Domestic pig meat trade has taken speed and particularly fillets and topsides are in high demand, resulting in regional shortages. It is expected that Russia might resume imports of German fat and bacon articles.
In Switzerland, pork consumption dropped 1.7 per cent last year to 24.9 kg per person. Pork remains the main meat being consumed with close to 50 per cent of total meat consumption. Swiss meat board, Proviande, has been successful in leading development of exports of premium processed pork products such as traditional salamis and dried meats.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on June 25, 2012, 08:08:44 AM

British Pig Meat Goes to China
22 June 2012


UK - The first shipment of British pig meat ihas been sent to mainland China from a cold store in the UK.
The market that is the largest in the world for pork was opened up following years of negotiations.
The shipment was loaded up on Tuesday and went from the Tulip cold store at Brierley Hill in teh West Midlands.
Sales and export manager Martin Sauer said: "This is an important step not only for Tulip but also for the British pig industry.
"The Chinese market is huge -the biggest in the world - and there will be scope to expand it in years to come."
BPEX chairman Stewart Houston, who was involved in the negotiations to open the market, said: "It is very important to us. It is a market that could easily be worth £50 million a year in the not too far distant future."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 03, 2012, 12:58:49 AM

Will Integrated Supply Chain Bring Home the Bacon?
28 June 2012

ANALYSIS - A new report into the British pig meat industry calls for an integrated pig meat supply chain, writes Chris Harris.

The report says that at present pig producers and processors struggle to sell their products at a profit and utilise their production capacity.
This discourages productive investment and entrenches the UK pig industry's disadvantage compared to foreign competitors, the report says.
It also encourages a worsening of pay and conditions for the workforce, and undermines job security.
The report Bringing Home the Bacon from researchers from the University of Manchester Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change says the system is economically unnecessary because there is a better way, which delivers on broader economic and social objectives.

The more integrated and consolidated national models of the Danish and Dutch pig industry or the profitable in-house UK processing operations of Morrisons represent the alternative, which uses a higher proportion of British meat compared to the other major supermarkets.

The Morrisons model aligns the interests of firm, supply chain and society. Morrisons runs its vertically integrated processing plants at full capacity and proves the benefits of plant loading with demand stabilised. The firm increases margins, reduces transaction costs and controls quality. Society gains through reduced import dependence, stable employment and the capacity to address animal welfare and climate change.
The big three supermarkets cannot choose a better way as long as they are locked into their present business model through the demands of the stock market and their own mentality and practices. Therefore, much depends on whether government can and will play a constructive role in persuading firms to change their business models.
The report suggests that there should be tax incentives from the government to form integrated supply chains.
And it calls for a national debate about whether large national supermarket chains are necessary and specifically about what would be lost and gained if Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s were split up into regional chains (e.g. Tesco North and Tesco South or Sainsbury East and West).
The research concludes that the government should move beyond its current ‘code of good practice and adjudicator’ model for regulating retailer-supplier relations.
It recommends that the Grocery Code Adjudicator regulator should secure better practice by reserve powers to enforce model contracts and minimum contract lengths, as well as discouraging, through strong punitive and investigative powers, variations in terms of supply without retailers providing notice and compensation.
It has also called for a year long moratorium on price cut promotions.
However, the researchers appear to bring their whole argument down to a cash and profit basis and overlook other inherent motivation for producing pigs.
However, many pig producers might not wish to tie themselves lock, stock and barrel to a regime where they are beholden to one outlet. Many prefer the flexibility of the market and also do not wish to become involved in the chain after the farm although many will also welcome and benefit from a relationship with both processors and retailers.
Retailers and processors are also likely to baulk at any suggestion of government intervention to control prices.
Producers will also only invest their money. time and effort into an enterprose if they can see they are going to get a good reward, so any partnership or relationship will have to be openly beneficial to all parties.

The report believes that with full backing an integrated chain will improve profits, welfare and conditions, but many producers and processors will have to be persuaded.
Chris Harris, Editor-in-Chief
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 15, 2012, 05:13:04 AM

Pig Farmers Face an Empty Trough
13 July 2012


UK - Feed costs have again spiked due to global weather patterns and pig producers are facing large losses as the price they are paid is well below the cost of production.

Latest figures show it costs 170p per kg to raise a pig, but at present producers are being paid just 150p per kg – an unsustainable position.
These figures do not take full account of recent rises in feed prices and the cost of production is set to rise even further in the coming weeks.
Global weather conditions have been the major driver of the price rises, which have also affected the other main component of pig feed – soya, according to a BPEX report and the effects are being felt across Europe.
The report has been produced by AHDB Market Intelligence and senior analyst Stephen Howarth, the author, said: “Based on the July cost of production estimate, this means that producers are losing an average of 23p per kg, equivalent to a loss of about £18 per pig.
“In recent months, feed costs have risen faster than the DAPP, increasing the losses experienced by producers.
“Producers have now been in a loss-making position for 22 consecutive months, dating back to October 2010. Cumulative losses during this period are now approaching £200 million.”
The full report is available to read and download here.

or view the video with Stuart Bosworth, Farmers Weekly Pig Farmer of the Year 2011, talking about the rising costs of pig feed and how this is affecting the industry. Click here to view it.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 29, 2012, 12:16:36 AM

Spain and EU Hog Markets
26 July 2012


EU - Spain's pig price continue being the Europa highest 1,38 €/ live pig Kg (0,77 USA $/ live pig pound) and same price during the last week of June, in spite of an insufficient offer the price of the pork does not rise, writes Javier Santamartina, Spain, Italy and Portugal Genesus Representative.

This explains partly to the rest of countries of Europa's center. This month there have been imported alive pigs from France and carcasses from Germany. This a rare event in this market. Spain’s export carcass, cuts to Germany and pigs to France is not significant.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of July 16, 2012


Domestic price
(own currency)

US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)

USA (Iowa-Minnesota)

93.50¢ USD/lb carcass


Canada (Ontario)

1.75¢ CAD/kg carcass


Mexico (DF)

22.68 MXN/kg liveweight


Brazil (South Region)

1.94 BRL/kg liveweight



95 RUB/kg liveweight



13.35 RMB/kg liveweight



1.38 EUR/kg liveweight


There are reasons for an increase of price, the offer is scanty and does not seem to have solution, in the short term, to get it any short but of having taken place strong imports that would concern the domestic market. Therefore it seems that it will be kept stable without rising prices but keeping it stable and strong anyways. The summer heat helps pork producers to support this situation.
The pork markets plow depressed especially Spain and Portugal Market. There are lot concurrences between packing plants with very low margins. This situation inhibits the raises.
A short review of rest of main countries of Europe in pig productions:

France: Average price on farm 1,252 €/Kg hog live (0,70 $/ live pig pound) equivalent 1,437 €/kg Carcass (0,80 USA $ /pound carcass).
For the next months the offer with 10 per cent less of kill animals every week of this year compared to last year, and this trend probably will increase the price.
Denmark: Average Price 11,30 DKK (1,52€/Kg carcass) (0,85 $/ live / pound).

The prices and sales of hams and cuts from Denmark continue stable and continue fluid on international markets like Russia and China. Slaughter is down 7 per cent less compared at the same period of last year.
Germany: Average Price 1,27 €/kg live (0,71 USA$/ live pig pound).

Packing plans are reducing slaughter, specially the packing plans focus to export. Starting holidays period in the main producer region which normally reduces the slaughter numbers producing an expected reduction in prices for the coming weeks.
There is new data about the numbers of pigs in Germany. The official inventory shows 1 million more pigs this year versus previous year. There is a lot of debate about the recently release numbers by the government agency. Some experts say that data are not full comparable and talk that probably there are the same number of pigs and there is not technical reason for increasing it. Over the second half of the year the decrease of number slaughter pigs will be compensate bypiglets imported from Netherland and Denmark during the first six months of the year. The number of sows continue to getting shorter -1.34 per cent less sows (around 30.000 head less). This has been compensate with increasing in productivity (piglets/sow /year) around 2 per cent.
Italy: Average price 1,35 €/kg (160 kg).

Not strong demand of pork in the Italian market over the last month. Steady prices.
It is important to compare price between countries that the price received by producers is official price less discount in Spain (average -0,04) and in the rest of countries receive price plus premium (+0.05 depending of country).
Other important things for the future is the agreement of Codex Alimentarius (Food Oficial Agency ) to limit of raptomicine residues in pork in 10 micrograms per kilogram of pork and 40 micrograms in liver/kg. Raptomicine is used in finishing pigs to increase growth and to keep lean carcasses. This limit probably must be not accepted in other parts of the world and could get difficult to export pork.
Also the Spain crops are not doing any good and this situation added to high price of grains and specially soya. Barley (216 €/ton) and Soya (420 €/ton).
Summer will be stable in Europe with Spain leading.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 03, 2012, 08:49:27 AM

Fresh Pork Price to Rise
02 August 2012

MALTA - The price of fresh Maltese pork will go up from Monday due to the global increase in the cost of animal feed, the Pig Breeders’ Cooperative Society Limited said on Wednesday, 1 August.

>The increase will be of 20c per kilo on the price of whole pig carcasses sold by the cooperative,
It blamed price volatility in international markets for cereals and other ingredients, exacerbated by poor weather in cereal and soya producing countries.
The cooperative did not rule out further increases, with indications being that cereal prices will continue to rise.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 03, 2012, 08:51:44 AM

Shoppers Urged to Help Save Britain’s Favourite Food
02 August 2012

UK - Bacon is Britain's favourite food, according to the Top 100 Foods Index — but it is under threat. 1.5m rashers of British bacon a week look likely to disappear from supermarket shelves. Also in danger of disappearing are 2.3m sausages a week, another high-scoring favourite in the Top 100 Foods Index.

The culprit is poor crop growing weather around the world, making pig feed too expensive for British farmers to afford. In a bid to save the situation, British pig farmers, who are recognised as world leaders in higher welfare pig farming, are asking shoppers to make a special effort to support them over the exceptional few months ahead.
"If supermarkets see a surge in demand for British product, they may be persuaded to pay our farmers the few extra pennies a kilo more they need to cover their soaring feed bills,” said National Pig Association general manager Dr Zoe Davies. "So we are asking shoppers, who have always been incredibly loyal in the past, to please be extra careful to look for the British Red Tractor logo on bacon, sausages, and pork."
The National Pig Association acknowledges that empty spaces on supermarket shelves could be filled with imported bacon and sausages, but these would not be produced to British welfare standards. In any case European pork products will soon be in shorter supply too, as the European Commission expects European pig production to shrink next year.
The problem for British pig farmers is that the cost of pig feed ingredients such as wheat and soya has increased over 25 percent in recent weeks as a result of poor crop-growing conditions, particularly in the United States.
At the same time, intense high street rivalry is making supermarkets reluctant to pay farmers more to cover their extra costs of production. In a survey just completed by the National Pig Association, pig farmers representing ten percent of Britain's weekly pig production say if they don't see a fair price between now and Christmas they will have no option but to stop production — because they cannot afford to feed their animals.
In addition to the loss of 1.5m British bacon rashers and 2.3m British sausages a week, this will mean...
 •1.5m fewer British sausage rolls
 •250,000 fewer British pork pies
 •300,000 fewer British pork chops
 •63,000 fewer British rolled shoulder joints
 •And 31,000 fewer British leg roasts.
Over the next few weeks, British pig farmers need to persuade all actors in the pork supply chain to work together towards a producer price that reflects the recent rises in feed prices.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 18, 2012, 02:57:08 AM

Report Published on Welfare Management for Entire Male Pigs
17 August 2012


UK - A new report by veterinarian, Ruth Clements, MRCVS, of Food Animal Initiative (FAI), focuses on the welfare problems of rearing entire male pigs, and looks at ways in which welfare can be enhanced in the pig industry.

Report author, Ruth Clements of FAI and Marcon Tigges, Senior Product Manager of Pfizer UK’s Swine Business Unit
The report outlines the problems caused by housing entire males in commercial units, including aggression and injury caused by sexual behaviour and considers some of the options for reducing their prevalence.
Entitled Entire Male Pig Production: Welfare Management Issues, the report was produced by agriculture and science consultancy, FAI, and commissioned by Pfizer.
It highlights a range of possible solutions to tackle welfare issues caused by entire males in commercial units. These include selection of genetic lines with reduced aggressive tendencies, modification of housing environment to reduce the level of social contact, provision of manipulable materials which allow natural rooting behaviour and temporary reduction of testosterone in male pigs through an Improvac® welfare management programme.
The report states: “Commercial pig systems can place pigs in challenging social situations and lead to a range of abnormal, or normal but unwanted behaviours. Where normal behaviour is carried out at an increased frequency and becomes problematic, this is often a result of increased social and body contact with other pigs, a lack of environmental enrichment such as manipulable materials and high competition for resources such as food and water.
“Rearing entire male pigs in these systems increases the challenges in terms of levels of aggressive, sexual and social behaviours for all pigs in the pens,” the report adds.
It points out that while entire male pigs are capable of higher and leaner growth rates compared to females and castrates, when reared under commercial conditions they rarely reach this potential due to increased aggressive, sexual and social behaviour and reduced feeding behaviour.
Injuries acquired through aggression and mounting include skin lesions, bruising and leg problems. Other problems include stress and pregnancies and subsequent slaughter of pregnant gilts.
Aggression is identified as being observed in two specific scenarios. Firstly, mixing unfamiliar pigs can cause a period of intensive fighting until social dominance is established, and secondly there can be longer-term competition over feed and resources.
In general, aggressive behaviours are increased in entire male pigs during and after puberty, and are also increased during the mixing and moving of these animals. Studies have indicated that increased aggression is stimulated by testicular steroid hormones, and that these behaviours stimulate an increase in plasma testosterone, forming a positive feedback level between hormone levels and aggressive and sexual behaviour.
Report author, Ms Ruth Clements, commented: “Rearing entire male pigs can give producers an advantage in terms of a potential growth rate advantage, and obliterates the need for painful castration procedures for the pigs. However rearing entire male pigs can present its own challenges which can leave producers unable to capitalise on any growth rate potential, and leave pigs exposed to other welfare problems resulting from aggressive and sexual behaviours.”
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 09, 2012, 03:59:36 AM

Weekly Overview: Pushing up Pig Prices in Challenging Times
03 September 2012

ANALYSIS - A survey has revealed that UK consumers say they are prepared to pay more for 'welfare-friendly' pig meat - but would they do so in practice? Rising feed prices are being blamed for cuts in pig numbers in the UK and the US, where serious economic losses are being predicted. In the EU, pig prices are reported to be moving upwards in most countries. A new model developed in Spain has put the risk of the transmission of the African Swine Fever virus to EU countries generally by various means of transport at 'low'.

Consumer surveys are notoriously unreliable predictors of consumer behaviour but the latest, from the UK, indicates that consumers are willing to pay more for animal products from more welfare-friendly systems.
Research at the University of Reading suggests that people are willing to pay more for even a slight improvement in the well-being of the animals in their meals, appearing to favour cows and chickens over pigs.

Professor Richard Bennett, an agricultural economist who advises the UK government on animal welfare issues, is leading University's research assessing the extent to which people want to improve the welfare of farm animals.

"Our research shows that people are overwhelmingly concerned about the welfare of animals bred for meat, and would be willing to pay more each year for even a one-point increase on the happiness scale of the animals they eat," Professor Bennett said.

The study suggests that for just a one-point increase on the animal welfare 100-point scale, consumers are willing to pay £4.57 a year to improve the welfare of pigs.
The risk of disease among farm animals and farm biosecurity are public issues, which makes the economic impacts of disease control and ensuring good biosecurity public concerns.
The August issue of EuroChoices, the Journal of the Agricultural Economics Society and European Association of Agricultural Economists, examines the role of economics in animal health decision making and how an economic approach can add value to animal health policies.
More evidence of the impacts of high feed prices on pig numbers has emerged in the last week. UK production is forecast to be down 10 per cent by the end of the year unless pig prices improve. In the US, sow slaughterings are up while pig production is down. Purdue Extension agricultural economist, Chris Hurt, is forecasting the nation's pork industry will continue to experience some of its worst economic losses in recent history. On more positive note, pig prices are improving in almost all EU countries, the result of scare supply and a brisk demand.
Finally, turning to news of African Swine Fever (ASF), scientists in Spain have developed a model to assess the risks to the European Union's pig industry of the transmission of the ASF virus from the Russian Federation to EU countries. They found that overall, the risk of the introduction of the virus into EU countries is low and mainly associated with returning trucks but the risks are higher for Poland and Lithuania. They highlighted the importance of good biosecurity, especially regarding the disinfection of trucks.
ASF has also been in the news in Russia. The veterinary service in the Kurgan region has allocated an additional 34 million rubles for measures to prevent the introduction and spread of ASF and leukaemia in cattle. The veterinary service for the regions of Bryansk and Smolensk have addressed measures to keep ASF out of the largest pig farm in Bryansk.

Jackie Linden - Senior Editor
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 15, 2012, 09:54:29 AM

Spain Hog Markets
13 September 2012


SPAIN - Hog prices in Europe have raised to historical records this summer, and continue to climb, according to Javier Santamartina, Genesus Rep for Spain, Portugal and Italy.

You can observe the unusual direction of the price this year (green line) compared to 2011 (red line) and 2010 (blue line). All of this is happening at the expenses of the feed cost (and pork demand obviously).
Germany, France, Denmark, Holland and Spain are the countries with the highest prices in Europe over the last 10 years. Another interesting point for those who love stats: it has been the first time in the last 20 years that price kept escalating every single week.
Spain’s hog prices €/kg pig live per week. (2010, 2011 and 2012).

Hog supply is not enough to make available demand of pork of the packing plants. The pork industry in Spain does not have any pound in storage and specific cuts like bacon have an extreme high demand (certainly higher than supply). In Germany for example some packing plants have tried to get the higher prices stopped by reducing the price on some cuts like loin. On the other hand countries like France and Spain with little hog supply to kill have started to shrink hogs weight dramatically. The average weight for the last few weeks was 105Kg/head (230 lb). the industry expects to see even lighter pigs hitting the market on the coming weeks. We have had weeks of just 101 Kg/head (220 lb) average at the end of the summer. Pietrain like hogs are getting price penalty at the packing plant to be deficient in bacon, intramuscular fat and showing too lean conformation at lighter weights.
It seems like pig price will continue greater than ever in consonance with feed cost situation. Grains to produce animal feed have also been at record prices. Soya bean hitting 600 €/ton and corn around 270 €/ton. The bad news coming from Russia and North America about market contraction will be reflecting higher prices in Spain for the following months.
Not only cost of feed has caused this atypical phenomenon in the Spain’s hog industry. We have to blame the Euro/ Dollar exchange rates for these record prices as well.

Unfortunately this –apparently- good price situation is not enough to clean the dust and fill the big hole the producers have experienced over the last few years, the pork industry needs more money and the financial situation in Spain continues in the intense care room. It is not clear yet what is going to be the domestic market reaction facing an exaggerated augment of food price. Pork price have suffered a government hit of 2% tax increase on all by-products in Spain, increase that will not been reflected in the producer’s pocket. Also the farms are getting stronger pressure from the EU to be modified to fit the new welfare rules. The point is the producers do not have enough money to invest on their facilities while the feed price is too high. They will have to make a decision between barn renovations or feed their pigs! The producers are alert while the number of sow continues diminishing.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 22, 2012, 08:55:43 AM

Europe’s Pork, Bacon Supply Contracts
21 September 2012

EU - A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable, says Britain’s National Pig Association. But British supermarkets can protect consumers from shortages and steep price rises if they pay Britain’s loss-making pig farmers a fair price, to help them remain in production.

New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and this is a trend that is being mirrored around the world. Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig-feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya harvests.

 All main European pig-producing countries report shrinking sow herds. Falling numbers in the 12 months to June 2012 have been reported this week by Denmark (-2.3), Germany (-1.3), Ireland (-6.6), Spain (-2.8), France (-3.2), Italy (-13), Hungary (-5), the Netherlands (-3.6), Austria (-2.8), Poland (-9.6) and Sweden (-7.2).

“British supermarkets know they have to raise the price they pay Britain’s pig farmers or risk empty spaces on their shelves next year,” said NPA chairman Richard Longthorp. “But competition is so fierce in the high street at present, each is waiting for the other to move first.”

In its Save Our Bacon campaign, NPA is asking shoppers to make a point of selecting pork and bacon with the British independent Red Tractor logo, as an increase in demand for British product now may help persuade supermarkets to act before it is too late.

Sainsbury’s has increased the price it pays to a few of its pig farmer suppliers and NPA has welcomed this gesture. But it says the major supermarkets need to do much more, if they want to protect their customers from shortages and high prices next year.

 British Pig Executive Mick Sloyan warned a private meeting of British and mainland Europe retailers at a Brussels summit yesterday that a fall of only two per cent in slaughterings next year will cause prices to rise by 10 per cent.

 NPA believes slaughterings could fall by as much as 10 per cent in the second half of next year, which indicates a doubling of the price of European pork and pork products. “If supermarkets act now, they can prevent this happening,” says NPA.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 27, 2012, 09:07:00 AM
With pork costs rising, Great Britain is facing a bacon and sausage shortage as pig farmers cut back on herd size. But the problem may soon become global.

In a recent press release, the U.K.'s National Pig Association is warning that a "world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable":

New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and this is a trend that is being mirrored around the world. Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig-feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya harvests. All main European pig-producing countries report shrinking sow herds.

Financial Times reports that this past season's droughts in North America and Russia are to blame for the spike in prices for grain crops, which are used to feed animals.

As of August, nearly half of all counties in the U.S. were considered disaster areas due to extreme dryness and heat.

Some U.S. farmers have taken to extreme measures to feed their livestock and save money at the same time, including one Kentucky farmer who fed his cattle candy "just to survive."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 07, 2012, 09:37:44 AM
BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update

Reports» BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update» BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update October 2012

03 October 2012
BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update October 2012


UK Prices
The GB pig market in August remained relatively stable as the trend seen since May continued over the holiday period. With only a marginal fall of 0.05p per kg, the average EU-spec DAPP for August came to 150.40p per kg. However, this was nearly two pence higher than the same month last year, when prices had begun their normal seasonal fall. This year, prices in August were supported by higher prices and lower availability of imports, given rising quotes in the EU, while demand was generally firm. With EU supplies remaining tight, GB prices began to rise in September, against the normal seasonal trend and by week ended 22 September, the DAPP had reached 153.46p per kg, more than eight pence higher than a year earlier.

