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Polish Breeding Herd and Pig Numbers Fall Sharply (June 2011)

by 5m Editor
23 June 2011, at 12:00am

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

The Whole Hog reports that Polish pig numbers have fallen by 6.2 per cent, with the breeding herd falling by 15.3 per cent.

The March census shows that the new levels are the lowest since 1964. The Whole Hog says that the sharp drop in numbers is an indication that the Polish industry reacted to low pig prices and high feed and energy costs.

In Denmark, exports of pig meat and live pigs increased over the last year, with big rises outside the EU to markets such as Russia and Japan. Exports to China rose by just 2.6 per cent but China still a major destination for Danish pork, according to the Whole Hog. Together with Hong Kong, the four markets took 440,000 tonnes of Danish pig meat – three-quarters of the total exports in 2010.

EU Pork Chain Study Shows Sticky Prices

A study of the EU meat processing industry, with case studies for five countries, shows that retailers and processors are exerting pressure in three of the five countries on the pig meat supply chain.

Retailers and meat packers have a bargaining power that the slaughterers do not possess, the Whole Hog reports.

Pig prices across the EU that were soaring upwards a few months ago have started to slow down. The Whole Hog says that while they are still going up, the rate is slower.

The Euro zone average price is €157.26 per 100kg, an increase of 13.5 per cent on April last year.

Similarly, the Whole Hog's global pig price index is also levelling off.

It is just under the peak value of November 2001 and while this might be reached, the Whole Hog says that a drop in disposable income and confidence together with price resistance could see global prices levelling out.

However, disease and energy prices around the world will still have an impact on pig prices.

Canada Export Sales Hold Steady

Canadian pig meat exports for the first three months of the year are maintaining similar levels to last year.

The Whole Hog says that sales were down by just 0.2 per cent at 279,164 tonnes for the quarter. While sales to important markets such as Japan, the US and Australia were down, sales to Mexico were higher, as they were in Russia and China.

Meanwhile, the Whole Hog reports that US sales for the first quarter of the year hit a new peak. Pork exports rose by nearly 19 per cent compared to the same period in 2010. The growth in exports and higher prices in the US could see larger operators expand this year.

The trade gap for pig meat in Australia continues to narrow as imports fell in the first quarter. In March, imports fell by 13.5 per cent while exports rose by 7.9 per cent. However, domestic pig meat production and slaughterings fell slightly.

The Japanese market is rebuilding after the earthquake and tsunami. Imports for the first two months of the year rose by 11 per cent compared to 2010 with February showing a 20.4 per cent rise.

The Korean pig meat market is now being filled by imports from major exporting countries. Imports are up significantly from the US, Canada, Chile, Spain, France and Belgium, largely thanks to the hole left by the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.