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Pig Price Cycle Moves Onward and Upward (March 2011)

by 5m Editor
18 March 2011, at 12:00am

By Chris Harris, Editor-in-Chief of ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in March 2011 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis, including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.

This month, the Whole Hog says that its pig price cycle charts should bring cheer to pig producers as prices appear to be moving continually up.

However, the report gives a note of caution for anyone who has to sell pig meat in competition with other species.

The Whole Hog says that record highs are expected for 2011 and the price cycle has been in an upward phase for 12 months now.

It predicts that the Global Pig Price Index will reach the heights of March/April 2005 with a peak in the next two months.

The pig price data for European producers saw large price rises towards the end of 2010 and in early 2011.

Polish prices lead the non-Euro zone countries having risen sharply and apart from the effects of the dioxin crisis in Germany, prices for the rest of Euro – Denmark, France, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands have had five consecutive months of rises.

Euro zone prices average €141.77 per 100kg, which is 5.5 per cent higher than in February last year.

In the US, exchange rates have favoured North American pig meat processors, but with a swing in exchange rates last year, Danish pig meat prices were level with the US in the spring of last year and then again at the end of the year and the beginning of 2011.

North American Producers Search for and End to Decline

The Whole Hog reports that the US breeding herd fell by 1.3 per cent compared to 2009, according to the USDA figures produced for December.

The numbers stood at 7.09 million head.

The total number of market hogs was 69.15 million – a fall of 0.6 per cent.

However, the Whole Hog says that recent hog price rises have been sufficient encouragement to tempt producers into considering reinvestment or expansion.

The recent census for Statistics Canada shows the breeding herd to have fallen by 1.1 per cent year on year and numbers are now at their lowest since 1999.

The overall inventory of pigs shows 11.9 million hogs on farms and according to the Whole Hog, the numbers of weaners are up by 5.2 per cent and the heavier slaughter weights have risen.

In England, the number of pigs fell by 1.7 per cent to 3.5 million but the Whole Hog report that as the figures were being published pig farmers were protesting in London over low prices.

One report showed that in the 12 weeks to the end of January, farmers had amassed losses of £35 million although they claim the rest of the supply chain was making profits of £292 million.

Brazil's Export Trade Falters

Despite being considered a major player in the pig meat market, the Whole Hog says that Brazil's exports were down by 11 per cent year on year in volume.

However, sales values rose by nine per cent.

Total Brazilian pig meat exports in 2010 were 540,418MT, valued at $1.34 billion.

Canadian pork exports have lost their momentum. The annual growth rate is estimated at 2.1 per cent compared to a growth rate for the first nine months of the year of nearly double this figure.

However, the Whole Hog reports that US exports have almost doubled their annual growth rate for 2010 in the last quarter of the year.

Over the year exports grew by 3.2 per cent.

South Korea Shows Impact of FMD

South Korean pig meat imports fell by about 1.9 per cent in 2010 but in the data for January show the effects of foot and mouth disease and the changes in domestic availability.

The Whole Hog reports that relaxation of trade restrictions and duties will support further shifts in South Korean import demand.

Imports into Japan have grown strongly over the year with particularly strong growth for Danish exporters.

The figures to November last year show a rise of 11.6 per cent compared to 2009.

The trade figures for Australia show imports have levelled out over 2010 while exports are on an upward curve.

Domestic slaughterings and production was up 2.6 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively, the Whole Hog says.

March 2011