As in July, the average carcase weight only increased marginally during August and early September, at a time of year when weights are normally increasing. At 77.9kg the average carcase weight in the DAPP sample in August was fractionally higher than the July average but more than 1.3kg lower than in August 2011. This is probably a result of producers marketing the pigs earlier than usual as they struggled to break-even due to rising production costs.
The weaner market continued to fall during August, reaching a four-year low, with high feed costs limiting the amount finishers were prepared to pay, given uncertainties about future pig prices. As a consequence, the average weaner price for August fell to £39.31 per head. Producers were selling their weaners for £1.62 less than in July and £3.50 less compared with August 2011. By early September, the price had stabilised at around £39 per head as confidence about the direction of finished pig prices began to improve.
The average monthly price for cull sows reached 109.21p per kg in August. This was 0.38p higher than July, although the annual gap was more significant, with a 5.54p increase compared with the same month last year. Despite a higher number of sows in the market, the firm price indicates that export demand held up well. Most of our sow meat is exported to Germany, so the recent increases are largely a consequence of increases in the German prices, due to tight supplies of clean pigs. Prices had increased to around 112p per kg by early September.

EU Prices
Continuing recent pig price increases, there was a further significant rise in the EU average reference price for August, as the value of a finished pig reached €178.36 per 100kg. This was an increase of over €9 on the month and compared with the same month last year pigs were around €23 per 100 kg more expensive. Such drastic change is a consequence of tight supplies across the EU, along with robust demand as the weather improved in northern Europe. The forthcoming sow stall ban may also have played a role in the recent supply issues.

Comparative EU Pig Prices
(as at 16 September)

The three main southern Member States all contributed to the increase. Italian prices increased by a notable €18, following a similar increase in July. French prices were up by six euros on the month, while prices in Spain rose by just three euros but were still up nearly €19 compared with the corresponding period last year. Hot weather conditions, particularly affecting Italy, have slowed the growth rate of fattening pigs and led to lower carcase weights, contributing to the tightening of supplies.
Similarly, the northern Member States experienced rapid pig price inflation, with German and Dutch prices up by €16 on the month, although Danish prices rose by only five euros. Improved weather has led to robust demand for pig meat at a time when pig supplies were tightening on key markets, with increased weaner exports a contributory factor.
The rapid rise in EU prices meant that the gap between EU and UK prices closed throughout August and by week ended 15 September, the EU average price was above the UK reference price by as much as four pence per kg, the largest gap since January 2009.
The average weaner price in the EU for August fell to €42.41 per head, a little more than one euro lower than July but around €9 higher than the same month last year. The sharpest falls came in southern Europe, with the Spanish and French prices down by five and four euros respectively. In contrast, the German and Polish weaner markets remained firm in August, as higher demand further encouraged prices. In early September, prices edged higher but the Polish price reached its highest level for three years. Fewer weaners in the EU, due to a fall in the breeding herd, combined with higher demand from markets such as Germany and Poland is the main reason for the recent improvement in prices.

UK Slaughterings and Pig Meat Supplies
UK clean pig slaughterings in August were again about three per cent higher than a year earlier at 782,000 head. The largest increase was again in Scotland, up by 21 per cent year on year at 52,000 head. Throughputs in England and Wales were one per cent higher at 601,000 head whereas the Northern Ireland figure stood at 129,000 head, seven per cent higher than in August 2011. Clean pig slaughterings for the first eight months of the year totalled 6.6 million head, also up by three per cent on the same period last year.

The August total for slaughterings of sows and adult boars was 21,100 head. This was around 2,400 higher than in August 2011 and follows an even larger increase in July, providing further evidence that some producers are destocking in the face of increased feed costs. So far this year, 175,000 adult pigs have been slaughtered, seven per cent more than during the same period last year.
The average UK clean pig carcase weight for August was marginally lower than in August 2011 at 77.7kg, as higher weights in Northern Ireland partly offset lower GB weights. Given the rise in both clean and adult pig slaughterings, pig meat production in August was more than three per cent higher than a year earlier at 63,900 tonnes. Total pig meat production for the year to date reached 545,800 tonnes, an increment of three per cent.
Based on the DAPP sample, estimated clean pig throughputs in early September were slightly lower than a year earlier, although this is partly due to high slaughterings last year. With carcase weights also lower, pig meat production in September may be lower than a year earlier for the first time since February, although any fall will be mitigated by continuing high levels of sow cullings.
UK pork and bacon imports were again lower than a year earlier in July, although the falls of seven and one per cent respectively were lower than in most recent months. Monthly pork shipments totaled 29,200 tonnes, while 20,000 tonnes of bacon and ham were imported. Continuing the trends seen earlier in the year, falling shipments of pork from Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium were partly offset by increased volumes from Germany, France and Spain. Germany has now clearly overtaken the Netherlands as the second largest supplier of imported pork to the UK market. The weaker euro meant that unit prices were three per cent lower than in July 2011 at £1.92 per kg. However, the trend was different for bacon and ham, with Dutch shipments up by 16 per cent while Danish and German volumes were down.
The recent trend towards increased shipments of boneless cuts at the expense of bone-in hams and loins continued in July, with the latter down by 39 and 47 per cent respectively. The rapid rise of processed imports also continued, with sausage volumes up by five per cent, to 8,300 tonnes, and other processed pig meat products by 46 per cent to 14,200 tonnes. Ireland and the Netherlands performed well in both processed categories.
UK fresh and frozen pork exports in July were down by two per cent year on year, continuing the recent subdued performance. July was the first full month of pork shipments to China, which reached just over 1,000 tonnes. However, this was offset by a sharp fall in shipments to Hong Kong. Within the EU, shipments to Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium were down but this was more than offset by increased exports to other Member States, notably Germany and Denmark. This came despite much higher unit prices due to the strength of the pound against the euro.
UK offal exports were also lower in July 2012 than a year earlier. Increased shipments to other EU Member States were more than offset by lower shipments to Far Eastern markets. Although volumes were relatively small, exports of processed pig meat products were higher, with sausage volumes nearly doubling but bacon/ham shipments were lower, largely due to a decline in Irish demand.

Feed Prices
Global grain prices have remained fairly stable over the last month, with November 2012 LIFFE feed wheat closing between £200 and £207 per tonne every day since 20 August. Chicago maize for December 2012 movement has slipped slightly, from £209.47 per tonne on 21 August to £181.31 per tonne on 19 September.
Commodities in general rallied earlier this month on the back of new Quantitative Easing (QE3) from the US Federal Reserve, which in effect weakens the US dollar. This was then followed by a sell off by investors over macro-economic issues.
The latest USDA report further revised down US maize yields by 0.6 bushels per acre (0.05 tonnes per hectare), but left the abandonment figure unchanged. This leaves room next month for reduced production as analysts are generally expecting a higher abandonment figure than the current nine per cent. Historic data suggest that up to 14 per cent can be abandoned in difficult years. The harvest is progressing about three weeks earlier than usual and as at 16 September, 26 per cent of the crop had been harvested compared with the nine per cent usually expected at this stage.
Russian wheat is becoming gradually uncompetitive in export tenders for November and so far none has been offered for December movement. This suggests that no official export restrictions will be needed, although the options do remain open if required. Lower yields than expected in central Russia have further reduced analyst’s forecasts for wheat and total grain production. IKAR and SovEcon both forecast Russian wheat production below 40 million tonnes. In 2010, 41 million tonnes of wheat was grown, although total grain production is estimated well above that of 2010. In that year 61 million tonnes of grain was produced, whereas forecasts this year are for 69-70 million tonnes.


The domestic harvest is coming to a close with 95 per cent of wheat cut in GB. Only a small area of wheat remains, almost exclusively in Scotland, and the spring barley harvest is progressing well. Specific weights for wheat are well below average, and are the main issue for both milling and feed blending supply chains. Specific weights in the South and Midlands have been some of the lowest on record.
US soyabean crops have also started to be harvested, and were 10 per cent complete as at 16 September. This was ahead of the four per cent average at this date. Anecdotally, yields were higher than anticipated and prices have slipped to reflect this. The South American planting season is due to start within the next week or so and conditions were said to be generally good, although slightly wet in Argentina and slightly dry in Brazil. Chicago futures for November 2012 movement were £365 per tonne at close of play on 20 September.
UK imported Hi-Pro soyameal was £400 per tonne from the east coast on Friday 21 September, down £38 per tonne on the month.


Total Cost of Pig Production Compared with the DAPP

AHDB’s provisional estimate for the cost of pig production in September was marginally lower than the August estimate at just under 169p per kg. The reduction is the result of slightly lower quotes for compound pig feed, although prices for the main feed ingredients remain high and there has been little sign of them easing. Price rises have been mitigated somewhat by further improvements in physical performance, slightly reducing estimates of production costs for recent months.
The September estimate is still nearly 7p per kg higher than in July and more than 20p higher than at the start of the year. This is almost entirely due to rising feed prices as non-feed costs are less than a penny per kg higher than they were in January. The latest figure is nearly 15p per kg higher than the estimate for September 2011. Pig prices are currently around 5p per kg higher than the average for last September but are about 18p lower than the current cost of production. This is equivalent to a loss of over £14 per pig, slightly lower than in August, meaning that pig producers are collectively losing nearly £2.5 million each week.

Based on data from Kantar Worldpanel, the average price paid by consumers for fresh and frozen pork in the four-week period ending 2 September was nearly five per cent lower than in the previous four weeks at £5.23 per kg. The increase was largely due to higher prices for roasting joints with little change in prices for most other cuts. Bacon prices were three per cent down from the previous period and were lower than a year earlier. Prices paid for sausages were slightly lower than in the previous four weeks but higher than a year earlier, while the opposite was true of sliced cooked meats.
In the 12 weeks to 2 September 2012, overall consumer purchases of pig meat were higher than a year earlier. Both bacon and sliced cooked meats were up three per cent but purchases of pork and sausages were both down two per cent. Within the fresh pork category, the most significant movement was the continuing shift from leg to loin roasting joints, with purchases of the former down 26 per cent and the latter up by 27 per cent. Belly’s strong performance continued, with purchases up nine per cent, while chops and steaks were both down.
In the most recent 4-week period, many of these trends continued, with bacon purchases up by as much as seven per cent. Sausage sales were almost the same as last August but fresh/frozen pork was down three per cent. Leg joints performed better than recently, with purchases up 19 per cent, mainly at the expense of shoulder joints which were down 33 per cent. Expenditure was up across all categories, as prices for sausages and fresh/frozen pork were higher than a year earlier.


Trends in Retail Meat Purchases (Period Ended 2 September 2012)

Earlier in the summer, the nation celebrated the London 2012 Olympics but which meats did people eat while watching the games? Growth in both expenditure and quantity made pork the gold medallist, up eight and nine per cent respectively on the same period last year. This was ahead of chicken in silver (up seven per cent in value and five per cent in volume) and in bronze position was turkey (up two and four per cent). Lamb was just outside the medals in fourth with a slight fall in expenditure but six per cent increase in the amount purchased, while beef lagged well behind with a three per cent fall in spending and an 11 per cent fall in volumes.
It might have been expected that traditional party foods such as sausage rolls and pork pies would perform well as quick convenient snack foods to consume whilst watching the games. However, they suffered as price-conscious consumers noticed the large year-on-year price increases of 17 and 14 per cent respectively. Convenience however had not gone away and there were increased purchases of pizza. The recent emergence of pork marinades continued with an increase of 85 per cent and the improvement in the weather during the Olympic period, and perhaps the successes of Team GB, drove the traditional British summer BBQ occasion as sausages and burgers both saw volume growth in both fresh and frozen formats.
Sales of those products that gained momentum while the games were on peaked during the second week, while beef and lamb, which started well in the first week, fell back in the second. The momentum built up by “Super Saturday” resulted in stronger sales for barbecue products as the final weekend approached and Usain Bolt won his third gold, Mo Farah his second and consumers prepared for the closing ceremony.

October 2012
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 14, 2012, 08:48:21 AM

Breeding Herd Records 12 Per Cent Drop in 2012
12 October 2012

SCOTLAND, UK - There has been a 12.3 per cent drop in the total breeding herd in 2012 compared with 2012 state new figures from the June 2012 Scottish Agricultural Census.

In 2011, the total breeding herd stood at 36,338 pigs. A 12.3 per cent drop has now been reported, with only 31,881 pigs recorded in 2012.
Sows in pig saw one of the biggest drops. Numbers fell 14.3 per cent to 20,712 in 2012.
The number of boars recorded also dropped 13.1 per cent from 1506 in 2011 to 1308 in 2012.
Barren sows for fattening have seen an increase of 28 per cent between 2011 and 2012, with the number now standing at 941.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 20, 2012, 10:17:35 AM
UK Slaughter Statistics

Reports» UK Slaughter Statistics» UK Slaughter Statistics - October 2012

18 October 2012
UK Slaughter Statistics - October 2012


Key points

This release shows the latest monthly information on the slaughtering of cattle, sheep and pigs. It also includes dressed carcase weight and meat production information. The key results for September 2012 are given below:

Cattle: UK prime cattle slaughterings were 8.0 per cent lower than in September 2011 at 155 thousand head. Beef and veal production was 71 thousand tonnes, 5.8 per cent lower than in September 2011.

Sheep: UK clean sheep slaughterings were 11 per cent lower than in September 2011 at 1038 thousand head. Mutton and lamb production was 23 thousand tonnes, 11 per cent lower than in September 2011.
Pigs: UK clean pig slaughterings were 1.6 per cent lower than in September 2011 at 785 thousand head. Pigmeat production was 65 thousand tonnes, 2.5 per cent lower than in September 2011.

Section 1: UK monthly slaughter estimates
This table shows monthly estimates of the number of cattle, sheep and pigs slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom. The survey is run according to statistical, rather than calendar months, the number of weeks in the statistical month is specified below.

Section 2: UK average dressed carcase weights
This table shows the monthly average dressed carcase weight of livestock slaughtered for meat for human consumption in the United Kingdom.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 28, 2012, 04:46:06 AM

Spain and EU: Hog Markets
26 October 2012


EU - After a long period (seven months) of stable price or with light raises, the last two weeks the price of the hog has suffered a light decreases in Spain and in the European Union.

 In any case the typical fall of autumn price has not taken place. The decreases in prices have been really reasonable that in other autumns. The reasons of this new situation is due probably to a reduced offer of pork as a consequence of the imminent application of welfare rules, discouragement of the producers who have left the activity and decrease of those who continues for little profitability like last years and an unknowing increases on the cost of production. Seemingly it is a situation that it affects equally to the principal countries of the European Union.
In any case the change of trend is clear and pointing out toward negative figures. The principal reasons have been the recovery of the weight of the animals. Much heavier hogs are going to slaughter house and the fall of the French market that is dragging all. Despite the fact that the pigs look heavier this season it is important to emphasize that the weight continues being under normal records when we compare it with previous years.

The situation is different in other regions of the country like in the North-East of Spain with a larger shortage of animals that in the rest of Spain.
In France the situation continues to be a nasty one with prices plummeting in about five cents of Euro at week. This situation is due to a over offer of pork and little demand at the packing plants level. The slaughter houses are putting pressure to reduce pork prices in order to be competitive in international markets. Hams and legs are getting their lowest prices in the market right now.
In Germany the price situation is much steadier, with a stable demand and 1,05 million of slaughtered pigs/week that is 3,000 pigs more than in previous week but less that in the same week in 2011. In Denmark the price situation also continues firm with an even price.
In Italy the pork industry is suffering from deterioration of tits prices. Last week has been the worse with regard to the last few weeks where the price was held in reserve without apparent problems. The price of the pork has gone down and the packing plants that start to see red numbers have decided to reduce the number of pigs to slaughter. The trend is negative like in the rest of Europe and probably and the decrease in price could be even stronger.
The costs of production, in spite of the decreases on cost of the soybean, have gone up to 15 per cent (soybean price went from 530 €/ton to 470 €/ton). The grains are still very strong with feed at 252 €/ton and wheat around 270 €/ton and only the reduced prices on corn in about 10 per cent.
The pig producers have improved their bank accounts and their debts look cleaner at this moment, which is a good thing. They are doing their last investments to adapt their barns to the animal welfare regulations and they are doing it with moderate optimism.


Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 03, 2012, 05:59:30 AM

British Semen to Mexico
30 October 2012

 UK - British pig-breeding company, ACMC Ltd, has been singled out to supply genetically-advanced semen to Mexico.

Initially, vet and entrepreneur, Angel Francos-Tapia, will be importing 300 doses a week for distribution to farms throughout the country to upgrade the quality of slaughter pigs. Semen will also be used for the production of improved female-line breeding stock.
Licensing arrangements, overseen by the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture, have taken eight months and ACMC is the only UK company that has a permit for the export of semen to Mexico. It will be supplied from ACMC's Yorkshire high-health stud. The agreement, Angel says, is in response to repeated requests from Mexican pork producers to source top-quality genetics, world-wide, to improve production.
Around 160,000 slaughter pigs will benefit from the deal, worth over £50,000 annually. "We have Mexican companies already waiting for ACMC semen and feel very confident that numbers will rise fast as soon as the industry becomes aware of the consistent quality," said Angel.
Mexico has around one million commercial sows producing some 20 million slaughter pigs which are taken to finishing weights of 105-120 kg liveweight. Most of the industry is concentrated into the hands of large companies, many of which have more than 5,000 breeding sows.

Angel Francos-Tapia, who will be importing semen to improve the quality of slaughter pigs in Mexico
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 13, 2012, 11:45:48 PM

EUROTIER: China Growing in Importance to Pig Sector
13 November 2012

GERMANY - Pig production is becoming more and more an international business and the Chinese market is emerging as an important outlet for pig meat - especially the fifth quarter products, writes Chris Harris.

Speaking at the International Pig Event and Third Chinese -European Pig Summit at EuroTier in Hanover, Erik Thijssen, president of the European Pig Producers said the importance of the Chinese market is growing and pig production is expanding but the country is also facing numerous challenges.
"The Chinese market is important to create value for the fifth quarter," Mr Thijssen said.
"The developments in the Chinese market are tremendous at this time. China has shown years of double digit growth figures in their economy, the increase of the disposable income is creating the possibility for more and more people to favour more meat and especially more pork in their diet.

"The development creates great opportunities for pig production."
However, Mr Thijssen said that the growth in popularity in pork and the growth in demand can only be met in China with a change in production methods.
He said that where the back yard system of production is the most prevalent at present, Chinese pig production needs to change to a modern integrated and controlled system to meet consumer demands.
He said that the modern consumer will not only demand guaranteed availability of pig meat but also that it is safe to eat "without antibiotics or other health threatening substances".
Mr Thijssen said that on the global market the countries that will lead the way in pig production with be those that have a good feed supply.
"The developments on the market for feedstuffs have shown some remarkable changes in the last few years," he said.
Lower production due to weather extremities in different parts of the world, the introduction of bio-based energy, such as bioethanol and biogas and a higher demand of feedstuffs have all had their impact on the pig market.
However, he added that the introduction of venture capital into the feedstuff market particularly as the financial crises in the US and Europe have developed have had an even greater effect on the pig market.
"The result is that prices are driven up by speculation and ships with soya or corn on their way to their destination are sold more than 10 times during that trip," he said.
He said that producers have to deal with the higher feed prices in the short term.
He said it is impractical to end the speculation but it could be possible for producers to options and futures to keep a grip on production costs.
Mr Thijssen added that pig producers are also having to meet the challenges presented by lobbying groups on issues such as animal welfare and the environment.
"To meet society requirements, farmers have to invest and grow to keep a profitable business," he said.

Chris Harris, Editor-in-Chief
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 30, 2012, 07:23:58 AM

EU Pig Meat Export, Import Volumes Fall
29 November 2012

EU - The latest figures for the first nine months of this year show a slight decline in pig meat exports from the EU of two per cent in volume, while imports were down by seven per cent, while the values of both totals have increased.

The latest EU pig meat trade figures from Comext were presented at the 'Single CMO' Management Committee meeting last week.
Total exports for the first three quarters of this year were 2,326,699 tonnes (two per cent lower than the same period in 2011) while imports were 26,488 tonnes - down seven per cent from last year.
By far the biggest exporter of 'selected pig products' to the EU was Switzerland, which accounted for 14,237 tonnes or 54 per cent of the total volume, six per cent more than last year. Chile exported 5,241 tonnes (20 per cent of the total), which was nine per cent than for the same period of 2011. Other countries exporting to the EU were Serbia (1,810 tonnes, 7 per cent), US (917 tonnes, 3%) Croatia (752 tonnes, 3 per cent), Canada (47 tonnes) and Other countries (3,484 tonnes).
While imports of pig products into the EU have followed a downward trend since early 2008, the value of those products for the first nine months of the year increased from €46.531 million in 2011 to €47.949 million this year.
For exports, the Comext figures show that for the period January to September 2012, Russia was the top destination for EU pig met products with a volume of 579,528 tonnes, which was a 24.9 per cent share of the total but nine per cent below the corresponding period last year. China took 413,643 tonnes, which was 17.8 per cent of the total and 54 per cent more than in 2011. Other destinations were: Hong Kong (280,366 tonnes; 12.0 per cent; -31 per cent), Japan (172,049 tonnes; 7.4 per cent -1 per cent); South Korea (107,491 tonnes; 4.6 per cent; -30 per cent), Ukraine (124,270 tonnes; 5.3 per cent: +53 per cent), Belarus (93,089 tonnes; 4.0 per cent; + 18 per cent), Philippines (55,279 tonnes; 2.4 per cent; -25 per cent), Croatia (55,140 tonnes; 2.4 per cent; +8 per cent), US (46,054 tonnes; 2.0 per cent; +1 per cent), Angola (41,397 tonnes; 1.8 per cent; -8 per cent), Australia (33,039 tonnes; 1.4 per cent; -4 per cent), other countries (325,354 tonnes; 14.0 per cent).
In terms of value, exports for the first nine months of 2010, 2011 and 2012 have been rising steadily at €3.081 billion, €4.050 billion and €4.587 billion, respectively.

Jackie Linden - Senior Editor
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 06, 2012, 12:02:47 PM

EU Pig Prices: Further Price Decreases Inevitable, Bottom Reached?
05 December 2012


EU - Pressure still continues to be exerted on the EU quotations this current week of slaughter. One of the reasons, which discomforts all European countries in a direct or indirect way, are the exports which seem to be going very slowly from the EU point of view.

