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Competitive Year Ahead for Spanish Hog Markets

26 January 2015
Genesus - The first power in genetics

SPAIN - The last six months have been negative for the European pork market, writes Mercedes Vega, General Director of Genesus for Spain, Italy & Portugal.

The price has fallen in Spain this semester by 31 per cent , while Germany has made 29 per cent.

There is a strong supply of animals in Spain as in the rest of Europe with Germany in the lead, also with increased average weights. It is expected that during January the balance between supply and demand will be balanced and slaughter will increase gradually because there are no holidays this month, following the fewer days for slaughtering over the Christmas period. Slaughter is increasing gradually, since there are plenty of animals for slaughter and with high weights. This is a common trend across the European Community.

It is noteworthy that in the first 10 months of 2014, Spain increased its slaughter by 3.4 per cent in number of animals and by 4.1 per cent in meat produced. This means 1.2 million pigs more than last year were slaughtered in the same period and 118,000 tons of meat more. This was 4.7 per cent over the average of the last five years.

With regard to EU exports, that even though during October 2014 they fell by 3.5 per cent from the previous year, the accumulated amount from January to October showed a fall of 5.6 per cent compared to same period of 2013.

The Russian embargo is the reason for this decline. But as one door closes, a window opens, and exports to Japan have increased by 41 per cent year, though October was lower than the previous year.

As for China, despite low prices, imports increased by four per cent in the first 10 months of 2014; this has been mainly influenced by the collapse suffered by the price in the European market after the summer.

At this time, the Asian markets are not pulling in exports, but the depreciation of the euro against the dollar and the lower value of the price of hogs, will make European pig mat more competitive.

Obviously, this year will be highly competitiveness. Spain has become the third largest exporter of pork in the EU, increasing by 25 per cent its exports to third countries in 2014, and has started the year in an excellent position for exports.

The Portuguese market starts 2015 with prices well below 2014. The Bolsa de Montijo has no fixed price, but follows in the footsteps of European markets, and especially in Spain.

The price of hog in Spain, last week, was 1.03 €/kilo of live weight (54¢$/lb.), against the 0.99 €/kilo (52¢$/lb.), of Germany. Closing with a year-on-year 1.27€ /kilo of weight (66.89¢$/lb.) to live in Spain while Germany has done on 1.20€ / kilo (63.21¢$/lb.).

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