As regards Russia, the booming trend has cooled off noticeably most recently, after accession to the WTO. Brazilian, US American and Canadian importers are much more in demand at present, because they can offer a more favourable price level. At the same time, sufficient quantities are on offer throughout Europe at partially clearly increased slaughter weights.

In Germany, one could not stand the pressure exerted by the slaughter companies this week. Therefore, the concerted price was lowered towards the major slaughter companies’ price ideas after two weeks of internal prices. In Austria as well the prices had to be corrected downwards by –5 cents. Similar to what was observed in Germany the slaughter weights there have gone up over the past weeks.
Price decreases were slightly more moderate in the South European member countries over the past weeks. Yet, the quotations there still are under pressure as well. In France, the prices went down by a corrected -4 cents last Thursday, in Spain the prices were lowered by a converted -2 cents.
And again, the Danish pig keepers do not have to cope with the price cuttings. There the quantities on offer still remain quite scarce, so the price was quoted on an unchanged level.
Trend for the German market: The quantities on offer are sold without problems at present. From today’s point of view, steady producer prices may be expected for the coming week of slaughter.














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Prices in Euros (€)


 1corrected quotation: The official Quotations of the different countries are corrected, so that each quotation has the same base (conditions).
base: 56 per cent lean meat; farm-gate-price; 79 per cent killing out percentage, without value-added-tax (VAT)
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 12, 2012, 08:17:24 AM

Weekly Overview: EU Sow Stall Ban: Now Just Three Weeks Away
11 December 2012

ANALYSIS - The ban on the use of sow stalls within the European Union is just three weeks away, writes ThePigSite Senior Editor Jackie Linden.

A topic of some discussion within the pork industry is the expected level of slaughter and output for various players on the world stage in the coming year, according to industry experts, Steve Meyer and Len Steiner. They highlight particularly EU-27 pig numbers, given the 1 January deadline for eliminating sow gestation stalls. The EU ban applies to the period from four weeks post-breeding to one week pre-farrowing. They say that no-one has a very good idea of just how this major change in allowable production technology is going to play out.
First, there is the question of just how widespread compliance will be on 1 January. They refer to reports that some countries will be 100 per cent compliant while others may have no more than 40 per cent of their production in compliance. Regardless of the numbers, it is clear that not nearly all of the farms in the EU will have sows in some sort of group housing by 1 January.
This begs their second question. What happens to the pigs from farms that are not compliant?, Meyer and Steiner ask.
Based on the experience of the egg industry following the ban on conventional battery cages, which came in across the EU on 1 January 2012, considerable market disruption may be expected immediately after the ban was introduced - but not in all countries and the market may settle again within a few months. Overall, a cut of five to 10 per cent in EU pig meat volume has been forecast; the resulting likely boost in producer prices would be welcomed, of course, by those farmers whose facilities comply with the new rules. This includes the UK, where sow stalls have been banned for more than a decade.
As for pigs from farms that do not comply with the new regulations after 1st January, they will likely continue to be marketed in the country of origin. The rules prohibit their meat from being sold to other EU countries but presumably, it could be exported to third countries. Again, based on the experience of the egg industry after the battery cage ban, no major breaches of this rule have been reported.
The impacts on the pig meat markets may depend on the commitment and regulatory ability of the individual countries to inspect facilities, to hold to account those that are not compliant and to trace pork product on the market.
The sow stall ban is an reachable goal - but only time will tell if it will be achieved in practice.

Jackie Linden - Senior Editor
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 21, 2012, 10:29:08 AM

Spanish Hog Markets
07 December 2012


SPAIN - Traditionally, the end of the year heralds a decrease in pork prices in the Spanish Market, writes Javier Santamartina - Spain, Italy & Portugal Genesus Representative.

After exceptional summer prices, the market has seen a decrease in prices from 1,49 to 1,28 €/kg ($0.89 to $0.75 USD/lb) live weight and it not clear as of yet how far it will fall. The last two years has a decrease of 17 Cents €/kg & 23 Cents €/kg ($0.10 USD & $0.14 USD/lb) respectively, with a decrease of 17 Cents €/kg ($0.10 USD/lb) in 2009. One thing to keep in mind is the Autumn start price was 20 Cents €/kg ($0.12 USD/lb)higher than previous years.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of July 16, 2012


Domestic price
(own currency)

US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)

USA (Iowa-Minnesota)

77.03¢ USD/lb carcass


Canada (Ontario)

1.41¢ CAD/kg carcass


Mexico (DF)

22.70 MXN/kg liveweight


Brazil (South Region)

3.28 BRL/kg liveweight



78 RUB/kg liveweight



15.35 RMB/kg liveweight



1.34 EUR/kg liveweight



39,500 VND/kg liveweight


South Korea

3,900 KRW/kg liveweight


After a good summer of pig prices, the offer of pigs grows and carcass weight increases. The autumn temperature has allowed good pig growth thereby increasing the pig offer, however on the other side the demand has decreased for 2 main reasons:
 1.The exports to countries like Russia and China have not managed to support the expected levels. There are several factors impacting the exports. Import prices are low in these two countries and there is a difficulty in competing with other export countries like the US who have lower prices and with better exchange rates. Import levels in these two countries are lower this year as compared to the same two month period in 2011.

2.Excess pork production must be sent to other countries in the EU and the general crisis atmosphere of the European Union has put more pressure on the pricing. Generally speaking there is a decrease in all meat consumption with vegetable protein derivatives being cheaper. Slaughter houses can sell their pork but they must lower the price in order to remain competitive. In Germany the price must be lowered 5 cent € /kg ($0.03/lbUSD/lb) to make it attractive to the market.

Pig Price Evolution
Other factors such as the high price of raw materials, soya (record high prices) and grains.

Soya 480 €/ton
($17.06 USD/Bushel)

Corn 260 €/ton
($8.63 USD / Bushel)

Wheat 270 €/ton
($9.61 USD / Bushel)

These prices will remain high until the next harvest. This global situation will have consequences, mainly in the reduction of margins. This situation is more critical in market with less financial capacity like the South of Europe. Producers have more difficulty accessing bank credit. At the beginning of the year farms must adopt welfare rules in order to survive. The result of all these factors combining are a reduction in the number of farms and hence a reduction in total sows in production. Some farms are reducing the number of sows while others are changing from sow production to fattening.
In summary, decreases in pork prices are according to expectations based on last year’s prices, with high production costs impacting the market here as well as in the rest of the world.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 30, 2012, 04:58:54 AM

Pork and Beef Christmas Market Boost
27 December 2012

UK - Beef and pig producers have seen strength in the Christmas market with beef, in particular, proving to be markedly resilient to the economic climate.

 Prices have risen to 10 p/kg dwt (2.7 per cent) since the beginning of November while the pig price has improved 1 per cent over this period.

 However, Stuart Ashworth, Quality Meat Scotland’s Head of Economics Services, pointed out that despite this improvement in price, prime cattle supplies have remained below last year’s levels as cattle are proving slow to finish.

“Latest slaughter statistics from across the UK show the extent to which cattle supplies are being squeezed. The prime kill is 5 per cent down during November and 7.5 per cent down over the year to the end of November.

“This level of decline across the UK, when set against the slightly higher volume of calf registrations in 2010 (compared to 2009), and the average age at slaughter continuing to be 21 to 22 months, suggests some backlog of cattle on farms going into 2013.

“Almost half of the decline in slaughtering is accounted for by heifers some of which may have been retained for breeding. Nevertheless, there remains a strong likelihood that there are more cattle to come onto the market over the next few months than has recently been the case,” added Mr Ashworth.

 "The number of young bulls reaching abattoirs has started to increase almost exactly twelve months after the number of pure bred dairy bull calves registered with BCMS (British Cattle Movement Service) began increasing.”

While there is some possibility of an increased supply of cattle, it must still be recognised that on the basis of calf registrations, the current supply is likely to remain some 10 per cent below the levels seen before the introduction of de-coupled support payments in 2005.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 10, 2013, 09:28:31 AM

EU Pig Prices: Market is Steady
09 January 2013


EU - The European pig slaughter market appears in quite steady this week.

The pig slaughter prices are moving sideways. At the beginning of the New Year, decisive influence was exerted by the German leading quotation, with an unchanged price level for the European pig market.

All over Europe, the last part of the backlog in supply that remained from the reduced slaughter numbers over the Christmas holidays are being sold.
According to reports, the need for fresh meat is not covered completely in France at present, so the trend is said to be steady to firm.

The slaughter companies in Germany are benefiting from the high capacity use of the slaughter lines. Food retailers are filling their shelves again and the processing industry is also buying ahead again.
Trend for the German market: The aftermath of the Christmas holidays with the related backlog supply is slowly subsiding. By the middle of the week, the last remaining backlog supply should be sold, so that the new week of slaughter can be started without any backlog. From today’s point of view the price level will most probably remain unchanged next week.














Week 47













Week 48













Week 49













Week 50













Week 51













Week 52













Week 1












Week 47












Prices in Euros (€)


Corrected Quotations 2012/ 2013

 1) corrected quotation: The official Quotations of the different countries are corrected, so that each quotation has the same base (conditions).
 2) These quotations are based on the correction formulas applied since 01.08.2010.
 base: 56 % lean-meat-percentage; farm-gate-price; 79% killing-out-percentage, without value-added-tax
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 25, 2013, 03:56:43 AM

Food Manufacturers Challenged over Illegal Imports
24 January 2013

UK - British pig farmers are challenging food manufacturers, retailers and caterers to give a public commitment that they are not selling illegally-produced meat from farms that are flouting new European welfare legislation outlawing the prolonged confinement of sows in individual cages, known as “stalls”.

They have set up a website Wall-of-Fame-and-Shame which will list companies that have pledged to source imported pork products only from farms that are operating legally.
All companies selling imported pork and pork products are being urged by Britain’s National Pig Association (NPA) to check their sources of supply very carefully. “They must be absolutely certain the bacon, sausages, ham, pizzas and other processed pork they sell do not come from farms that are flouting European animal welfare law,” says NPA.
Most European Union countries have failed to comply with the European Union’s animal welfare directive which from January 2013 bans the prolonged confinement of sows in stalls. Individual sow stalls have been outlawed on British pig units for 14 years. They are so narrow, pigs cannot turn around — all they can do is sit, stand, and lie down.
As many as 40,000 pigs an hour are being delivered to continental processing plants from illegally-operated pig farms, according to NPA calculations. “As Britain imports around 60 per cent of its processed pork it is inevitable that many consumers are unwittingly supporting this unacceptable European trade in illegally-farmed pigs,” said NPA general manager Dr Zoe Davies. “Shoppers must be told which British retailers and food companies they can trust not to take part in this trade.”
Yorkshire pig farmer John Rowbottom, a member of NPA’s policy-making Producer Group, said: "If Brussels cannot police its own rules, then British pig farmers will have to do the job for them. British consumers are being sold pork products from continental farms that are operating illegally. It’s a gross breach of animal welfare, it is unfair on consumers and it is unfair on British farmers, because it distorts fair trade.”
The NPA Wall-of-Name-and-Shame is at
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 14, 2013, 03:19:55 AM

UK Awaits Aussie Approval for Pork; Denmark Raises Piglet Exports
13 February 2013

GLOBAL - The British pork industry is waiting for a letter of approval from Australia's veterinary authorities so exports can begin. A small BPEX mission will soon be visiting Australia for political and commercial discussions.

Following an exploratory mission to India in December, the UK is aiming to exploit the potential for livestock genetics, for which there is a clear demand. A follow up visit is planned this month; Canada and US competitors have also shown a strong interest, according to BPEX's Export Bulletin for week 6 of 2013.
French processing company Aoste is about to close down its site located in central France due to difficulties in passing on price increases to the retail sector.
Meanwhile, Denmark plans on increasing exports of piglets. Danish piglet exports have risen 40 per cent compared to those of Holland. While Dutch exports remained unchanged, Danish piglet exports increased by approximately 15 per cent during 2012.
Tönnies’, Europe's largest pork producer, slaughtered 1.5 million boars during 2012. The company now slaughters 150,000 pigs per week in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, 70,000 per week in Sögel, 80,000 in Weissenfels and 24,000 in Brørup (Denmark). This amounts a total of 16m pigs per year.
In Italy, slaughterhouses are running at a loss. They are caught between strong demand and limited supplies and are hit by current high pig prices.
Thai company Betagro recently opened it ninth feedmill in Lopburi province, with an investment of £22 million. The factory is to produce 36,000 tonnes of additive-free feed per month for pork, poultry and cattle. This is the second additive-free feedmill for the company. It is also coming up with a petfood and fish meal plant worth £.30 million.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 24, 2013, 04:07:01 AM

Wean More Pigs to Be More Profitable
22 February 2013


UK - BPEX is re-focusing its efforts on the pig breeding herd with a ‘Breed +3’ initiative to help each herd wean an extra three pigs per sow year.
BPEX must help pig producers wean more pigs, if the industry is to manage its output and costs to reach its Two-Tonne Sow (2TS) target.
British pig producers are efficient at finishing pigs but are not producing enough pigs in the first place. Although progress has made in physical performance, a big gap remains between Britain and the rest of Europe.
It should be acknowledged that, with 40 per cent of the British breeding herd outdoors, the industry average is not perfectly comparable with other EU countries. But the numbers of pigs born and weaned have still only increased by around half a pig per sow per year on British units since 2006. Meanwhile, other countries have continued to increase their performance by at least two pigs.
BPEX knowledge transfer manager Lis Ravn said: "The aim is to help every producer move towards an extra three pigs per sow per year weaned, whether they’re currently about average at 23 pigs weaned or if they’re already at 27 and want to get to 30.
"We have identified some priorities to help achieve this. Keeping performance records and, importantly, spending time understanding the data is something that high-performing businesses have in common. As is doing all the ‘small’ daily things to a high standard, which is where training and skills development help too.
"All businesses, including the top performers, need to keep monitoring how they are doing and keep their finger on the pulse."
Local knowledge transfer meetings for pig producers this year will follow the Breed +3 theme, covering topics including: performance recording, gilt management, litter management and staff communication. BPEX will also be exploring new knowledge, innovations and technologies, offering producers the chance to see them first hand on farms in the UK and abroad.
There is already a wealth of practical information on the BPEX website and the knowledge transfer managers can be contacted directly for help at any time [click here]
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 24, 2013, 11:18:28 PM

Slaughter Pigs to be Improved by Genomic Selection
21 March 2013

DENMARK - Genomic selection has been successfully implemented in the breeding programme for sows. Now it is time for slaughter pigs to undergo breeding improvements.

Improvement of animal welfare and farm income as well as a reduction in nutrient losses from pig production are some of the results that can be expected from a five-year research project on genomic selection. The project has just passed its halfway stage.

A genomic selection project aiming to achieve annual breeding improvements in pigs of 50 percent involves scientists from Aarhus University. [Photo: AU]
Scientists at Aarhus University collaborate with the Pig Research Centre on selecting pigs that can constitute the basis for breeding improvements which should ultimately benefit the pig industry. One of the methods used is genomic selection.
The project has so far focused on sows and genomic selection has already been implemented in the breeding programme for the three pig breeds Landrace, Yorkshire, and Duroc. This is expected to increase the genetic gain in the traits under selection by about 15 to 25 per cent. The scientists are now focusing on the slaughter pigs, which are a three-way cross between the three breeds.
"Genomic selection will help improve the traits in finishing pigs that are directly related to production and meat quality. There will be focus on improving meat quality through measurements of pH and boar taint in the carcass. Genetic improvements of these traits will increase the value of the carcass and result in less food wastage due to higher slaughter yield and less fat waste," explained Ole Fredslund Christensen, who is the project leader and senior scientist at Aarhus University.
The scientists will, among other things, develop methods that embody the so-called non-additive effects, such as hybrid vigour, that result in superior traits in the crossbred offspring compared with the average of the purebred offspring. If successful, genomic selection will therefore result in further benefits.
Systematic crossings of the three pig races are undertaken and genomic and phenotypic data are collected. This includes data on mortality, growth and slaughter quality – the quality being meat content, pH and boar taint. Development of models that combine the genomic and phenotypic data is the next step in the project in order to develop a number of strategies.
"We will develop strategies for the use of genomic selection which maximises the marginal genomic improvement in the breeding programmes for purebreds and for crossbreds while minimising inbreeding in the populations as well as the implementation costs. The genetic gain is evaluated both in terms of financial profit and reductions in emissions of nutrients and CO2-equivalents," said Dr Christensen, who also discloses that the project will culminate in the practical implementation and testing of a prototype for genomic selection in pigs.
Lower piglet mortality
In addition to an expected reduction in nutrient emissions, due to an improvement in feed efficiency of 0.02 feed units per kilogram weight gained, the scientists also hope that the project will help reduce piglet mortality.
"The improvement in animal welfare is achieved through the incorporation of the maternal traits in the breeding programme, which will result in better piglet survival in the nursing period. The effect is expected to increase survivability by five per cent per year. With a mortality of 12 per cent, this corresponds to an annual reduction in mortality of roughly 0.6 percentage in the first years," explained Dr Christensen.
It will take about five years for the changes in the breeding programme to be reflected in the total pig production system. The production herds will see improvements within a year after improvements are observed in the breeding herds.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 30, 2013, 09:03:45 AM

Pig Wasting Syndrome Costs Farmers Millions
27 March 2013

UK - Stark new figures show that a common pig virus - post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) - present on 99 per cent of pig farms has major economic implications for individual farmers and the pig industry as a whole, costing British farmers as much as £84 per pig (if the pig dies from the syndrome) and during epidemic periods, such as 2008, costing the pig industry £88 million per year.

PMWS, a serious syndrome which results in emaciation and death in up to 30 per cent of cases. As part of a BBSRC-led initiative into combating endemic diseases of farmed animals, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have spent the past five years working to understand the factors that lead to farms developing high rates of PMWS and creating models to work out the cost of the disease as well as the potential savings for farmers by tackling the disease in different ways.
Professor Dirk Werling, from RVC, who led the project, explained: "We've known for many years that this is a serious disease in pigs. It is now endemic globally and will haunt the pig industry for years to come; therefore it is crucial that we understand the biological basis of the virus as well as the cost implications. Knowing the financial impact of the illness can help farmers decide how best to improve the welfare and profitability of their herds. These figures are shocking, but are an important step in enabling farmers and the industry as a whole to look at feasible and sustainable intervention strategies."
Dr Pablo Alarcon, Professor Jonathan Rushton and Dr Barbara Wieland, all from RVC, produced a series of mathematical models, factoring in different scenarios such as the size of the pig herds, the proportion affected by PMWS and the severity of the infection. In the most severe cases where the infected pig dies from PMWS, this costs the farmer an estimated £84, with the least severe case - where a pig is carrying the virus but displays no clinical symptoms - cost £8.
Models were then created to look at the cost implications of employing different control measures at individual farm level, ranging from vaccination of piglets through to total repopulation of a farm's pig stocks. Their model suggests that on farms with moderate to high rates of PMWS the most cost effective strategy is to vaccinate all piglets and increase biosecurity measures, such as a two day quarantine period for people who had come into contact with other pig herds and treating pigs with PMWS in isolation. Savings from this dual approach were worked out to be between £2,947 to £11,500 per year.
BBSRC Chief Executive Professor Douglas Kell said: "Food security and the sustainability of UK farming are seriously undermined by endemic diseases of farmed animals. This important new research shows the significant economic impact that diseases such as PMWS can cause, and highlights the vital role researchers play in working with farmers and industry to improve food security and animal welfare"
Professor Werling was one of ten projects which received funding as part of Combating Endemic Diseases of Farmed Animals for Sustainability (CEDFAS) initiative launched in 2007, with £11.5M funding from BBSRC, the Scottish Government and Defra.
This modelling project was further supported by the BPEX division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, Pfizer Animal Health, and BioBest Ltd.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 07, 2013, 12:05:32 AM

European Pig Meat Industry Facing Its Challenges
04 April 2013

EU - The European pig meat industry is facing its challenges with issues such as regulations on sow pens impacting production, according to Frederique Clusel, group director of Swine Business for Zoetis for EU Africa and Middle East.

Speaking at the recent launch of the new company, which emerged from the divestment of the animal health sector from Pfizer, Mme Clusel said that with 7 billion people now demanding protein and the EU having 16 per cent of global meat consumption, the pig meat industry in the region was well placed to meet the growing demand.
At present, pig meat consumption in the EU is 41.6 kg per person a year and in meeting the challenges presented to the sector, pig producers are using fewer antibiotics and those that are used are being used more and more responsibly.
She said there has been a 47 per cent drop in the use of injectable anti-infectives since 2009 and a 23 per cent drop in the use of oral anti-infectives in the same period. At the same time there has been a 20 per cent increase in the use of vaccinations to prevent disease.
"Through prevention there has been an increase in the pig health level and with healthy pigs you get healthy meat," said Mme Clusel.
"We will still need anti-infectives, because there will still be disease on the farm, but we need to use them in the right way.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 13, 2013, 09:27:59 AM

European Pig Meat Industry Facing Its Challenges
04 April 2013

EU - The European pig meat industry is facing its challenges with issues such as regulations on sow pens impacting production, according to Frederique Clusel, group director of Swine Business for Zoetis for EU Africa and Middle East.

Speaking at the recent launch of the new company, which emerged from the divestment of the animal health sector from Pfizer, Mme Clusel said that with 7 billion people now demanding protein and the EU having 16 per cent of global meat consumption, the pig meat industry in the region was well placed to meet the growing demand.
At present, pig meat consumption in the EU is 41.6 kg per person a year and in meeting the challenges presented to the sector, pig producers are using fewer antibiotics and those that are used are being used more and more responsibly.
She said there has been a 47 per cent drop in the use of injectable anti-infectives since 2009 and a 23 per cent drop in the use of oral anti-infectives in the same period. At the same time there has been a 20 per cent increase in the use of vaccinations to prevent disease.
"Through prevention there has been an increase in the pig health level and with healthy pigs you get healthy meat," said Mme Clusel.
"We will still need anti-infectives, because there will still be disease on the farm, but we need to use them in the right way.
To hear more of Frederique Clusel's thoughts on the developing pig meat industry and the challenges it faces click through to her video interview here.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 22, 2013, 06:37:33 AM

Danish Pig Research Centre Annual Report 2012: Economy
Friday, April 12, 2013

Information on production and structural development in the Danish pig industry, trends in the production, developments in productivity, competition for Danish weaners and seasonal price developments from the Danish Pig Research Centre.

Production & Structural Development

Structural development

In 2011, Denmark had a total of 4,500 registered pig farms. Of these, 1,800 were integrated farms with both sows and finishers. Herd size averaged 255 sows.

There were 600 specialised sow farms with an average of 950 sows, and 2,100 specialised finisher farms with an average annual production of 6,800 finishers.

Production scope

Overall production (slaughter + exports) in 2012 is expected to total 29.007 million, which is 1.6 per cent lower than 2011 when production totalled 29.465 million. In the first half of 2013, production is expected to be close the level of 2012 of 28.800 million.

This shows that the Danish pig production industry seems to be managing successfully the conversion to group-housing of gestating sows without encountering dramatic drops in production. A survey made in summer 2012 showed that 80 per cent of all gestating sows were housed in groups, and it was expected that a very large part of the farms that had yet not converted would do so before 2013.

Slaughterings in 2012 are expected to be around seven per cent below the level of 20ll, which is a reduction from 20.9 million slaughtered pigs in 2011 to 19.4 million. The first half of 2013 is currently expected to be close to the level of the first half of 2012 but the trend will depend on the development in the export of live pigs.

The export of weaners has increased over the past years. In 2012, exports increased to 9.157 million weaners, which compares with 8.039 million in 2011, representing an increase of 14 per cent.


Table 1. Development in Danish pig production, slaughtering and export of pigs


Total slaughterings

Export pigs/sows

Export weaners










































Based on figures reported to the Pig Levy Fund and on DAFC projections
* 53 weeks
** Projections

Trends in Production Economy

Financial results

Table 2 outlines the development in production economy for full-time pig farms over the last decade.

The top part of the table shows the results of full-time pig farms and the bottom part shows financial key figures by production category.

The number of full-time pig farms has dropped by approximately 2,850 (48 per cent} in the last 10 years, while the number of sows per year per farm has increased from 193 to 273 (41 per cent}.

The number of finishers produced per pig farm has increased from 2,777 to 7,073 (155 per cent). Land has increased from 97 to 172 hectares (77 per cent}.

Gross margin including land has increased from about DKK1.5 million to around DKK3.5 million from 2002 to 2012. In 2011, gross margin per year increased to DKK3.5 million as a consequence of rising grain prices and pig prices.


Table 2. 10-year development in Danish pig production













No. of accounts

































Finishers produced











Area (ha)











Total economy
Per farm DKK '000

Gross profit











Gross margin











Key financial figures
DKK per production unit













































Price/FU (sow + weaner)











GM/ finisher











FU/ kg gain











Price/ kg incl. bonus











Price per FU finisher feed











*Feed units (FU) 2010 and 2011 are based on production reports and account figures

Economy per production unit

From 2002 to 2012, gross margin per sow and year averaged DKK3,575, while gross margin of finisher farms averaged DKK112 per finisher produced.

In 2011, gross margin on breeding farms increased to DKK4,153 per sow and year, while for finishers, it remained largely unchanged at DKK132 per finished pig produced.

Terms of trade

Terms of trade dropped from 7.29 in 2010 to 6.16 in 2011, averaging 7.15 over the last decade.

The increases in grain and feed prices seen during harvest 2010 were reflected in 2011 when feed prices remained high all year. However, pork prices also increased. Terms of trade tended to increase in the first half of 2012 and soybean prices soared in summer 2012.


Figure 1. Development in terms of trade, 2002-2012 June
Development in Productivity

Significant progress on sow farms in 2011

Data supplied by the local pig advisory centres includes 664 sow farms with a total of 425,000 sows per year, 574 weaner farms with a total production of 9.4 million weaners; and 746 finisher farms with a total production of 4.9 million finishers.

Sow farms weaned on average 28.8 pigs per sow and year, which is an increase of 0.7 pig per year compared with the previous year. Herd size averaged 640 sows.

Weaner farms produced 15,372 pigs per year on average. Data shows an FCR of 1.95 FU per kg gain, a daily gain of 443g and an average mortality of 2.9 per cent. These figures are almost identical to 2010 figures.

Finisher farms produced 6,537 pigs per year. Daily gain averaged 898g with an average FCR of 2.87 FU per kg gain. Mortality averaged 3.5 per cent and culled pigs averaged 0.2 per cent.

Top 25 per cent

The top 25 per cent of all sow farmers are four to five years ahead of the average farms. The top 25 per cent of farmers in weaner and finisher production have a performance level that is around 10 years ahead of the average farms. This demonstrates that with a dedicated effort in weaner and finisher production, it is possible to improve productivity significantly on the average farm.

Will progress continue?

Analyses of progress in annual productivity often concern mainly progress among the top 25 per cent farmers, which averaged 31.5 in 2011. This documents that many farms have an unexploited potential, which is in particular found in areas such as live-born per litter and non-productive days. Consequently, it may be possible to improve productivity levels improvements in management.

Genetic progress in LP5 (live pigs five days after farrowing) is expected to continue to improve the potential for more weaned pigs per litter partly through an increase in live-born and partly through reduced mortality. However, the economic value of a marginal pig at weaning drops if the effort of producing the pigs increases.

When litter size increases, more nursing sows are generally required, which in turn requires more work and more farrowing pens. Consequently, the value of one more live-born piglet will drop long-term.

There is no doubt that the increase in weaned pigs per sow and year will continue for years but the annual increase may slow gradually. If feed prices remain high, efficiency rather than productivity will be the central element. High feed prices will also direct attention towards feed conversion and mortality. A high feed price will result in a higher finisher price and thereby increased losses on dead pigs. Danish pig producers have at all times been highly adaptable as times have changed.


Figure 2. Trend in live-born and weaned pigs per sow and year
Competition for the Danish Weaner


Weaner exports increase annually with the majority being exported to Germany. The long-term and short-term competitiveness of Danish finisher producers was compared with German finisher producers using model calculations.


Danish finisher production is competitive in the long term. Short-term, however, analysis showed that German finisher producers are more competitive, particularly when the supply of weaners is low and weaner prices increase. Exports will consequently increase.

Demand for weaners
Short-term, demand depends on existing housing capacity and the expected positive contribution to earnings when weaners are moved to the house. Contribution to earnings is defined as financial result before interest and depreciation on housing facility. Once we know the pig price, feed prices and other financial costs, before interest and depreciation, related to producing a finisher, it is possible to calculate the maximum that producers are willing to pay for a weaner.

Weaner market

The pool price of a Danish weaner is also affected by German demand for Danish weaners.

When demand exceeds supply, the market value of a weaner is controlled by the accumulated maximum that all finisher producers in a given geographical area are willing to pay. This knowledge is used in the following scenarios.


The expected 'normal' level of demand for weaners in 2013 is expected to correspond to 20 million Danish and 55 million German finishers. The implications for Danish pig producers of a three or five per cent drop in the supply of weaners in 2013 are calculated in the following price scenarios.


Table 3. Price prerequisites

Price scenario




Feed price








Scenario results

Results are shown in Figure 3. Generally:
 •High feed prices is an advantage for Denmark
•High settlement prices are an advantage for Germany

A five per cent drop in the supply of weaners will overall result in 3.75 million fewer slaughterings in Denmark and Germany put together. This will drop to 2.4 millions if the supply of weaners only drops by three per cent.

Despite the fact that the Danish finisher industry is smaller than that in Germany, price scenario 0 combined with a five per cent reduction in weaner production in Denmark and Germany in 2013 will result in 2.4 million fewer slaughterings in Denmark, i.e. a greater reduction in slaughterings in Denmark than in Germany. With price scenario l, the number of slaughterings drop in Denmark. while with scenario 2, export of weaners to Germany will increase. This would occur despite the fact that increases in feed prices are not quite covered by increasing settlement in scenario 2.

The overall German advantage in the short term is attributed to the German tax regulations for agriculture, 'Pauschal', which favour German finisher producers, enabling them in the short term, to pay more for a weaner than a Danish producer.


Figure 3. Scenarios for weaner exports from Denmark to Germany
Future competitiveness

Long term, competitiveness is the ratio between production costs and settlement in a given area. Analyses show that production costs are almost identical in Danish and German finisher production. Provided settlement is identical and the supply of weaners has been brought to a 'normal' level, Danish finisher production will still be able to match the German production.

Seasonal Variations in Prices

Weaner prices are peaking

German finisher producers include the normal seasonal variations in finisher prices. However, this does not allow the German finisher producers to predict the price of a finisher. Only the regular seasonal variations are included in the expected finisher price.

The development in weaner prices can thereby not be used for predicting the future price of finishers.

Seasonal variations in pig prices in Germany averaged DKK1.75 per kg from top to bottom compared with DKK1.17 per kg in Denmark. This means that prices may be slightly higher in Germany in peak season than in Denmark without the annual price necessarily being higher in Germany (Figure 4).


Figure 4. Seasonal variations in settlement
Pig prices 2004-2012

Over the past years, prices have increased from a low level of approximately DKK9 to DKK10 per kg to above DKKll per kg in 2012. Prices have fluctuated in brief cycles and each time, they peaked slightly higher (Figure 5).


Figure 5. Price per kg meat
Weaner market

Pool prices are higher usually higher than the calculated price in the first half of the year, while the calculated price historically is higher from the beginning of summer until the end of autumn. As an average of several years, the difference between the calculated price and the pool price is insignificant (Figure 6).


Figure 6. Weaner market and German prices
Economy in German pig production

When finisher producers buy weaners on the basis of their expectations to the pig price by the time they are going to sell the pig as a finisher, gross margin (GM) per pig becomes more stable than for finisher producers buying weaners at the calculated price. Seen over an entire year, weaner prices are fairly similar, and differences in overall GM for a year will therefore not differ significantly.


Figure 7. Economy in German finisher production
April 2013
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 05, 2013, 10:56:13 AM

Spain: Hog Markets
02 May 2013

SPAIN - If we had to summarize the situation of the market in Spain or in Europe it would be: Scanty offer and scanty demand, writes Javier Santamartina - Spain, Italy & Portugal Genesus Representative.

If we analyze the offer, they are fewer pigs than in other years and prices are lower every week and lower than other years in the same week. This is the reason that the price is higher than in the last 5 years in this same week. Adaptation to animal welfare regulations and high feed prices in explains almost everything.
The price has remained stable over the last two months March and April and it will probably continue with this trend. It is expected that in summer there will be an increase in price, when pigs grow the slowest with the heat. There is an acceptable stock of frozen pork that could explain why there is no increase in price.
More confusing is the demand which has been lower. Different factors can explain why Spain in particular and the EU are in general is more dependent on exports.
 1.Internal demand is very weak in Spain. More than 6 million unemployed people have reduced demand of pork both fresh and processed. Also this reduction is more notable in higher priced cuts. In the European Union this trend is also the same with a reduction in price of ham in France, Italy and also Germany with increased consumption of cheaper cuts. In Northern Europe it has been raining and as a consequence the barbeque season has been delayed, so European consumers are not spending much on pork at this time.
 2.Export to other countries like China or Viet Nam has decreased their quotas and with less margins than previous years.
 3.Russia decided to stop the pork imports from Spain and from some German operators. The reason given by the Russian authorities is that there are some irregularities detected in the inspections by Russian technical personnel during the last month in Spain. It also affects some operators from Germany. This ban concerns Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan. Currently this has not caused too many problems to the meat that has been stored, the main concern is the sale of the lard that largely was going towards these countries.
After analyzing the mains factors of price, the other side of the business is the cost of production. Feed - don t expect big changes until harvest, especially for barley and wheat that have a strong position like corn that shows a decent trend in international markets.
We expect to have more stable prices this May with little adjustment and definitely better times in the summer.
European Markets and trends in last weeks.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of April 22, 2013



Domestic price
(own currency)

US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)


USA (Iowa-Minnesota)
84.50 USD/lb carcass

Canada (Ontario)
1.50 CAD/kg carcass

Mexico (DF)
19.03 MXN/kg liveweight

Brazil (South Region)
2.29 BRL/kg liveweight

68 RUB/kg liveweight

13.37 RMB/kg liveweight

1.370 EUR/kg liveweight

Viet Nam
38,000 VND/kg liveweight

South Korea
3,529 KRW/kg liveweight
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 12, 2013, 08:31:14 AM
BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update

Reports » BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update   » BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update - May 2013

07 May 2013
BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update - May 2013BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update - May 2013

British Pig Executive Monthly UK Pig Meat Market Update

UK Prices

As is normally the case at this time of year, GB finished pig prices increased steadily during March, rising by about three pence over the month. Nevertheless, with prices low at the start of the month, the average DAPP was less than a penny higher than in February at 156.96p per kg dw. This was over 15 pence higher than in March 2012 and was the fifth highest monthly average on record. The weak pound helped to support prices by increasing the value of imported pork while some tightening of supplies also played a part. However, consumer demand was still subdued, limiting any gains, not helped by cold weather both at home and across Europe. Prices continued to rise into April, reaching 160.71p per kg by week ended 20 April.

Average clean pig carcase weights have remained relatively high throughout the first quarter of 2013, apart from a typical dip in the week before Easter. The seasonal fall which normally begins around the start of March has been less apparent this year, meaning the average weight for the month was over 600g heavier than last year at 79.74kg. This might be attributable to good growth rates earlier in the winter, with firm pig prices also playing a role. Weights have remained well above year earlier levels into April.

The increase in finished pig prices during the month encouraged some firming of weaner prices in March. The monthly average of £47.55 per head for a 30kg animal was over a pound higher than in February and about two pounds more than in March 2012. At this level, prices were at their highest since August 2010. Nevertheless, with feed prices remaining inflated, there is a limit to how much finishers are prepared to pay. Prices continued to rise, albeit more slowly, during April reaching just over £49 per head by week ended 27 April.

The GB cull sow price also followed a rising trend throughout March, averaging 106.68p per kg, seven pence higher than in February, although nearly 15 pence lower than in March 2012. The recent rise is partly attributable to developments in the finished pig market. However, with most sow carcases destined for export, exchange rate movements were also a major factor. Sow prices have been stable on export markets since mid-February but the weak pound meant that higher prices continued to be available for British producers. However, with the situation in Cyprus hitting the value of the euro, there was some decline in the sow price in April, taking it to 104.18p per kg for week ended 20 April.

EU Prices

Average EU pig prices have been largely stable in euro terms since mid-February, fluctuating around €172 per 100kg. The monthly average for March was less than a euro higher than the previous month at €171.93. Prices typically rise at this time of year as consumer demand picks up with rising temperatures. However, cold weather across Europe in March limited demand and this has been exacerbated by subdued export markets, notably Russia and Japan. Nevertheless, relatively tight pig supplies mean that the average price in March remained over ten euros higher than a year earlier. The price stability continued into April, with the average price for week ended 21 April standing at €171.16 per 100kg, still over seven euros higher than a year before.

Comparative EU Pig Prices
(as at 21 April

Figures show % changes in four weeks to 21 April
Source: EU Commission

The stability seen in the EU average price was also apparent in prices in some key Member States, notably those in North West Europe, including Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. However, prices further south were more varied. Prices in France and Spain were on an upward trend until mid-March as supplies tightened but have since eased back a little. Spanish prices are now the highest among major producers at over €190. In contrast, Italian prices have fallen sharply since mid-February, dropping by over 30 euros in eight weeks to reach just under €164 in the latest week. This was reportedly the result of a noticeable fall in consumer demand for speciality products which account for 70 per cent of Italian pigs.

The weak pound meant that in euro terms the UK reference price continued falling until mid-March. Since then, with prices rising and the pound gaining strength against the euro, the UK price has risen steadily. As a result, having closed to less than two euros in early March, the gap between the UK and EU reference prices had opened to over ten euros by mid-April.

The EU weaner price in March averaged €51.91 per head, an increase of a little under two euros on the month. At this price, producers received less than one euro per head more than the corresponding month in 2012. Prices continued to broadly follow the normal seasonal trend, levelling off as March progressed at a slightly higher level than a year earlier. Despite tight supplies, price rises have been limited by a combination of the lack of upward movement in the finished pig market and ongoing high feed prices.

Sow prices in key EU Member States have been stable since late February, having recovered from the usual seasonal fall either side of the New Year. The key German price was unchanged throughout March at €1.35 per kg and remained at this level through most of April. This was around four cents higher than the average price for February but was five cents lower than in March 2012. German sow slaughterings so far this year have been seven per cent higher than in the same period of 2012. The picture was similar in Denmark and the Netherlands, with prices in March stable at €1.03 and €1.15 per kg respectively.

Uk Slaughterings and Pig Meat Supplies

UK clean pig slaughtering in March 2013 totalled 767,000 head. This was almost in line with the same month last year, being less than 4,000 down on the year. The Easter period is likely to have affected the lower kill with a short week for the Bank Holiday at the end of the month; Easter was into April last year. The Scottish pig kill recorded a decline by almost half. This reduction reflected the increased number of pigs sent to slaughter in England; throughputs in English and Welsh abbatoirs totalled 622,000 head, up 4% on the year. Throughputs in Northern Ireland were 4% lower compared with March 2012.

Adult pig slaughterings were one per cent down on the year at 20,500 head. This was close to the kill figure from the previous month and the small year-on-year decline was again likely due to the earlier Easter. Nevertheless, replacement rates remain relatively high by historic standards, despite the decline in sow prices compared with last year. This is the result of an increased focus on improving herd productivity by optimising the age and parity of sows.

UK clean pig carcase weights averaged 79.2kg in March, a marginal fall on the month but nearly half a kilo up on a year earlier. The ongoing high carcase weights may also mark a shift in processor requirements, as they aim to offset the lower pig numbers expected in the coming months. Northern Ireland recorded a year-on-year increment of over a kilo in their average carcase weight while the Scottish pigs weighed less by a similar amount. However, Scottish pigs account for only a small share of the total and so UK pig meat production was only marginally lower than March 2012 at 63,700 tonnes.

Based on the DAPP sample, estimated GB clean pigs slaughterings were higher in the first three weeks of April, although this was largely because of the earlier Easter. By the middle of the month there were increasing signs that supplies were beginning to tighten, with throughputs down on a year earlier and lower than in the first quarter of the year.

The UK imported 10% less pork in February compared with the corresponding month in 2012, the largest annual fall in more than six months. The easing in import volumes is partially the result of a drop in EU production for the month but demand in the UK has also been relatively weak, with the latest retail figures showed a decline in purchases. In addition the average import price increased by 7 per cent so the total value of pork imports was down by four per cent to £43.8m. Volumes from Denmark were down by nearly 30 per cent and their market share declined to be almost the same level as the Germans. In contrast, shipments from Germany and the Netherlands increased by five per cent and 23 per cent respectively, partly filling in the shortage of Danish pig meat. Reductions were also recorded from other EU Member States like Ireland, France, Belgium and Spain.

Bacon and ham imports continued the downward trend from the start of the year, with a 13 per cent decline recorded in February. With only a marginal increase from the other major suppliers (Netherlands and Germany), a notable 38 per cent drop in Danish imports was the main factor affecting the overall cured pig meat supplies. Further falls were recorded in processed pig meat during February, down by 29 per cent compared with the same month in 2012. Sausage imports also decreased by 13 per cent, which meant that the overall UK imports for February were significantly lower than a year earlier.

In contrast, the UK export market performed better in February, with an 18 per cent year-on-year increase in pork shipments. Volumes of both fresh and frozen increased but the rise was sharpest for the latter, which were up 22 per cent. There were considerable increases in exports to Denmark, likely for re-export, and China (which took 2,200 tonnes). Demand for UK products was also higher in the German and the Irish markets by 14 per cent and 12 per cent. Lower supplies to the Netherlands and Hong Kong did not offset the overall increment. With unit prices slightly higher, the value of UK pork exports increased by 20 per cent to £17.9 million.

Shipments of cured pig meat followed a similar downward trend to recent months but the fall failed to fully offset the rise in pork shipments. During February, bacon and ham exports fell 67 per cent compared to a year earlier, with contributions from all the main markets. Similarly, processed pig meat exports were down 35 per cent on the year as Ireland imported considerably less from the UK. However, as has been the case since September last year, offal exports were much higher, almost doubling with the majority of the increase coming from shipments to Belgium, Germany and China.

Feed Prices

The LIFFE feed wheat futures price, for May delivery, closed at £193.05 per tonne on Tuesday 23 April, representing the lowest closing price since late July 2012. This represents a monthly decline of £5.70, or three per cent, as closing prices ranged between £193 and £204 per tonne within the month. The new crop price (November 2013) closed at £184 per tonne, compared to £185.70 a month earlier.

The CBOT May 2013 wheat price closed at $256.26 per tonne, down four per cent on a month earlier. The maize price recorded a significant monthly decline of $34.54 (12 per cent). The main recent price driver has been crop conditions and weather reports. Grain prices have fallen over the month, following reports of slightly better weather in the US and across Europe compared to conditions in March.

Prices have declined despite crop conditions in the US reported to be behind, as there is still time for improvement. As at week ending 21 April, 35 per cent of the winter wheat crop was reported to be in good/excellent condition compared to 63 per cent at the same time last year. Crop development was also well behind the same time last year. US maize plantings were behind the normal schedule but data shows that, at this stage, there is very weak correlation between maize planting progress and the final planted area and yield.

ADAS report that the UK’s winter wheat growth and development was limited by the cold and wet weather experienced in March. The UK crop condition report will be updated on 1 May and it will show how the improved weather of recent weeks has assisted domestic crops. With a large decline in UK wheat plantings and current crop condition concerns, the size of the UK wheat crop in 2013 is an important issue but it is worth reiterating that grain markets operate in a global environment. Thus, large scale price movements will be dictated by production prospects in wider Europe, the Black Sea region and North America.

The May CBOT soyabean price has also experienced a monthly decline and closed at $521.62 per tonne, down $7.62 on a month earlier as the price ranged between $500.31 and $534.11 during the month.

The global soyabean market has followed the trend of grain prices to some extent but the dominant news has been the tightness in the US soyabean supplies. The market has had to rely on the US for longer than usual this season, due to a slower than expected export pace in South America. Brazil has experienced port congestion while there are reports of reluctant farmer selling in Argentina. However, favourable weather has allowed harvest to progress fairly well in both countries; Brazil’s harvest was nearing completion with about 90 per cent of the crop harvested by 23 April and approximately 40 per cent done in Argentina.

Total Cost of Pig Production Compared with the DAPP

AHDB Market Intelligence

According to AHDB’s provisional estimates, the cost of pig production figure in April fell for the third consecutive month to 162p per kg. A small fall in feed prices remained the main factor affecting the latest cost of production. The estimated figure was around 2p lower than March but was at a similar level to early summer last year, before the rapid rise in feed prices post-harvest. However, compared with the same month in 2012, costs are almost 9p higher but they are lower than 2011 levels for the same period, when feed prices were even higher.

Despite a relative fall in the cost of production, based on the current DAPP producers were still losing an estimated £2 per pig. This is the equivalent to a loss of 3p per kg. However, producer returns have improved since the start of the New Year, with losses estimated to be as much as £7 per pig in January. Forecasts suggest some easing in the feed costs for the remainder of this year, particularly after the harvest, indicating prospects of positive margins. However, this is weather dependent and assumes that pig prices maintain their current level or even strengthen further, based on the expected shortage of EU pig production.


According to the latest retail data from Kantar Worldpanel, in the 12 weeks ending 17 March purchases of pork declined six per cent compared with a year earlier. The decline was due to smaller volumes purchased per trip and a reduction in the number of households buying pork as switching to lamb and poultry meat continued from the previous month. However, loin roasting joints continued to post very impressive growth; purchases were up by more than a third, driving expenditure growth of more than half. Spending on bacon and sausages continued to grow, driven by average price rises, but the amount purchased declined. Ham purchases were similar to last year but a decline in average price resulted in a decrease in spending over the 12 weeks.

In the most recent four weeks, purchases of pork continued to decline year on year but at a slower rate of two per cent. Average prices jumped nine per cent, driving expenditure up seven per cent. Spending on bacon decreased slightly as declines in volume purchases accelerated. Sales of sausages also remained behind last year but average price inflation supported expenditure. Sliced cooked ham showed a more positive picture, with spending similar to last year and the amount purchased up one per cent.

Trends in Retail Meat Purchases (period ended 17 March 2013)

Q=quantity purchased , E=expenditure, P=prices
Source: Kantar Worldpanel

Consumer shopping habits change over time, influenced by a number of factors. One of these is technological advancements, such as improved access to high-speed Internet, coupled with growing ownership of mobile devices. But how has this impacted the grocery market? It has never been as important that grocery shopping is shaped to meet the needs of more sophisticated digital consumers. They are looking for initiatives that can save them time and money, or preferably both. This has led retailers to be heavily focused on ensuring better integration between online and offline channels, allowing shoppers to easily and impulsively transition between the two.

The growth and investment in online grocery services has been a key priority for the majority of leading retailers, a trend set to continue. According to Kantar Worldpanel, online sales reached £5.1 billion in the 52 weeks to 17 March 2013. While they still represent a small share of the total grocery market at five per cent, they recorded 19 per cent growth year on year. The opportunity to harness technology doesn’t just stop at getting your groceries delivered to your door. There has also been a notable increase in the number of ‘click and collect’ schemes being rolled out.

Growing access to Wi-Fi in-store and the mobile internet also gives consumers new ways of searching for information while shopping. Quick Response (QR) codes increasingly feature on food labelling. Every month new apps for smartphone are launched; one example is the recent launch of the ‘where’s this from’ app which uses the 4-digit EU identification mark printed on pack to provide consumers with the ability to research more about the product they are purchasing.

With any technological advances there are barriers to overcome; the most notable for meat is the freshness of product. However there are things to consider for those looking to make the most from e-commerce, such as availability of deals on-line, recipe and nutritional information, product photos and customer reviews.

Maximising e-commerce opportunities is not just about the technology, it's about understanding the consumer needs driving solutions. It is also important to remember that for many households, traditional grocery shopping in store will continue. Therefore the choice isn’t whether to operate online or offline but an integration of both.

May 2013
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 20, 2013, 07:12:22 AM

UK Pig Meat Market Trends
15 May 2013

ANALYSIS- A summary of the trends in the pig industry in the UK by senior editor, Jackie Linden, based on the new edition of the 'Pig Pocketbook' from BPEX.

The Pig Pocketbook 2013, just published by the British Pig Executive (BPEX), part of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) includes the following chapters:
•Chapter 1 – Marketing chain
•Chapter 2 – Pig numbers
•Chapter 3 – Abattoirs
•Chapter 4 – Slaughterings and production
•Chapter 5 – Livestock and meat prices
•Chapter 6 – Imports and exports
•Chapter 7 – Consumption
•Chapter 8 – Pig carcass classification data
•Chapter 9 – Feed prices

Marketing Chain

In 2012, pig meat production amounted to 825,000 tonnes, up from 806,000 tonnes in 2011. 2013 output is forecast down slightly at 822,000 tonnes.

Imports of pig meat in 2011 were 960,000 tonnes and 978,000 in 2012. The forecast is for this to drop back markedly to 915,000 tonnes this year.

Exports have been stable over the last two years at a little over 200,000 tonnes and are expected to remain at that level in 2013.

This means that total consumption increased from 1.559 million tonnes in 2011 to 1.600 million tonnes last year; the 2013 forecast is 1.531 million tonnes.

Self-sufficiency in pig meat in the UK is 51.7, 51.5 and 53.7 per cent in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (forecast), respectively.

Pig Numbers

The agriculture department (Defra) conducts an annual census of pig numbers in June. Compared to 2011, there were more pregnant sows in 2012 (279,000 and 293,000, respectively). However, the total female breeding herd was lower at 425,000 compared to 432,000 the year before.

The number of gilts for breeding was markedly up (2011: 75,000; 2012: 82,000).

At 3.978 million, there were 41,000 more fattening pigs in the country in June 2012 than 12 months previously.


At the last count - in 2012 - 121 slaughterhouses in the UK handled pigs, four fewer than the previous year, of which 14 and 16, respectively were specialist pig abattoirs. Average annual throughput was just under 68,000 head in 2012.

Large facilities - slaughtering more than half a million pigs annually - accounted for 67 per cent of pigs slaughtered in all abattoirs and 84 per cent of those processed in specialist slaughterhouses.

Slaughterings and Production

More sows and boars were slaughtered last year (2011: 250,000; 2012: 265,000) and more clean pigs (2011: 9,813 million; 2012: 10.035 million) and therefore more pigs overall (2011: 10.063 million; 2012: 10.299 million).

Average carcass weight has remained stable at a little over 78kg since 2009.

Average sow productivity - based on calculated values rather than a survey - has improved steadily since 2009 and in 2012 stood at 22.3 pigs and 1,748kg meat per sow and year.

Livestock & Meat Prices

Comparing per-kilo deadweight (DAPP) prices month by month, most figures for clean pigs were higher in 2012 than the same month of the previous year.  The differences were negative in June and July but prices were more than eight per cent better in the last quarter of the year than the comparable months in 2011.

There was a different pattern for cull sow prices, with improvements of around 30 per cent at the start of 2012 trending downwards during 2012 to become negative in November and December.

GB weaner prices finished the year at £46.14 per head, or almost five per cent higher than in December 2011.

Comparing retail and producer prices for pig meat, the latter's share has been within the range of 38 to 40 per cent of the retail price since 2009, with just a hint of an upward trend for 2012.

Imports and Exports

In 2012, UK imports - at a little over 885,000 tonnes and worth almost £2.17 billion - were higher than the year before. The increases were the result of higher volumes and values of imported sausages and processed hams, shoulders etc, while those for fresh/frozen meat and bacon were less than 2011 levels.

Denmark was the leading source of fresh/frozen meat imports, accounting for about 28 per cent of the total. Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, France, Belgium and Spain also exported significant volumes to the UK and small amounts also came from Chile and the US.

Denmark and the Netherlands shared almost equally between them the total bacon imports to the UK last year.

Turning to UK exports of pig meat, the total volume in 2012 (191,515 tonnes) was lower than the previous year (194,874 tonnes). Increases in volume in the fresh/frozen, sausages and processed hams and shoulders were all up but bacon exports - at a little over 15,500 tonnes - were less than half of the figure for 2011. The value of all pig meat exports was up from almost £272 million in 2011 to £275.6 million in 2012.

Several of the top destinations for UK pig meat were in the EU - Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark - but substantial and increasing volumes found their way to Hong Kong, China, the US, South Korea and Japan.


Multiples account for the overwhelming majority of pork and bacon sales in the UK - 85.0 and 88.1 per cent of the respective totals in 2012.

Per-capita consumption was 25.4kg in 2012, up from 24.9kg the previous year.

In retail volume terms, fresh pork and frozen or loose sausages lost ground in 2012, while sales of bacon, sliced ham and sliced pork were all higher than in 2011. Interestingly, for a period of economic problems, it was the higher-value items (on a per-kilo basis) whose sales went up and the cheaper products declined.

Except for loose sausages, between one-third and one half all sales in each product category was on promotion.

The latest figures (for January 2013) reveal that the percentage of the various categories of products of UK origin were: pork, 82 per cent; bacon, 48 per cent; ham, 60 per cent and sausages, 81 per cent. The percentages with the Red Tractor assurance scheme mark were 60, 27, 25 and 46 per cent, respectively.

Pig Carcass Classification Data

Based on data from the Meat and Livestock Commercial Services (MLCSL) Independent Authentication Service, pig carcass weights followed a typical distribution curve with the median value of 75 to 80kg. For 2012, there was a tendency towards lighter carcasses and as a result, the average for the sample was 78.7kg, down from 79.1kg in 2011.

Almost 80 per cent of carcasses achieved the highest 'S' grade and the rest were a grade 'E'. Just one per cent of carcasses were graded 'U' or 'R'.

P2 fat depths have been showing a minimal decline for the last decade for all weight bands.

Feed Prices

Average compound feed prices per tonne for quarters 1, 2, 3 and 4 of 2012 were £247, £258, £268 and £282, respectively. These compare with £209 in 2009, £217 in 2010 and £255 in 2011.

While feed wheat prices fluctuated round a slowly rising trend throughout 2012 of around £200 per tonne, soybean meal prices jumped up in mid-2012 from around £300 per tonne and seem to have stabilised at a higher plateau of around £500 per tonne ever since.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 24, 2013, 11:06:57 PM

EU Pig Prices: Price Increase All Over Europe
24 July 2013
 Go to

EU - In almost all European countries, pig prices once again went through a considerable increase this week.

The demand for meat is fuelled by the nice weather. As a result of these high temperatures, the growth of pigs is slower.

Slaughter pigs appear to be available in many regions all over Europe to cover demands by slaughter companies.

With its 6-cents’ plus, Germany sets the standard for the other countries for the second consecutive week. The Netherlands and Belgium follow, each with a 6-cents’ per kg increase.

Prices went up by 5 cents in Austria. In France, the trend continues to be positive, with the price going up by a good 5 cents. The quantities on offer are expected to remain scarce as a result of lower slaughter weights.

The corrected Spanish price vaulted the limit of 1.90 euros per kg slaughter weight for the first time this year. According to reports, the Spanish meat business is also going well so as to make the scarce quantities on offer cause prices to increase.

Trend for the German market: Currently, the meat dealers are facing a higher-than-average demand as a result of the summer weather. This is not even slowed down by the holiday season. The quantities on offer are expected to continue to remain substandard. Thus, prices are expected to remain steady at least in the weeks to come.














Week 23
1.546 1.491 1.563 1.495 1.587 1.626 1.633 1.595 1.759 1.479 1.916 1.574

Week 24
1.626 1.566 1.590 1.569 1.649 1.676 1.639 1.627 1.792 1.561 1.944 1.574

Week 25
1.666 1.604 1.643 1.618 1.729 1.716 1.651 1.722 1.873 1.612 1.967 1.594

Week 26
1.666 1.604 1.643 1.618 1.729 1.695 1.657 1.722 1.873 1.612 1.967 1.594

Week 27
1.646 1.557 1.643 1.618 1.737 1.690 1.694 1.722 1.885 1.612 1.953 1.594

Week 28
1.626 1.566 1.643 1.593 1.708 1.692 1.704 1.848 1.885 1.612 1.923 1.594

Week 29
1.686 1.623 1.643 1.655 1.760   1.704 1.924 1.892 1.663 1.929 1.594

Week 30
1.746 1.680 1.671 1.717 1.814     1.975 1.930 1.714 1.947 1.594
Prices in Euros (€)

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 04, 2013, 11:33:00 AM

EU Pig Prices: Unchanged and Increasing Prices
01 August 2013
 Go to

EU - The supply of market pigs remains scarce. Lower slaughter weights can be observed in nearly every country and while prices have risen in some countries, they have at least remained steady elsewhere.

In Germany and Austria there was no price increase this week. The meat markets are not as dynamic as in the weeks before.

In the Netherlands, Belgium and France, the scarce supply of pigs allowed a price increase of one cent.

In Spain, high temperature have caused low daily gains of the pigs and in consequence a small supply, so that here a price increase of two cents per kg slaughter weight was possible.

The quotation in Denmark went up by three cents per kg. It is said that the exports, particularly to Russia, are higher than the last few weeks.

Trend for the German market: The current situation should remain the same this week so prices are expected to remain level.














Week 24
1.626 1.566 1.590 1.569 1.649 1.676 1.639 1.627 1.792 1.561 1.944 1.574

Week 25
1.666 1.604 1.643 1.618 1.729 1.716 1.651 1.722 1.873 1.612 1.967 1.594

Week 26
1.666 1.604 1.643 1.618 1.729 1.695 1.657 1.722 1.873 1.612 1.967 1.594

Week 27
1.646 1.557 1.643 1.618 1.737 1.690 1.694 1.722 1.885 1.612 1.953 1.594

Week 28
1.626 1.566 1.643 1.593 1.708 1.692 1.704 1.848 1.885 1.612 1.923 1.594

Week 29
1.686 1.623 1.643 1.655 1.760 1.744 1.704 1.924 1.892 1.663 1.929 1.594

Week 30
1.746 1.680 1.671 1.717 1.814   1.728 1.975 1.930 1.714 1.947 1.594

Week 31
1.746 1.690 1.698 1.729 1.819     2.025 1.949 1.714 1.933 1.594
Prices in Euros (€)

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 04, 2013, 11:33:45 AM

Rubber Slat Mats Could Improve Animal Well-being
01 August 2013

EU - New research shows that rubber slat mats could improve swine health.

In a new study in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers in Europe studied how different types of flooring affects claw and limb lesions, locomotion and flooring cleanliness.

According to the researchers, flooring is one of the main factors in production systems that cause locomotory problems in swine. Locomotory problems can be caused by joint injuries or by circulatory problems in the legs and feet.

Julia Calderón-Díaz, a PhD candidate at University of College Dublin, said pregnant sows placed on cushioned flooring would have a lower risk of being lame compared with sows placed on concrete.

In this experiment, researchers studied the effects of two types of flooring on pregnant gilts in Ireland. One hundred sixty-four pregnant gilts were divided into two groups. One group was housed on concrete slatted floors, and the other group was housed on concrete slatted floors covered in rubber slat mats.

The researchers scored locomotion and claw and limb lesion of the replacement gilts and flooring cleanliness periodically. The replacement gilts were observed from the time they were bred until 110 days into their pregnancy.

Dr Alan Fahey, a lecturer at the University College Dublin said the gilts were studied during two pregnancies. The results were similar during both pregnancies. Sows housed on rubber mats had a reduced risk of swelling and wounds on the limbs. However, the rubber mats increased the risk of sole and heel lesions.

Ms Calderón-Díaz said these lesions were possibly caused by slurry accumulation over the rubber mats. She said these lesions were not severe and could be addressed through modifications of the rubber slat mats.

In the European Union, pregnant sows must be group housed four weeks after breeding until one week before farrowing. This rule has been in effect since January. Ms Calderón-Díaz said other countries are likely to use group housing for pregnant sows in the near future.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 12, 2013, 10:38:00 AM

Irish Pig Prices on a Decline through 2013
08 August 2013


IRELAND - There was a one per cent reduction in total EU pig slaughter in the period January to April 2013 in comparison with the same period in 2012. Total pigmeat production in that period in 2013 was virtually unchanged on the same period in 2012 due to a slight rise in slaughter weights, according to the mid-year outlook for Irish Agriculture 2013.

By mid 2013, pig slaughtering in Ireland was running behind the corresponding figure for 2012 by about 1 percent.

The June 2012 and December 2012 CSO pig numbers showed a decline in the pig breeding herd, indicative of a likely contraction in Irish pig production in 2013, so this observed decline in Irish throughput in 2013 was anticipated.

Pig feed prices rose through 2012 and have remained elevated in 2013, as illustrated in Figure 15.

By mid 2013 pig feed prices were about €60 to 70 per tonne (circa 20 per cent) higher than in the
corresponding period in 2012. To improve the economic performance of Irish pig production, sustained high pig prices were required in 2013 to offset the impact of high feed prices.

Irish pig prices rose through the latter half of 2012 and at the outset of 2013 were about 25 cents per kg ahead of prices at the beginning of 2012 as illustrated in Figure 16. However, Irish pig prices have moved into decline as 2013 has progressed and by July were only slightly higher than at the mid point of 2012.

Having been well below the EU average pig price throughout 2012, the Irish pig price converged on the EU average price in April 2013. However, since then the EU average price has risen by eight cent per kg while the Irish price has fallen by eight cent, opening up a 16 cent price gap between EU and Irish prices by the end of June 2013.

The rise in Irish pig prices in 2013 will be sufficient to ensure that the total value of Irish pig output
will increase in 2013 relative to 2012. However, the end result is that Irish pig producers will remain in financial difficulties, due to high feed prices, which will only be alleviated via a reduction in feed costs or an increase in pig prices.

A decline in feed costs in the second half of 2013 does seem plausible, given forecast cereal harvest prices, but it remains to be seen whether the Irish pig price can recover to closer to the EU average level in the coming weeks and months.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 26, 2013, 09:33:25 AM

Europe: Hog Markets
22 August 2013
Genesus - The first power in genetics

EU - August is the month where prices begin to change and trend towards lower prices in both feed and pigs, writes Javier Santamartina, Spain, Italy & Portugal Genesus Representative.

Pig Prices continue at good levels close to 1,50 €/kg ($0.91 USD/lb.) pig live and probably close to last year’s high. There are not enough pigs to send to slaughter. In the last 3 weeks the average carcass weight has decreased by 1.675 Kg (3.5 lbs.) and the extremely hot weather has reduced pigs’ growth all around Europe, even in Northern European countries.

As a consequence prices keep at the maximum level and piglet prices have decreased a little, because of most of the finishing barns are full at this time of the year. The impact of both the drop in sow numbers by European Animal Welfare regulations and high feed prices are having their reflection now. It is a general situation with small differences for others important countries like Denmark, Netherlands or France.

Pork consumption continues to be poorer. The market is still facing difficulties in transferring higher cost of production into customers’ prices getting pork at the retail level. Only some countries like Italy were able do it, remember that the Italian market is a little different with heavier pigs 165Kg (364 lb.) liveweight.

On the other hand, this period of time will be reactivated by a dry ham industry. Ham demand is supplied by Spain and Germany increasing the price of ham; unfortunately the rest of the cuts in countries like Spain continue to struggle to increase the price. In Germany there are fewer consumers in summer time, because of holidays where vacationers move to the south of Europe and other countries.

Exports to others countries continue without big jumps. The pork exports ban from Russia continue for countries like Spain. At the beginning of September Russian vets will review the possibility of restarting exports to Russia that were put in place to control the spread of African Swine Fever.

This price seasonality could be finishing at the beginning of September. It would be more hogs in the market plus cooler weather would make a pig getting out from the finishing barn faster. In any case the current higher record price is in a good position to let us think that this year will be a good year.

On the other side costs at the end offers relief to the producers. The current harvest is good in all Europe. Spain is around 20 million hectares, and Eastern Europe, (Russian and Ukraine) a record harvest in global world. North of Africa will produce 12 million more hectares than the previous year. Protein sources continue at a high price but also in the coming months we expect a decrease in price. With this perspective costs in pig production will reduce and complete the margin of business.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of 12 August 2013


Domestic price
(own currency)

US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)

USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 93.47 USD/lb carcass 69.17¢
Canada (Ontario) 191.48 CAD/kg carcass 66.55¢
Mexico (DF) 23.73 MXN/kg liveweight 81.82¢
Brazil (South Region) 3.11 BRL/kg liveweight 58.36¢
Russia 74 RUB/kg liveweight $1.02
China 15.46 RMB/kg liveweight $1.15
Spain 1.485 EUR/kg liveweight 90.06¢
Viet Nam 43,000 VND/kg liveweight 92.57¢
South Korea 3,871 KRW/kg liveweight $1.57
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 26, 2013, 09:36:22 AM

Pigs Full of Beans
23 August 2013

National Pig Association - The voice of the UK pig industry

UK - Soya is at the forefront of many people's minds at present, particularly after the references to it in connection with the Amazon rainforest on Newsnight this week. So the following comments from one of Britain's larger producers may be of interest.

"We have found pigs grow faster on beans than on soya — but it's like drawing teeth stopping nutritionists using the bloody stuff.

"50 per cent of our feed is made up of wheat, barley and beans, and oilseed rape at 25 kilos a tonne.

"Our top priority is to reduce the risk of making a loss so some years ago we sold sows and bought land, so that now we grow all the cereals that we consume as a pig producer.

"I can grow beans for about £80 a tonne, compared to about £200 to buy them in and that compares very favourably with soya at around £400 a tonne. We've been up to 30 per cent beans and those have been our fastest growing pigs.

"We grow wheat-wheat-barley-beans and in a good year expect 4 tonnes from the first wheats, 3 tonnes from the second, 3 tonnes of barley, and 2 tonnes of beans — or 3 tonnes average across the rotation.

"A sow with all progeny needs 6 tonnes, so we allow for two acres per sow. What comes out of the back end of the pig provides enough phosphate and potash for two acres, if you grow beans in the rotation, because they don't need anything.

"But the pigs don't give you enough nitrogen, so the beans make an important contribution, because they mean we don't need nitrogen on 25 per cent of our land, and that's a big help.

"The pigs may not produce enough nitrogen, but they do produce plenty of ammonia, and if you collect that and add sulphuric acid, you get ammonium sulphate. We're trying that now to see if it works."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 03, 2013, 06:54:50 AM

Will Brussels Try to Fudge Origin-of-pork Labelling?
02 September 2013

National Pig Association - The voice of the UK pig industry

EU - Although country of origin labelling for fresh pork will be mandatory from December 2014, Brussels has yet to indicate which labelling model it favours — Simple, Intermediate or Premium.

A lot will depend on its impact assessment, which considers the costs and administrative burden that each model will impose on farmers, food companies, retailers and consumers.

Option 1. SIMPLE

The Simple model would require meat from an animal reared in the European Union to be labelled "Origin EU" and imported meats and meat from imported animals to be labelled "Origin: non-EU".


The Intermediate model would require the following information to be given on the label:
•Member country (or third country) where the animal was reared and slaughtered (minimum period to be fixed).
•Where a minimum rearing period is not met, "Origin: EU" or "Origin: non-EU" would apply.

Option 3. PREMIUM

The Premium mandatory labelling model would be similar to mandatory beef labelling, which is already in force.

Meat from an animal born, reared or slaughtered in more than one country would have to be labelled with the following information:
•Member country (or third country) where the animal was born.
•Member country (or third country) where the animal was reared.
•Member country (or third country) where the animal was slaughtered.

Meat from an animal born, reared and slaughtered in one country would be labelled simply with the single country of origin.

A year ago, Brussels may have been persuaded by food company lobbyists to recommend the Simple model to ministers.

But as a result of Horsegate, and other food scandals around the world, the European Commission now recognises that consumers are increasingly concerned about where their meat comes from.

One recent study found that 48 per cent of European Union consumers look for country of origin information when buying fresh meat or meat products.

Brussels is required to come forward with recommendations for ministers and to adopt the necessary implementing acts by December this year, in time for inclusion in its new labelling regulation (No. 1169/2011) which comes into force in December 2014.

This is the kind of labelling that British pig farmers find offensive. On the front it says "Yorkshire Ham" but on the back, in much smaller print, it says "Cured, cooked and packed in Yorkshire using pork from the EU". [Photo: NPA]

For their part, many British pig farmers will be hoping Brussels chooses the Premium labelling model.

But it is likely there will be pressure on Brussels from producers in Denmark and the Netherlands, who export considerable numbers of young pigs, to choose the Simple or Intermediate model.

British pork and pork products earn a premium of around ten per cent on the home market, a commonplace differential when a country is a net importer of a food product.

British pig farmers are weary of food companies, retailers and caterers cashing in on this differential by passing-off imported product as British — sometimes with considerable skill and agility.

Even in blatant cases of misleading labelling, wrong-doers tend to escape with a telling-off, because Trading Standards avoids expensive court actions where legal grey areas mean success is far from guaranteed.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 07, 2013, 10:30:14 PM

ACMC Tip: Choice of Terminal Sire is Vital
05 September 2013
ACMC Breeders
UK - With feed costs being the major financial component of rearing pigs, any improvements in feed conversion efficiency are enormously important.

With the boar contributing 50 per cent of the genetics to this generation, the correct choice of terminal sire is vital, says ACMC veterinary consultant, Paul Thompson.

In particular, those producers using their own boars and on-site AI, or natural service, should regularly discuss with their breeding stock supplier the selection and upgrading of these boars to take advantage of on-going genetic improvements.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 05, 2013, 11:51:33 PM

Weather Has Big Impact on Supply Chains
04 October 2013

UK - "Many farmers are still working under the shadow of 2012’s appalling weather and the knock-on impact this has had," said Phil Bicknell, NFU Chief Economist at a recent Monmouthshire NFU Cymru county meeting.

Mr Bicknell went on to say, "For most, the problem is now in the office - working to balance the books and covering production costs. Looking ahead to next year, I’m hoping we can move on to a more positive outlook."

Members present at the NFU Cymru meeting held in Raglan, scrutinised past production figures and future projections for the UK red meat, cereal and dairy sectors.

Mr Bicknell said, "Margins are constantly being squeezed as we pay the price for the awful weather conditions experienced in 2012, which was extended further by the most challenging spring in decades. This has put serious pressure on the bottom line with profits being eroded.

"Cash flow problems have naturally followed, farmers have been faced by increased bills and less favourable credit terms with some merchants. It will take time to rebuild confidence within the industry but there should be some confidence. The global population is increasing and as the world gets richer, people improve their diets. Demand for meat will increase considerably and the challenge for UK farmers now, is whether we can assist in meeting this demand.

"The future is looking stronger but there is going to be more volatility in commodity prices. As an industry, costs of production since 2006 have rocketed from £9bn to £14bn and we can never underestimate the impact the weather can have on the supply chain."

As the Union is due to launch the 2013 confidence survey, it is expected that this year’s main factor in determining confidence within the industry will be the outcome of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) negotiations. Over recent years, input prices have been the main factor concerning farmers but the current CAP discussions and decisions taking place at a Welsh Government level are clearly at the forefront of farmers’ minds.

Monmouthshire NFU Cymru County Chairman, Nigel Bowyer, said, "There are significant changes ahead under the new CAP regime and the uncertainty at the moment is making it extremely difficult for farmers to plan ahead and make informed business decisions. Profit and confidence within the agricultural industry are key components in order for re-investment to be made on farm. It is absolutely vital that the Welsh Government exhaust every avenue possible to try and minimise the impact of moving to an area based system in Wales."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 16, 2013, 09:02:05 AM

Spain: Hog Markets
10 October 2013
Genesus - The first power in genetics

SPAIN - Last week I was in Spain attending some meetings with old customers and visiting new ones, Fernando Ortiz, Genesus Ibero-America Business Development.

The market is getting a second wind after a couple of years of terrible hog prices with higher feed costs. It was just around June 2012 when the market started to get some reaction over the pick of the 1.40€/kg ($0.86USD/lb.). Also over the last two years 2012 and 2013 the Spanish market has been able to keep the better prices longer, breaking records of several weeks under seasonal pressure.

My trip overlapped with the drop in prices not only in Spain but also in the whole EU. There is a huge supply of hogs, heavier ones and a kind of rush to get them killed. The good weather has helped a lot as well. Over the last four weeks prices have descended almost 13 Euro cents (17 USD cents) per kilogram liveweight (from 1.533€/kg to 1.404€/kg) ($0.94-$0.86 USD/lb.).

The European Union’s markets have similar behavior and trends due to their synchronization and dynamics. Trading among countries is very efficient and fast and pork trading is not the exception in this equation.

Below current prices from some European countries:

Spain has been the only European market able to get much higher prices this year compared with the same period a year ago. Italy has experienced the same thing but Italy is considered a market with big differences hard to associate with other members of the European Community. Italy’s slaughter weights are too high (160-176 kg) (352-388 lbs.) and this makes the market atypical. Holland, Denmark, Belgium and Poland did not hit the marks for this year. Their hog prices were lower YTD. Having said that we expect an even stronger correction in prices in Spain, considering the highest they reached this year, in order to match the other countries in the region.

The good news for this particular period of the year is that pork prices at retail level are seeing lower reflecting slaughter prices, however pork consumption in Spain is gaining some ground at the moment and the market has very fluid circulation with lower cold storage inventory.
It was interesting, from my recent trip, listening to important pork producers in this country how the demand for good quality pork is escalating the markets at faster pace. As everyone knows Spain is mostly a Pietrain country and I remember just a few years ago how anyone who talked about Durocs sounded like they were profaning a culture. That means they are turning their heads to find a breed that responds to this trend while feed efficiency continues to be an important part of the equation: Duroc was the response. There have already been trials with Genesus Duroc and they got the right product to supply the demand and obtain more profits. These observations came out not only from producers but also from major packing plants.

The market is very dynamic everywhere and always is important to be prepared with the right product your client demands. Genesus is up for the challenge!

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of September 30, 2013


Domestic price
(own currency)

US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)

USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 89.8 USD/lb carcass 66.45¢
Canada (Ontario) 179.7 CAD/kg carcass 62.78¢
Mexico (DF) 22.97 MXN/kg liveweight 78.98¢
Brazil (South Region) 3.74 BRL/kg liveweight 76.90¢
Russia 75.58 RUB/kg liveweight $1.06
China 15.99 RMB/kg liveweight $1.19
Spain 1.404 EUR/kg liveweight 86.09¢
Viet Nam 45000 VND/kg liveweight 96.72¢
South Korea 3338 KRW/g liveweight $1.41

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 10, 2013, 01:27:57 AM

Pig Industry Faces Revolution
08 November 2013
British Pig Executive
UK - A revolution in performance is going to hit the pig industry over the next ten years, says this year’s winner of the David Black Award.

Vet Pete Bown has worked as a consultant to one of the major breeding firms and said: "The genetic improvements in the pipeline are mind-blowing.

"It will give our producers a fantastic opportunity to sell a quality product with a very good cost of production provided they pay attention to herd health."

Peter, who is married with two sons, received his award at an industry breakfast held in the House of Lords.

Looking back on his 45 years in practice, he said: "When I started, disease was easy to manage, then we had a very dark period with Classical Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth and PMWS.

"Now we have much healthier pigs and provided we remain vigilant I think the industry has huge opportunities."

When Pete started with what has become the George vet group, he was the fourth vet in the practice and they had one pig client. The group now employs more than 30 vets with six pig specialists.

He qualified in Glasgow in 1968, then worked as a locum for a few vets before moving down to Malmesbury in Wiltshire for a year before returning to do a PhD. That PhD didn’t work out so he stayed.

He said: "I became interested in population medicine so that meant it was either pigs or chickens and pigs had always fascinated me."

Away from farms, Pete was on the professional after-dinner speaking circuit for 20 years so ended up being employed to give presentations on behalf of drug companies all over the world.

On being told he was the winner of this year’s David Black Award he said: "I was in the garden when my wife told me Mick Sloyan was on the phone. I thought to myself he must want me to sit on another committee.

"When he told me I had won the award I was totally stunned."

At the event a Sausage Oscar was presented to Peter Allen of butchers Aubrey Allen for their contribution to promoting one of the country’s gastronomic icons.

The firm was founded 80 years ago and this year was granted a Royal Warrant by The Queen. The firm has won many awards, most recently 1st prize in the Healthy Sausage Category at the BPEX Foodservice Pork Sausage of the Year competition.

The award was presented to company chairman Peter Allen.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 17, 2013, 01:10:33 AM

Spain Ranked Second Largest Pig Producing Country in Europe
14 November 2013

SPAIN - According to data gathered by BDporc, the Spanish reference swine database, there has been a continuous increase in the size of farms (from 719 sows in 2007 to 986 sows in 2012).

Spain has 26 million pigs, including piglets, fodder pigs, breeders, and boars. This makes Spain the second largest pig producer in the European Union and ranks fourth in the world. The country exports 1,369,527 tonnes of pork annually, which is 40 per cent of the total production.

Over the last two decades, Spain's pig producing sector has undergone a tremendous transformation. This information was made public in light of the 20th Anniversary of the Porc d´Or awards, an event organised by the Institute for Research and Technology in Food and Agriculture (IRTA), in collaboration with Zoetis as co-organiser.

José Luis Noguera, director of BDporc (IRTA), believes this increase derives from the search of a greater professionalisation of the sector, improvements in the organisation of production, increased efficiency and cost optimization.

In terms of productivity, the BDporc analysis reveals that over the last 20 years, an increase of almost seven weaned piglets per every producing sow per year has occurred.

During 2012, a mean productivity of 26.57 weaned piglets per sow per year was registered. As a result, Spain has been placed among the primary pig producing countries.

Over the last decade, the Spanish pig sector has gone from being an importer to a significant exporter. The sector contributes over 4,500 million Euros to the country's GDP, which is over 37 per cent of total livestock production and 14 per cent of total agrarian production.

Miguel Ángel Higuera, director of the National Pork Livestock Producers Association (ANPROGAPOR), said: "Over the last few years, foreign trade in the sector has increased remarkably, not only in volume but also in the quality of exported products, which is currently much more structured.

"To date, intra- and extra- community exports are not mere opportunities but have become a structural event that depends on the correct functioning of the domestic market."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 01, 2013, 04:48:05 AM

Spain: Hog Markets
28 November 2013
Genesus - The first power in genetics

SPAIN - The grain situation has created a better financial environment in Spain, just like almost everywhere else. However if we look at the ingredients used for feeding pigs in Spain, we can see that there is still some though times ahead, writes Fernando Ortiz, Genesus Ibero-America Business Development.


Spain is a grain importer, they don’t produce too much grain internally and a good proportion of the swine diet in Spain is made by wheat and barley. These two grains have still prices above historic standards. One of the causes for higher prices is due to the good quality of European and Black Sea wheat this year, so most of this harvest has gone for human consumption, lowering the supply for animal feed.

The same trend has seen barley following wheat price rise. As a result, the price of wheat, which used to be around US$6.75/bushel, has increased to US$8.05/bushel. Barley is around $4.02/ bushel. Soybean continues with higher prices as well, last week at US$17.32/bushel.

On the other hand there is an abundant supply of corn in the market at very competitive prices around US$6.75/bushel. Pork producers are taking advantage of this price by signing long term contracts.


The national breeding herd inventory reports almost no variation in this category with 2.23 million sows vs. 2.25 million sows in November 2012.

The pork industry is one of the pillars of Spain’s economy by participating with over 19 billion euros (around $26 billion US dollars), this is the 22 per cent of the agri-food industry in Spain. It also holds the first place among the whole food and beverage industry. It is one of the five first industries, and it has the largest share in the agriculture food processed industry in the country (14.1 per cent in 2012). This data was delivered by Miguel Arias, Spain’s Minister of Agriculture.

Hog prices in Spain had plummeted over the last few weeks from 1.533 EUR/kg in September to 1.290 EUR/kg last week.

Below is a graph showing liveweight hog prices vs. feed cost during the last year in Spain.

The following is a graphic comparison between USA hog prices and Spain hog prices for 2011, 2012 and 2013 adjusting currencies accordingly for each period of time.

As we see from this graph 2013 has been the best year for the pork industry in Spain since 2010. Record prices for hogs this summer helped producers enormously on recovering from previous losses.

Prices are now going through seasonal downturn but there is a strong trend to make some money in the next quarter with cheaper grains and hopefully higher demand.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of November 18, 2013


Domestic price
(own currency)

US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)

USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 80.64 USD/lb carcass 59.67¢
Canada (Ontario) 156.56 CAD/kg carcass 53.73¢
Mexico (DF) 24.67 MXN/kg liveweight 85.46¢
Brazil (South Region) 3.76 BRL/kg liveweight 74.09¢
Russia 76 RUB/kg liveweight $1.04
China 15.5 RMB/kg liveweight $1.15
Spain 1.29 EUR/kg liveweight 79.63¢
Viet Nam 43,000 VND/kg liveweight 92.54¢
South Korea 4,071 KRW/kg liveweight $1.73
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 05, 2013, 11:23:30 AM

Return to Swill Feeding Could Cost the Pig Industry £300 Million
04 December 2013

UK - Why is the pig industry so set against an end to the ban on swill feeding of pigs as a solution to cut food waste? Two main reasons: firstly, poorly processed swill is the likely cause of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in the the UK in 2001 and second, a new analysis puts the cost of a serious disease outbreak at £300 million overall or 30 to 40 pence per kilo on the pig price. Jackie Linden reports.

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of talk in the pig industry about the risk of a notifiable disease outbreak, according to a new analysis from the British Pig Executive (BPEX) in Pig Market Trends.

 "Perhaps the most significant impact would arise from the loss of export markets."

Earlier in the year, Exercise Walnut simulated an outbreak of Classical Swine Fever (CSF), providing some useful lessons for government and for the industry. More recently, the Pig Idea campaign has been promoting feeding of treated food waste to pigs. Most pig farmers are opposed to this development because of the risk that it could lead to a disease outbreak; swill feeding was thought to be responsible for the major Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in 2001.

The impact of a notifiable disease outbreak on the industry would be dramatic. Of course, there would be a massive personal impact on those directly affected. There would also be major challenges for those caught up in the incident through movement bans or other restrictions put in place to control the spread of the disease. However, even producers not affected in these ways would be hit by the impact of disease on the market.

Perhaps the most significant impact would arise from the loss of export markets. In a major outbreak, this would likely be immediate and sustained. In 2001, pork exports fell virtually overnight from well over 10,000 tonnes per month to virtually nothing. They took almost a year to start to recover and much longer to reach anything like the levels recorded before the outbreak.

Last year, pig meat exports were worth about £310 million to the UK. This year, the figure is set to be closer to £350 million. This is equivalent to around a quarter of the total value of pigs slaughtered, which was a little over £1.2 billion last year.

In the event of a complete closure of export markets, some products would find alternative buyers in the UK, either in the consumer market or for other uses. In a few cases, this might replace imported products. However, most UK exports are cuts that have a limited market here, while imports comprise cuts for which demand exceeds supplies. Thus, the increase in products on the domestic market would add to the overall supply, bringing prices down for all pig meat. It is difficult to estimate the scale but a 10 per cent drop, which is at the lower end of the likely range, would mean a loss of £90 million from the market, on top of the value of lost exports.

The graph below shows the impact of the FMD outbreak in the UK in 2001 on pork exports, which slumped to almost zero and had nowhere near recovered more than three years later.

UK pig meat export

Those products for which no market could be found would have to be sent for rendering or disposed of in some other way. This would mean that they would achieve a fraction of the value that they would have been sold for on export markets. Estimates suggest that the loss of value from the products that could no longer be exported would be at least £200 million.

Lower prices might help to offset any consumer 'turn-off' from pig meat products. The extent of this would depend on the disease involved; it would likely be higher for a pig-specific disease than for a multi-species one like FMD, where consumers would have fewer alternatives meats. However, for an outbreak of a disease like CSF or African Swine Fever, lower consumer demand could add to losses.

Combining the losses above, suggests an impact on the industry of close to £300 million. If this was passed on to producers in full, it would be equivalent to a fall in the pig price of between 30p and 40p per kg. In reality, some of the loss would probably be absorbed elsewhere in the supply chain but pig prices would still fall sharply. The drop would probably be large enough to return most producers to a loss-making position and would certainly leave them particularly vulnerable to any increase in input costs.

To illustrate the possible effect, the report adds that, during the BSE outbreak in 1996 (see graph below), when export markets were closed and consumer confidence hit, cattle prices immediately fell by 15 per cent and then continued to fall away in subsequent years. Prices did not reach pre-outbreak levels again until 2008.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 06, 2013, 02:18:50 AM

Return to Swill Feeding Could Cost the Pig Industry £300 Million
04 December 2013

UK - Why is the pig industry so set against an end to the ban on swill feeding of pigs as a solution to cut food waste? Two main reasons: firstly, poorly processed swill is the likely cause of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in the the UK in 2001 and second, a new analysis puts the cost of a serious disease outbreak at £300 million overall or 30 to 40 pence per kilo on the pig price. Jackie Linden reports.

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of talk in the pig industry about the risk of a notifiable disease outbreak, according to a new analysis from the British Pig Executive (BPEX) in Pig Market Trends.

 "Perhaps the most significant impact would arise from the loss of export markets."

Earlier in the year, Exercise Walnut simulated an outbreak of Classical Swine Fever (CSF), providing some useful lessons for government and for the industry. More recently, the Pig Idea campaign has been promoting feeding of treated food waste to pigs. Most pig farmers are opposed to this development because of the risk that it could lead to a disease outbreak; swill feeding was thought to be responsible for the major Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in 2001.

The impact of a notifiable disease outbreak on the industry would be dramatic. Of course, there would be a massive personal impact on those directly affected. There would also be major challenges for those caught up in the incident through movement bans or other restrictions put in place to control the spread of the disease. However, even producers not affected in these ways would be hit by the impact of disease on the market.

Perhaps the most significant impact would arise from the loss of export markets. In a major outbreak, this would likely be immediate and sustained. In 2001, pork exports fell virtually overnight from well over 10,000 tonnes per month to virtually nothing. They took almost a year to start to recover and much longer to reach anything like the levels recorded before the outbreak.

Last year, pig meat exports were worth about £310 million to the UK. This year, the figure is set to be closer to £350 million. This is equivalent to around a quarter of the total value of pigs slaughtered, which was a little over £1.2 billion last year.

In the event of a complete closure of export markets, some products would find alternative buyers in the UK, either in the consumer market or for other uses. In a few cases, this might replace imported products. However, most UK exports are cuts that have a limited market here, while imports comprise cuts for which demand exceeds supplies. Thus, the increase in products on the domestic market would add to the overall supply, bringing prices down for all pig meat. It is difficult to estimate the scale but a 10 per cent drop, which is at the lower end of the likely range, would mean a loss of £90 million from the market, on top of the value of lost exports.

The graph below shows the impact of the FMD outbreak in the UK in 2001 on pork exports, which slumped to almost zero and had nowhere near recovered more than three years later.

UK pig meat export

Those products for which no market could be found would have to be sent for rendering or disposed of in some other way. This would mean that they would achieve a fraction of the value that they would have been sold for on export markets. Estimates suggest that the loss of value from the products that could no longer be exported would be at least £200 million.

Lower prices might help to offset any consumer 'turn-off' from pig meat products. The extent of this would depend on the disease involved; it would likely be higher for a pig-specific disease than for a multi-species one like FMD, where consumers would have fewer alternatives meats. However, for an outbreak of a disease like CSF or African Swine Fever, lower consumer demand could add to losses.

Combining the losses above, suggests an impact on the industry of close to £300 million. If this was passed on to producers in full, it would be equivalent to a fall in the pig price of between 30p and 40p per kg. In reality, some of the loss would probably be absorbed elsewhere in the supply chain but pig prices would still fall sharply. The drop would probably be large enough to return most producers to a loss-making position and would certainly leave them particularly vulnerable to any increase in input costs.

To illustrate the possible effect, the report adds that, during the BSE outbreak in 1996 (see graph below), when export markets were closed and consumer confidence hit, cattle prices immediately fell by 15 per cent and then continued to fall away in subsequent years. Prices did not reach pre-outbreak levels again until 2008.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on December 31, 2013, 07:33:20 AM

Tighter Welfare Checks on Livestock at Slaughterhouses Proposed
27 December 2013

EU - Slaughterhouse staff could be forced to carry out more checks of livestock to ensure the animals are not conscious after stunning, according to new scientific studies carried out for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The slaughterhouse staff performing stunning, shackling, hoisting and/or bleeding will have to check all the animals and confirm that they are not conscious, if recommendations for a European Food Safety Authority scientific opinion are ratified.

For the animal welfare officer, who has the overall responsibility for animal welfare, a mathematical model for the sampling protocols has been proposed, giving some allowance to set the sample size of animals that he/she needs to check at a given throughput rate (total number of animals slaughtered in the slaughterhouses) and tolerance level (number of potential failures—animals that are conscious after stunning and animals that are not unconscious or not dead after slaughter without stunning).

The model can also be applied to estimate threshold failure rate at a chosen throughput rate and sample size.

Finally, different risk factors and scenarios are proposed to define a ‘normal’ or a ‘reinforced’ monitoring protocol, according to the needs of the slaughterhouse.

These measures are included in a scientific opinion which puts forward “toolboxes of welfare indicators” for developing monitoring procedures at slaughterhouses for pigs, sheep and goats and poultry.

Three separate scientific opinions have been produced by the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel of EFSA for the European Commission to cover the pig sector, goats and sheep and poultry.


For pigs stunned with the head-only electrical method or carbon dioxide at high concentration, the opinion proposes welfare indicators together with their corresponding outcomes of consciousness, unconsciousness or death.

The opinion proposes a toolbox of indicators and the outcomes to be used to assess consciousness in pigs at three key stages of monitoring:
1.after stunning and during shackling and hoisting,
2.during sticking and
3.during bleeding.

Various activities — including a systematic literature review, an online survey and stakeholders’ and hearing experts’ meetings — were conducted to gather information about specificity, sensitivity and feasibility of the indicators that are to be included in the toolboxes for monitoring welfare.

On the basis of information gathered during these activities, a methodology was developed to select the most appropriate indicators that could be used in the monitoring procedures.

The frequency of checking differs according to the role of each person with responsibility for ensuring animal welfare at slaughter.

The personnel performing stunning, shackling, hoisting and/or bleeding will have to check all the animals and confirm that they are not conscious following stunning.

For the animal welfare officer, who has the overall responsibility for animal welfare, a mathematical model for the sampling protocols is proposed, giving some allowance to set the sample size of animals that he/she needs to check at a given throughput rate (total number of animals slaughtered in the slaughterhouses) and tolerance level (number of potential failures—animals that are conscious after stunning; animals that are not unconscious or not dead after slaughter without stunning).

The model can also be applied to estimate threshold failure rate at a chosen throughput rate and sample size.

Finally, different risk factors and scenarios are proposed to define a ‘normal’ or a ‘reinforced’ monitoring protocol, according to the needs of the slaughterhouse.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 12, 2014, 02:46:24 AM

Outdoor Pig Producer Puts JSR Pork on the Menu
06 January 2014
JSR Genetics

UK - A Suffolk pig farmer, whose produce is on the menu in some of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, has been working closely with JSR Genetics in order to tailor the taste of his products for new markets.


Mark Hayward, who runs Dingley Dell Pork, along with his brother Paul, has been selling his own-brand outdoor pork for the past 12 years, supplying high-class establishments such as The Dorchester and The Savoy hotels in London, as well as top sporting teams including Manchester United FC and Manchester City FC.

In early 2013, Dingley Dell started exporting their produce to Jersey, Guernsey and Belgium, as well as Hong Kong and Macau, so started working with JSR in order to select breeding stock and tailor products to suit these new and very different markets.

Mr Howard explained: "We produce a variety of meat, including ham, bacon, smoked belly pork and we are also in the process of developing our own air-dried ham and pancetta. Each of these products is for a very different consumer, so we had to adapt and tailor the taste to suit.

"For example, in the UK, there’s a strong demand for lean pork, but in the Far East, it’s all about the taste, so we had to take a look at what we do at farm level to develop these different products using the breeding stock we had."

Mr Howard and the team at Dingley Dell worked closely with Caroline Mitchell, Meat Scientist at JSR Genetics, so she could gain a better understanding of the direction the business was heading.

JSR carried out substantial observational work, getting to know the farm production system and understanding what Dingley Dell wanted to achieve and why.

Existing products were benchmarked using the services of the JSR Food Quality Centre, and JSR sire lines were introduced to the Dingley Dell production system.

Dr Mitchell said: "Dingley Dell approached us after seeing our meat quality work at the Pig & Poultry Fair in 2012. Mark was looking for a genetics company with a focus on meat eating quality, who was striving to continuously improve their products.

"We introduced two new sire lines to the Dingley Dell range, which were specially selected based on their eating quality attributes and chose Great Grandparent (GGP) gilts also based on meat quality traits. The progeny were followed throughout production.

"Once slaughtered, online assessments were made to quantify improvements and the product was sent to eminent chefs for their comments on the new product in comparison to the old.

"From this, we were able to identify which sire line best suited Dingley Dell’s production to meet their customer needs. One area we focused on was increasing marbling fat within the product, so that improvements on tenderness, flavour and succulence were made.

"We are currently planning our next benchmarking exercise for early in the new year."

Following the introduction of the new sire lines, Dingley Dell has added a new product to its range – marketed as ‘black pork’. After working alongside Caroline to create a prototype, Mark wanted to gauge whether the black pork would be well received by the consumer, so arranged for six London restaurants to serve up the meat.

Mr Howard said: "The black pork was cooked in exactly the same way as other pork dishes on the menu and we were delighted that we received really positive feedback about it from the chefs and their customers.

"The process has been a learning curve for everyone involved. Caroline has advised us on how we could double the Intra-Muscular Fat (IMF) on our stock for our Asian clients. This, typically, will take three to four years to introduce and it’s going to be a real working progress, but at least we can now make a start."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on January 29, 2014, 08:31:47 AM

EU Pig Prices: Trend Continues to Stay Positive
28 January 2014
 Go to

EU - The trend continues to be positive on the European slaughter pig market this week.

The price increase is again triggered from Germany this week. Slaughter companies’ demand for live pigs is quite brisk despite all those complaints about the meat business; thus, it cannot always be covered.

The German quotation has risen up by about 4 cents, being followed by the Austrian, Dutch and Belgium quotations. Spain and France as well are recording a slight price increase.

The French slaughter weights went down considerably (minus 300 g). In Spain, the market participants are still dissatisfied with the export situation, hoping for relief through re-opening of the Russian market and new impetus from China.

Once again, the Danish quotation proves to live a life of its own, tending to sta unchanged. The same goes for Ireland, whereas the past weeks’ negative trend is continuing in Great Britain.

Trend for the German market: The mood continues to be optimistic on the slaughter pig market. According to the slaughter companies’ marketers, the current price level is being accepted without resistance. At the same time, pigs for slaughter can be placed on short call and demand keeps good. So, from today’s point of view, the trend is expected to remain positive for a while longer.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on February 18, 2014, 01:17:55 AM

Time to Say Goodbye to the 'Weakest Link', Says Pig Association
13 February 2014

National Pig Association - The voice of the UK pig industry

UK - National Pig Association is polling pig producers on lorry washes at Britain's abattoirs, with a view to publishing a league table. The association hopes when abattoirs see how they are rated against their competitors, the poorest performers will be encouraged to invest in improved lorry-washing facilities.

Many pig producers and hauliers consider sub-standard lorry washes to be the weakest link in the industry's armoury against endemic diseases such as swine dysentery, and imported diseases such as African swine fever and porcine epidemic diarrhoea.

Disease can be spread rapidly from farm to farm by livestock lorries, unless hauliers are able to properly wash and disinfect their vehicles every time they deliver pigs to an abattoir. But washing facilities at most abattoirs are reported by pig producers and hauliers to be inadequate.
•Waiting times are too long because there aren't enough washing bays.
•Lighting is non-existent or inadequate for dark mornings and evenings.
•Water pressure is too low, and detergent is not provided.
•Washing bays are too close, risking cross-contamination.
•During cold spells, when viruses pose the greatest risk, the water supply can be frozen for days on end.

British pig producers are particularly concerned at present about the risk of foreign diseases entering Britain and spreading quickly through a naive pig population.

There is a threat of the notifiable disease African swine fever being imported from Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. And in the States and Canada, highly virulent Chinese strains of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea are laying waste to hundreds of pig units.

Both viruses are harmless to humans, but they are fatal to pigs if they are carried onto farms on lorry tyres or on the boots and clothes of humans.

Early results from producer voting suggest the Dalehead Foods recently modernised and now world-class abattoir at Spalding in Lincolnshire will top the NPA league table with the best lorry-washing facilities. But it is too soon to say which abattoirs will occupy the bottom places in the league table as producers are still voting in the poll.

"Abattoirs may be reluctant to invest in modern lorry-washing facilities because they see it as dead money but this is short-sighted. They rely on a reliable supply of British pigs, so it should really be at the top of their agenda," said NPA chairman Richard Longthorp.

"By committing now to improvements in lorry-wash facilities, processors have an ideal opportunity to restore their credibility with pig producers and take biosecurity a quantum leap forwards.

"We need good lorry washing facilities which in turn will encourage all hauliers to ensure their vehicles are thoroughly washed and disinfected before they depart to collect another load of pigs."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 12, 2014, 08:34:12 AM

UK Pig Feed Prices Continue to Slide
10 March 2014

UK - While compound feed prices are well below their peak of about one year ago, it is sobering to note that they are 87, 76 and 97 per cent higher, respectively, for cattle/calf, pigs and poultry rations than at the start of 2006, writes Jackie Linden.

In the latest quarter for which data are available - October to December 2013 - the average price per tonne for cattle/calf feed was £238, while pig feed averaged £260 and poultry feed cost £274, according to Animal Feed Statistics for Great Britain from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The cattle/calf feed price excludes calf milk substitutes and the poultry feed price is an average weighted by production from feed compounders, excluding output from integrators.

The graph below shows the average price of a tonne of compound feed for cattle, pigs and poultry in the UK from the first quarter of 2006 to fourth quarter of 2013.

Peak prices for all species were reached in the first half of 2013; poultry feed prices peaked at £311 per tonne, pig feeds at £291 and cattle feed at £253.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 18, 2014, 04:27:43 AM

Spain: Hog Markets
13 March 2014
Genesus - The first power in genetics

SPAIN - The EU pig meat market has been destabilised as the result of Russia's ban on pig exports from all 27 countries in the region, writes Fernando Ortiz, Genesus Ibero-America Business Development.

The ban affects 24 per cent of the total exports of the EU, that is, about four per cent of total production, and the industry is on the edge of the abyss, riding a rollercoaster that has lost control.

Negotiations between Russia and the EU have not progressed and time has not dissipated doubts: increasing frozen stock in the EU while Russia’s stores are emptying. Depending on the degree of dependence on the Russian market and the resilience of each internal market hog prices in the EU are down or trying to stabilize on this particular roller coaster.

Market hogs: 1,200€ (+0,002)

Last week in Spain, the price recovered the 0,002€ that it was down seven days ago. It seems like nothing significant, you may think, but this up and down is indicative of the tensions running through the Spanish market. Firstly, the negative atypical European pork and beef situation, both immediately and in the short term and on the other hand, a balance between supply and demand that occurs typically in February, so the hog supply tends to be below than demand each week. The killing has gone down every week since the beginning of the Russian ban, around -2%, while the volume of supply has gone inconsistently up and down, probably depending on what the price was and the desire to maintain weight profitable. But even reducing the slaughter, the average weekly weight is also lower: carcass 425 grams and liveweight 825 grams.

So it is the demand that has to accommodate the available supply. It's what always happens in February, once the post- Christmas excesses are corrected; this is transferred to the price that increases at the same rate that production drops. That is why everybody in the Spanish hog industry is not happy now about any price: to the packing plant, because in view of how European meat and pork prices are with their European competitors , believes that declines should be deeper, at least as much as those reached by the German slaughterhouses, its main competitors in the meat market. But also to the pork producer, because of the non-stop market hog demand, they see that is selling more than planned based on their piglets acquisition; this market action pushes them to reduce weight with no beneficial on their final price. But also, everyone is aware that the distaste for the current price is a lesser evil compared with what may be ahead: Spanish slaughterhouses and producers are now getting slightly over their breakeven.

With bigger amounts of frozen pork being stored, the Europeans are thinking seriously about their future profitability of their business: if Russia opens, albeit only part of the EU or some specific slaughterhouses, pork will leave the EU. If Russia lifts the U.S. and Brazil’s ban in March (as already Russia has confirmed), both countries will leave gaps behind to cover a Russian demand that, at least initially, envisaged bulk by the vacuum of a month without imports EU (which is its main pork supplier).

The export availability of both countries is limited: in the American case because of PED. In the Brazilian case, because its growing domestic consumption is taking a lot of pork to get it exported; further this year with the World Soccer Cup. But what matters is that meat moves. This is a rollercoaster of global dimension.

Over all there is optimism for a great year in Spain in terms of prices.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on March 23, 2014, 10:23:20 AM

Russia Hog Markets
20 March 2014
Genesus - The first power in genetics

RUSSIA - What a wild six weeks! Pork prices have gone up, up, UP!! In Russia as a result of the border closing between Russia and the EU, situation in Crimea has people concerned, and the PEDv issues in North America, writes Susan Wulf, Managing Director, Russia.

Live hog prices last week in the region bordering the Ukraine were: Kursk, 83 rub/kg, Belgorod and Voronezh, 85 ru/kg, Bryansk 84 ru/kg, and Krasnodar 90 ru/kg. This week in Krasnodar is 92 ru/kg = 2.54 USD/kg, or $1.15 USD per pound. January started in the mid 70’s, and as you can see are now mid 80’s to low 90’s per kilo for live weight.

Of course, there is the increased meat going into already stocked freezers in EU that were before being shipped to Russia – bad for EU and Russia alike. EU can’t sell meat or transport animals to Russia, Russians cannot buy sausage, farsh (ground pork), trimmings and sala (backfat).

So, what does it mean for Genesus? Well, we can proudly say we have a nucleus farm, with compartment 4 biosecurity producing high indexing purebred animals for sale, here in the Krasnodar region. We use Canadian genetics, and have recently brought in new Canadian boars to the herd to accelerate the genetic progress. Yes, producers want the Canadian genetics, and with lower prices and air delivery to Europe, then trucking, we often supplied from Canada. Now, we are seeing a surge in requests for purebred Canadian animals born here in Russia.

With the increase in price for meat in the markets, the Russian people are looking for quality meat, and often times the meat found in the market is pale, dry and flavorless. Now taste and tenderness are important. And, as pork prices have gone up (and supply down), beef and chicken prices have gone up as well. It is not to the point of being a luxury, but Russian people are being more selective in their choices of meat protein, and rightly so.

Our nucleus farm here in Pavlovskaya has consistently been able to garner the highest prices for the animals they have sold to the market, at times getting 5-7 rubles more per kilo. The processors are pleased with color, marbling, and primal cuts. And now, the word is out among producers to come to us to get that in their barns as well.

Some people have asked about our safety here in Russia. I personally can say that I have been in Moscow, the Ural mountain area, Krasnodar region and north of St. Petersburg in the last month without any issues. Also have been through immigration several times. The people of Russia welcome the North Americans, and are glad we are here to help them with their pork production.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 12, 2014, 12:49:44 PM

Poland Looks to Asia to Export Pork
11 April 2014

POLAND - Following Russia's ban on imports of pork from Poland on the grounds of a risk of African Swine Fever, the Polish Minister of Agriculture has announced upcoming meetings with future trading partners in Asia.

Speaking at a meeting to promote high-quality Polish meats for the Easter meal, Agriculture Minister, Marek Sawicki, discussed  the current situation in the country's meat industry.

Invited experts consistently and strongly emphasised that Polish products meet the highest quality standards, making them a showcase for  country on foreign markets.

The Minister stressed that Polish food is of the highest quality in terms of appearance, taste and nutritional quality, making it attractive to foreign buyers as well as meeting the expectations of domestic consumers..

He said that his department is working to restore stability in the pig meat market, and talks have already started with partners who have placed an embargo on Polish pork and pork products.

On trade with eastern markets, he said that talks took place last week during an exhibition in the Lithuanian city of Kaunas and an official invitation has been made to the Minister of Agriculture of Ukraine, proposing a meeting in Warsaw.

In May, an official visit is planned to Poland's trading partners in Asia, he added, because they are the fastest growing markets and most promising.

The Russian embargo does not threaten the Polish pork industry, said Mr Sawicki, adding that the ban affects just 10 per cent of the country's exports, while the figure is up to 78 per cent for other EU member states.

Chief Inspector of Quality of Agricultural and Food (IJHARS), Stanis?aw Kowalczyk, said that, in the current geopolitical situation, trade in food becomes a 'weapon'. He expressed surprise that the country in which there are many outbreaks of  African swine fever has placed a ban on products from a country where there have been no outbreaks of the disease in livestock.

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Jaroslaw Naze, stressed that the African swine fever virus does not threaten human health. There have been just two cases in Poland - in wild boar found near the border with Belarus. Poland does not have disease in farmed animals, and pork and its products are safe for consumers, he said.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 19, 2014, 08:57:58 AM

EU Pig Prices: Increases in France, Spain
16 April 2014
 Go to

EU - This week, the development of quotations on the EU slaughter pig market is predominantly encouraging.

The most considerable rise in prices was observed in Spain and France with their 6 cent’s increase per kg slaughter weight, compared to last week’s prices. From both countries demand for pigs and pork is reported to be very good.

This, on the one hand, is attributed on to domestic demand that usually increases at this time of the year as a result of the holiday season; on the other hand, exports towards Asia are going well.

Slaughter companies from these countries, however, complain about the gap getting ever larger toward the German quotation and the decreasing competitiveness of their products related to it.

The German quotation went up by no more than 2 cents; yet this price increase is not being accepted by all slaughter companies.

In the countries neighbouring Germany, considerable price increases could not be enforced as well.

From Austria and the Netherlands, reports are coming in about unchanged prices. Belgium records a 1-cent price increase.

Danish Crown’s quotation in Denmark is hard on the German quotation’s heels. By this company, the payment prices for pigs mature for slaughter were increased by near to 3 cents.

Trend for the German market: Being on a collision course, the slaughter companies have created some degree of uncertainty among producers. Demand for slaughter pigs covers the companies’ needs at present. Hope arises with good weather prospects for the Easter holiday. Given that the demand for pork starts up again, no negative effect should arise from the missing days of slaughter over the weeks to come. Payment prices are expected to at least stabilise.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on April 28, 2014, 01:11:00 AM

How are EU Markets Reacting to Russian Ban on European Pig Meat?
24 April 2014

ANALYSIS - Russia’s ban on pig meat products from the European Union because of the discovery of African swine fever in Poland and Lithuania has had a severe effect of prices in Poland.

Although the agricultural market agency AgroPersepktiva is forecasting that prices will rise, they are still not expected to reach the levels they were a year ago.

However, the Polish pig prices also depend on the exchange rate between the zloty and the Euro, which has always shown some volatility ranging from 4.24 zloty to the Euro at the beginning of the year to 4.13 in March, with several rises a falls in between. At present the rate stands at about 4.19.

Overall the European Commission sees the supply of pig meat on the European market as rising compared to last year, because of the Russian ban and this is expected to force prices down generally.

Poland is expected to feel this general fall in prices acutely.

When Russia first introduced the ban on pig meat from the EU in February prices went down to 4.6 zloty per kilo – nine per cent less than in January and 11 per cent less than in February 2013.

Prices have now risen to an average of 5 zloty per kilo and this level is expected to be maintained.

Experts are forecasting that live pigs in the country will be making between 5 zloty and 5.3 zloty per kilo in June and between 5.3 and 5.7 zloty per kilo by September – still less than in 2013.

The Russian ban could also have an effect on the size of the Polish pig herd which in November last year was 11 million – one per cent lower than the previous year – but the forecast is for the number of pigs bred for slaughter is expected to fall further as the prices are low and there is no market with the Russian borders closed. This will put less pork on the market.

In 2013, pork production declined by more than four per cent compared to the 2012.

In February this year Polish pork exports fell by 14 per cent compared to a year ago, because of the ban on imports of into the Customs Union - Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Exports to Ukraine fell by 89 per cent, Japan 41 per cent, South Korea 31 per cent and China 19 per cent.

At the same time, the supply of pork in most EU countries rose, including Slovakia 38 per cent, Germany 29 per cent and Italy 27 per cent.

Between January-February 2014 Polish exports of livestock, meat, fat, and pork products was 98,000 tonnes, which is one per cent less than a year ago. The concerns are reported to be contained in a letter from Sergei Dankvert, head of Rosselkhoznador to Marek Sawicki, Minister of Agriculture in Poland. Now, Russia may ban imports of vegetables, fruits and berries from Poland.

However, the situation could become worse for Poland as Rosselkhoznador, the Russian food safety and veterinary authority, is believed to be considering a ban of more products from Poland because of sanitary and phytosanitary concerns.

While the action taken by Russia to ban pig meat from the EU has hit Poland particularly hard, concern is high in the meat sector right across the EU.

Recently, the French meat industry organisation SNIV called on the European Commission to allow individual countries to negotiate their own export and health agreements with Russia and the other countries in the Customs Union, rather than standing out for an EU-wide agreement.

And the Belgian meat agency VLAM recently described the Russian action as “Hannibal ad portas!”(Hannibal at the gate).

“The Russian Federation, where this plague virus has been out of control and widely spread for several years, was ironically the first country to take draconian measures,” VLAM said.

“The attitude and motivation of the Russian Government is incomprehensible.

The embargo annually affects about 700,000 tonnes of pork, offal and by-products from the European Union - two-thirds of Russia’s import need for pork and pork products.

VLAM says that the European ban will lead to a drop of 14 per cent in the Russian pork consumption.

In the short term, there are no alternatives in terms of supply because of the current restrictions on Canadian, Brazilian and US pork.

In Russia the ban is expected to force pig and pork prices to rise further and Russia is already a country where pork is more expensive than beef and where consumers pay the highest retail price for pork.

VLAM questions what Germany that has 40 per cent of European sales in Russia, do with its 240,000 tonnes of pig meat, mostly bacon and fat and Denmark with its 180,000 tonnes.

“If this embargo continues, one can expect to see a lot more European pork popping up at a cheaper price in the non-Russian countries.

“The Russian embargo completely reshuffles the cards for the European pig industry. If a quick solution is not forthcoming, this will have serious implications on the global pork markets,” VLAM said.

Chris Harris, Editor-in-Chief

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 05, 2014, 05:29:59 AM

France Bans Imports of Pigs, Semen from Four Countries Citing PED Risk
02 May 2014

FRANCE - France has announced a ban on imports of live pigs and other pig products from the US, Canada, Mexico and Japan, in order to guard against Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED).

The disease has already killed around seven million pigs in the United States in the last year, according to Le Monde, while pork prices are at a record high in an already fragile sector.

Jean-Luc Angot, Deputy Director General of Directorate General of Food (EB) and chief veterinarian explained that the high losses of pigs in those countries are grounds for concern. If PED were to hit an area with a high density of pigs, such as Brittany, the effects on the industry would be dramatic.

The decision is scheduled to be announced officially on Saturday, 3 May, confirming the ban on imports of live pigs and boar semen - products that are imported by France from these countries - as well as feed ingredients based on pig by-products.

PED mainly affects piglets up to 10 days of age, continues Le Monde, and it is spread by direct contact as well as in feed and feed ingredients made from the blood of infected animals.

The report continues that, while China and Japan have imposed restrictions on imports of US pig meat, France is the first country in the European Union to do so.

According to Mr Angot, France proposed the adoption of an EU-wide embargo last month but, despite support from leading pig-producing countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, the European Commission rejected the initiative.

Mr Angot expressed his hope that France's national action will be extended across the EU.

In meetings earlier this week, pig industry professionals were warned to be on the alert for signs of the virus and to strengthen biosecurity measures to prevent the entry of the PED virus.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on May 11, 2014, 11:59:45 PM

Food for Thought for Pig Producers
09 May 2014
British Pig Executive
UK - The future of pig feeding and data recording will be showcased in a packed programme of speakers from across the globe at the annual BPEX Innovation Conference, on 24 June 2014.

The free one-day event is a must for those who want to know where the pig sector will be by 2020. It will provide information, ideas and insights into new technology that English pig businesses need to help secure a competitive and profitable future.

BPEX technical communications manager Miriam Drewett, who is organising the event, said: "This year’s conference themes, feeding and performance data, are two of the biggest influences on physical pig performance and cost efficiency. Through this event, BPEX is highlighting exciting and innovative solutions to meet the needs of modern, competitive businesses, looking locally and globally as well as learning from other industries.

"Science, management techniques and technologies are emerging all the time and it’s vital that we investigate them and adopt the best and most relevant available to make sure English pig businesses can grow and compete in the global marketplace."

New ingredients, feed efficiency, feed blending technology and the results of cutting-edge Canadian research into ‘precision feeding’ all feature in the morning session, chaired by nutritionist Mick Hazzledine.

The second session on recording and data interpretation, chaired by Rattlerow’s Simon Guise, will include pig and poultry producers showing how they use data to drive their businesses, what’s on their ‘dashboard’ and how to make sense of data to make meaningful management decisions.

The conference is at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire from 09:45 to 17:00, with lunch and refreshments provided. Online booking is available and there are opportunities for relevant allied industry companies to exhibit at the conference.
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on July 21, 2014, 12:30:24 AM

Spain Hog Market
17 July 2014
Genesus - The first power in genetics

SPAIN - As every year at this time, Spain becomes a pork price front-runner in Europe, writes Mercedes Vega.

Even though, the price of the last week of June was 1,493 euro ($2,030 US) -it went up 0,8 cents of euro ($1.08 US)- is €4,3 cents ($0.58 US) lower than a year ago.

Dragging a lower price accumulated of two per cent from the first half of the year as a consequence of the trade banning that Russia has imposed to the UE. The restrictions being executed to pigs from the Union are contrary to the rules established by the World Trade Organization (WTO), and in this sense they have asked to the WTO to resolve the legality of this unilateral enforced regulation. Russia is demanding a new health certificate. With this could accept animals of 14 member states like Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal, among others and leaving out countries like France, Italy and Germany.

The dependency of Denmark and Germany to their Russian exports makes Danish pigs saturating the European market with cheap pork. On the other hand Germany cannot make up their exports to third party countries. The situation of Spain in this sense is totally opposite; it has a better market diversification exporting to countries like Japan, Korea and China, in addition to other European countries.

Then again, in the last years the abattoirs capacity to slaughter animals has done nothing but expand. So, the increasing amount of market hogs in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, it has been 2.5 per cent more hogs (over 350,000 more pigs than a year ago) plus a 3.5 per cent increase in meat production (40,000 tons more of meat). This has been a new historic record for January-April 2014 period.

Due to a lower cost of production this year, the average of slaughter weights are well above compared with previous years. The industry is getting good margins. It seems like 2014 will be a great year for pig producers, if not health issues arise.

On the pork consumption side, we had a little decline over the first quarter 2014. Fresh meat dropped 1.3 per cent, while processed meat plunged about 4.7 per cent. The good news is that fresh pig meat has higher price than a year ago, endorsing pretty much the same invoice this year. Unfortunately it is not the same case in of processed meat consumption, taking off a turnover of 3.2 per cent.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of 7 July 2014


Domestic price
(own currency)

US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)

USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 132.18 USD/lb carcass 97.81¢
Canada (Ontario) 279.96 CAD/kg carcass 94.39¢
Mexico (DF) 31.73 MXN/kg liveweight $1.11
Brazil (South Region) 3.64 BRL/kg liveweight 74.46¢
Russia 120 RUB/kg liveweight $1.58
China 13.38 RMB/kg liveweight 97.86¢
Spain 1.47 EUR/kg liveweight 90.28¢
Viet Nam 58,000 VND/kg liveweight $1.24
South Korea 5,064 KRW/kg liveweight $2.23
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 02, 2014, 11:36:47 PM

Minister Welcomes Improved Export Conditions for Pork to Singapore
31 July 2014

UK - Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill, has welcomed improved export conditions for pork to Singapore.

Ms O'Neill said: "Today’s announcement is a further boost for our pork exports following agreement by the Singapore authorities to accept meat from all the animals reared and processed in the north.

"This follows my recent announcement of a similar relaxation for beef and pork exports to South Africa."

The Minister continued: "This agreement is testament to the north’s high quality production standards. We have been able to capitalise on the successful inward inspection by Singaporean officials in July 2013.

"They were highly impressed with our beef production standards and as a result were willing to renegotiate the already agreed pork certificate in light of this."

Pork exports had been limited by a clause of origin which only permitted the export of meat sourced from animals born in the north.

The renegotiations have opened this market to meat from animals sourced from across the island of Ireland including those which were born in the south but reared by farmers in the north.

The Minister concluded: "This good news is of benefit to our farmers and processors alike and I hope in the coming months to be able to announce even more new market opportunities.

"With increasing export opportunities a key tenet of the Going for Growth strategy I am committed to using every lever available to me to assist our industry in achieving their ambitious growth targets."
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on August 10, 2014, 05:42:33 AM

Save on Feed Without Reducing Pig Growth Rate
08 August 2014
British Pig Executive
UK - Precision feeding pigs can reduce the amount of lysine needed by 25 per cent and reduce feed costs by more than eight per cent, without affecting growth.

These are the findings of Canadian research scientist Dr Candido Pomar, of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, who has trialled precision feeding systems in growing and finishing pigs and shared the details at the BPEX Innovation Conference.

Dr Pomar said: “Currently, most producers feed pigs in groups with diets that are designed to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding pigs, therefore most of the pigs receive more nutrients than they really need to express their growth potential.

“During our trials, we fed pigs individually with diets tailored daily to individual needs, which enabled us to achieve similar feed intake and growth results as in conventional feeding systems and, at the same time, reduce lysine intake by 25 per cent.”

Dr Pomar said: “The feeder is quite simple and robust and the software automatically calculates the composition of feed needed each morning for each pig during the coming day.

“Importantly, all the information is readily available to producers on the computer. They can see all the pig data from the house or the office and quickly identify any reductions in growth or feed intake. Access to real-time farm data such as feed consumption and animal growth is an invaluable tool for pig management.

“I believe that, 10 years from now, the majority of pig producers will be using precision feeding. The economic benefits are so high that we have to do it. We are probably two to three years away from commercialisation of the technology.”
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on September 01, 2014, 12:41:28 AM

Spain and Portugal Hog Markets
29 August 2014
Genesus - The first power in genetics

SPAIN and PORTUGAL - It has not been a surprise that hog prices went down in August. The good news is that this decline is still less than what would normally be expected at this time of year.

Spain was leader in prices in July; it was higher than Germany by approximately 7 cents. Spain ended the month at € 1.438 liveweight, while Germany closed at € 1.27.

Consequently, European producers have provided raw material to the Spanish meat industry in significant amounts causing a greater decline in prices. In August the Germany price (1.27 €) is 9 per cent below than the same period a year ago, while Spain (€ 1,433) is 4 per cent lower. This probably will cause a price balance and it could spur on some competition.

It should be also noticed that there are more pigs in the market because it has not been a very hot summer (the pigs are growing faster), and on the other hand, the farms are at their full capacity. Also as a consequence of the lower feed cost, the largest herd inventory after the animal welfare regulations enforcement and the genetic improvement in production. Spain is estimated to produce 60 per cent ??more than its domestic consumption.

It is of importance to highlight that in 2013 pork production was the first Spanish meat activity (3,420,000 tons. ANICE estimated value), representing nearly 83 per cent of red meat produced in the country. This level of production represents 3.4 per cent of world production, making Spain the fourth largest pork producer in the world, after China which produces 50 per cent, USA 10 per cent and Germany 5.3 per cent; Spain is also ahead of countries like Brazil with 3.1 per cent, Russia and Vietnam with 2 per cent each, and Canada with 1.7 per cent.

For this reason the swings of border closures, diseases such as PED, etc., have a substantial affect on Spain’s swine industry because of the importance acquired in international markets as an export country in recent years.

European hogs have been banned from entry into the Russian market since last February, making this new scenario that Russia has created -with the embargo for a year to Europe, USA and Canada- with limited exports and forcing the EU since then to seek other markets.

However, this fact theoretically, it has not affected the Spanish hog industry because it has been suffering the embargo since May 2013. This is why, it has sought to diversify its markets in other areas, not affecting it in this case, with this new trade prohibition.

Spain has been able to export to third countries more than the rest of the EU because of the experience of prior years; but the price differential compared to the rest of Europe was not as great as it used to be now. On the other hand, you have to keep in mind that chicken and beef exports to Russia have not played a great roll in this mess, but it could make more noise now making the situation even worse in terms of a most important price war.

This is not the case in Portugal, which is directly affected by the EU dynamics and subsequently with the embargo imposed by the Russian authorities as well.

The Portuguese market is also in a difficult situation that inhibits their growth. Due to the associated feed situation, environment, animal welfare and food safety strict regulations, the reduction in consumption and low confidence in the economy. Consequently the hog population has declined in recent years; the herd is around 220,000 in May this year.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 05, 2014, 09:09:41 AM
European Livestock Sector Collaborates on Sustainable Development03 October 2014DENMARK - Research in technology and biology provides new development opportunities for European livestock farming, delegates to the recent European Association of Animal Production (EAAP) conference heard in Copenhagen.

Around 950 scientists and consultants from 60 countries gathered for the EAAP 2014 European livestock congress in Copenhagen from 25 to 29 August.

During the four days of the congress, as many as 56 meetings and 750 lectures were held where a wide range of subject areas such as feeding, genetics, animal welfare, physiology, health and management were discussed.

DCA Aarhus University

Research director John E. Hermansen from Aarhus University was one of the principal organisers of the congress in Copenhagen.
(Photo: Claus Bo Andreasen)The congress officially opened on Tuesday morning, where the Rector of Aarhus University, Brian Bech Nielsen welcomed the many scientists. In his opening speech, he highlighted the important contribution that livestock farming makes to the Danish economy and also some of the challenges associated with a large animal production.

The Director of the Danish Knowledge Centre for Agriculture, Jan Mousing, highlighted in his opening speech the influence that research has had on the development of the livestock sector. He furthermore stressed that both research and practical livestock farming are facing enormous challenges in meeting the growing demand for animal products in a sustainable way.

One of the challenges is by 2050 when the global population is estimated to have reached nine billion, the area being farmed will have shrunk significantly.

Global Issues Discussed
"In other words, there is a need to intensify production in a sustainable manner," said research director John E. Hermansen from Aarhus University, who was one of the principal organisers of the congress in Copenhagen.

One of the major themes of the congress is therefore the discussion of the role of livestock in food production in the future. The global demand for animal-based food products is increasing rapidly and this poses challenges in relation to impact on nature, the environment and climate.

Dr Hermansen added: "Research is facing a huge task in the provision of knowledge that can help ensure that increased livestock production does not add to the pollution pressure on the environment."

Livestock production has in fact already made progress in this area. A talk given by senior researcher Troels Kristensen from the Department of Agrobiology at Aarhus University disclosed, for example, that a Danish dairy cow now produces about three times as much milk as its predecessor in the 1950s – with a significantly lower feed consumption per kilo milk. Resource use efficiency has, in other words, increased significantly.

Never before, in the last hundred years, have there been so few cows in Danish farming. And never has milk production been higher.

Another possibility is to explore the possibilities of adapting livestock production to the local, natural conditions. For example, some soils are better suited to the production of animal fodder based on perennial crops than to the growing of cereals.

"More knowledge in such areas could increase the sustainability of livestock production," according to Dr Hermansen.

New Technology Improves Animal Welfare
As in other scientific congresses, researchers who participate in the EAAP Congress have the opportunity to present and discuss their research with colleagues from other countries.

The special feature of EAAP is that colleagues working in widely differing research disciplines have the opportunity to meet and advisors and companies are also welcome to attend meetings and present their own studies; it is often in the critical touch zone between research disciplines that new thinking emerges.

An example of this is "Precision livestock farming", which was a dominant theme at the congress in Copenhagen. Precision livestock farming includes the technological monitoring of farm animals, said Dr Hermansen.

This is becoming increasingly topical since farms and livestock herds are increasing in size. With a herd of several hundred cattle it will, for example, be extremely difficult for farmers to keep track of each individual animal.

Using technology that monitors the health of the cow, the farmer and his veterinarian will be notified of any problems. There are technologies that can continuously monitor the cow's temperature, how much she eats, how much she moves, whether she is coming into heat or whether she has become pregnant. Similar technology is available for alerting the farmer if a cow is going down with mastitis or a metabolic disorder.

Dr Hermansen explained: "When fully developed, the technology can provide early and accurate notifications if animals have problems. This means that the farmer and the veterinarian can intervene with preventive treatment, which can save the animals any unnecessary suffering and reduce the consumption of medicine."

Monitoring technologies are already widely used, such as in connection with milking robots, but now a host of new technologies are emerging that can be used in other production systems and with other livestock species.

Advancements in technology – and not least in their use – require collaboration between different research disciplines and also practical inputs. That is precisely what the EAAP Congress promotes.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 13, 2014, 01:45:40 AM
Go to

EU - The situation has not changed on the European pig slaughter market over the course of this week. The downswing continues.

The price decreases range from minus 1 cent in Ireland to a corrected minus 7.2 cents in Spain.

Beyond national frontiers, this is attributed to unsatisfying meat business at large quantities of live pigs on offer.

Exports to third countries fall short of expectations as a result of the Russian ban on imports of European pork. On top of that, much pressure is again and again exerted from Germany against which other countries cannot shield themselves.

In view of the considerable price decreases that occurred over the past weeks, there is more and more demand from the EU member countries for political support.

Austria, France, Belgium and Poland ask for practical support related to relief of the market. Yet, so far they have not gained ear in Brussels.

No reason for support is seen at this moment in time. According to Broederij, Nikolai Fyodorov, the Russian Minister of Agriculture, emphasised as recently as last Friday that he is not willing to attenuate the boycott list unless the West alters its attitude towards Russia.

As reports the Dutch professional magazine, the Russian government rejected some Russian meat processors’ demand for diminishing the ban on imports at the end of September. So, the Russian market is not expected to be opened again soon.

Trend For The German Market:
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The missing day of slaughter on 3 October, the Day of German Unity, is past now.

Reducing the backlog of quantities on offer is running at full speed. The market participants are optimistic that the market runs free over the next few days.

Positive effects are expected to be the result of the beginning of the month on the one hand with its first demand and, on the other hand, of the low Euro exchange rate, as to the European competitiveness in exports.

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on October 27, 2014, 05:20:31 AM
UK - A herd of rare breed pigs is helping to create the perfect habitat for endangered species in Dorset.

For the first time, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has recruited six Mangalitsa pigs to restore its Arne nature reserve to natural heathland through grazing.

It is hoped the site will then become an ideal home for species such as the Dartford warbler, nightjar, smooth snake, sand lizard and stonechats.

"It is an experimental project that we hope will produce fantastic results for nature at our Arne reserve," said Mark Singleton, RSPB Dorset reserves operations manager.

Last year, the RSPB's State of Nature report found that 60 per cent of UK species have declined over the past five decades. Mr Singleton said the rare breed pig project is "one of many that the RSPB is carrying out to tackle this problem and try to reverse these declines."

Usually, diggers would be used to remove the pine needles but pigs are more environmentally friendly.
In its current state, the land at Arne is covered in pine needles and bracken, up to six inches deep in places.

Ordinarily the charity says it would use diggers and other machines to carry out the work, but the pigs are a more environmentally friendly option.

Mangalitsas are the only pig species in England to grow distinctive hairy fleeces similar to sheep. As they get stuck into the six-month project, the rare breed pigs will be joined by six Berkshire pigs.

The pigs are not alone in helping the charity with its conservation projects. Konik ponies, for example, help to manage habitats and create a mosaic of different vegetation types at RSPB Minsmere.

"There are many benefits to conservation grazing," said David Burton, senior advisor at Natural England. "Grazing animals helped shape many of our semi-natural habitats, which developed rich and diverse wildlife communities."

Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 03, 2014, 04:16:45 AM

BELGIUM - The country exported less pig meat in terms of volume and value for the period January-June this year than in the corresponding period of 2013.

Belgium is a net exporter of pig meat, according to the German meat association, VDF. Around 60 per cent of production is exported.

For the first six months of 2014, the volume of fresh and frozen pig meat leaving the country was down by 3,600 tonnes or one per cent at 347,400 tonnes.

The bulk of this volume was destined for other EU countries and particularly Germany, which took around 40 per cent of the total or 139,500 tonnes.  This represents a reduction of 2.6 per cent from the same period of last year.

Second destination for Belgian pig meat is Poland, accounting for about 23 per cent of the exported volume. For the first six months of this year, that amounted to 81,700 tonnes, almost 19 per cent more than in the same period of 2013.

At 23,400 and 16,300 tonnes, respectively, Belgian pig meat exports to the Netherlands and Italy were lower for the first half-year of 2014 than the year before. The UK took 13,300 tonnes, almost the same as in 2013.

The value of Belgium's pig meat exports over this period
Title: Re: European Hog News:
Post by: Mustang Sally Farm on November 17, 2014, 07:24:10 AM
13 November 2014

Jim Long is President &
CEO of Genesus Genetics.
GERMANY - We're heading to Euro Tier, the largest exhibition of livestock and poultry, which is held every two years in Hanover, Germany, writes Jim Long, President - General Director Genesus Inc.

We have visited this event three times before, but this will be the first time exhibiting. The Genesus stand will be located in the exhibition hall 9, place C21. We expect there will be a lot of breeders from Europe and Asia, and quite a bit from North America. Next week, we will share their impressions of EuroTier and the situation on the world pork markets.

In the US there is an unhurried harvest corn. It seems that farmers do not sell too much corn, the price of which has reached the lower limit. DTN National Corn Index averaged $ 3.29 / bushel ($ 129.52 a ton) - not much higher than the five-year low. In May this year, the national index DTN was $ 4.82 / bushel ($ 189.75 a ton).

Without doubt, the cost of production of pigs in the United States decreased by at least $ 30 per head. We believe the huge crop will further reduce the cash price for corn.

Apparently, the cash price of pigs has overcome the lower limit. We do not expect a significant reduction in the coming weeks, on the contrary, the general upward movement - in the range of 85-87 cents per pound of lean pork ($ 1.87 - 1.92 / kg) at the moment.

Collectors earn - price carcasses in slaughter weight is in the range of 95 cents per pound ($ 2.09 kg) and it will serve as a good incentive for highly intensive filling slaughterhouses. Last week, the US has sold 2.232 million hogs, the biggest weekly sales for 2014. Nevertheless, it is at 50,000 less than in the same week a year ago. The average weight of the implementation is 216 pounds (98.18 kg), a year ago - 211 pounds (95.90 kg). The difference in 5 pounds (2.27 kg) when compared with last year - this is a small discrepancy, which we could see in a few months. We believe that in the next few months, the gap will continue to shrink.

In the US, the spot price on early weaning piglets ($ 67.99) and forty pounds (~ 18 kg) pigs rearing ($ 81.33) remains high. Reflection of a very strong demand on the proposal.

PED virus
In the first week of November in the US, it was reported 65 new outbreaks of epizootic diarrhea virus of swine virus (PED). About as much as a year ago. It's hard to say what will happen in the past year the number fell to January, when recorded over 200 cases per week. Epizootic diarrhea virus of swine (PED) - absolutely unpredictable moment, if we talk about the scenario of supply in 2015. We believe, as compared to the previous year level of PED will be lower in the coming months, mortality decreased by approximately 50% or approximately 3 - 4 million pigs.

Smithfield Foods
Buying a Chinese company Smithfield Foods WH Group looks very smart deal after Smithfield, a subsidiary of WH, gave a report on the third quarter of this year.

There was a saying: 'Do you want to learn how things work in the US automotive industry, see how things are going in General Motors'. The same can be said of Smithfield, but for pig industry! Net income Smithfield, the largest producer of pigs, meat processors and custody, in the third quarter was $ 155 million. Operating profit Smithfield pork segment this quarter, September 28, was $ 139 million, a year ago it was $ 48.5 million. Operating income from Smithfield pig in the past nine months were $ 278.1 million, a year ago - $ 18.7 million. Given that a $ 18.7 million does not include any overhead, quite possibly, in the nine months of last year, the department of production pigs lose money. In the last quarter of Smithfield reports an operating profit of $ 42 per head. Because virus PED sale based on the head reduced by 14%, but at the same time, the weight of the carcasses was 4% higher. In the last quarter of Smithfield reported market price of $ 85 per hundred pounds of live weight increase of 17% compared to last year. In the coming months will be an explosion in China pork prices due to liquidation of 5 million sows. We think, Smithfield with his many enterprises in the US, has already been approved for pork exports to China and the Chinese supply chain in the country with the mediation of the Chinese owners will benefit from the possibility of a major export. When this happens, it will reinforce the position of all breeders USA. Any pork for export, support prices for pigs. 2015 will be the year when we find out how much you need pork to China.