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AHDB Pork Weekly Export Bulletin

15 April 2013

BPEX Export Bulletin  – Week 15BPEX Export Bulletin – Week 15

In an interview to the Financial Times, Karim Bitar, Genus’s CEO, declared the way forward in China will be joint ventures with local companies. Following its successful £8.8m project with Bosun Food Group, Genus-PIC has announced a new joint venture with Shennong Agriculture in Yunnan worth £2.7m for a 65% stake in a 1,000-sow breeding farm. The company is now looking for further opportunities.
British Pig Executive Weekly Export Bulletin


Free Trade with Northern America

Guillaume Roué, Chairman of Inaporc has written to François Hollande, to the Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and to three other Ministers alerting them of the threat posed by the free trade agreement currently being discussed with Canada, with a probable extension to USA. At a time when French producers are already dealing with fierce competition within the EU, the opening of supplies from northern America (between 20 000 and 240 000 tonnes) would be devastating for the industry. Mr Roué questions the logic of the Commission which, on one hand, imposes strict welfare and environmental rules that will lead to the closure of a large number of pig farms in France and, on the other hand, allows the introduction of pig meat imports from countries where welfare and environmental regulations, feeding regimes and simple animal health requirements are well below European standards.

Label Rouge schemes abolished

A decision of 25 March 2013 confirmed that six specification lists for Label Rouge pork or pig meat are to be abolished. These are “Fresh meat from pigs” (LAN°07-03); “Farm Pork” (LA N°20-99), Pork meat and offal (LA N°10-06); “Dried loin and dried shoulder clod” (LA N°40-89); “Superior cooked ham” (LA N°06-97) and “Farm pork reared outdoors” (LA N°05-99).


Pigs: The 56TMP price lost €0.06 at the beginning of the week. Spring weather and the first barbecues are awaited in anticipation and “Marché du porc Breton” thinks that it’s necessary to communicate about the origin of their meat and more especially about the VPF (Viande de Porc Française ; French Pig Meat).

Piglets: The market is stable. Prices have been firm since the beginning of the year. FNP-FNVBV prices lost only €0.01 for 25kg and €0.19 for 8kg piglets.

Cuts: Prices for bellies and shoulders remained stable while prices for loins were a little higher.

Pork prices RUNGIS week commencing 08 April 2013

Cut namePrice range (Euro/Kg)
Back fat, rind-on 0.65
Trimmings 1.42
Leg 2.70
Loin including chump 2.96
Loin excluding chump 2.70
Belly extra without trimmings 2.70



European markets have been influenced by the unseasonable cold weather. Fresh cuts such as legs, shoulders and loin sales are stable at similar prices, but demand is reported to be weakening. The season for collars has not started yet, while tenderloin demand for export is reported to be reasonable. On the UK bacon market, backs are sold at similar prices. Exports to Japan are steady, whereas prices on the Chinese market continue to decline. The Russian market, as in Europe, remains quiet due to the cold weather.

Danish Slaughterhouses - payments week commencing 08 April 2013
SlaughterhouseDanish CrownTican
Slaughter pigs (70.0 – 86.9 kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 1.466
Euro 1.466
Sows (Above 129.9 kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 1.026
Euro 1.026
Boars (Above 109.9 kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 0.894
Euro 0.894


Pessimism for consumption

Pork consumption has remained stable with 54.5kg in 2011, on par with levels of twenty years ago. However, it has experienced a fall of 1.8kg in 2012 and a further decrease of 1.1kg is expected this year.
(Source, Fleischwirtschaft)

Fewer producers

Germany has lost 1,500 producers in one year, leaving a total of 12,400. Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg with the smallest producers were the most affected. Production is becoming more concentrated in the Northwest with gains of productivity expected to compensate for the smaller herd.
(Source, Baromètre Porc)

Zur Mühle expands

The Demelhorst Könecke factory has expanded from 20,000 to 30,000 sqm following a €30m expansion and the volume produced has increased from 15,000 to 40,000 tonnes of cooked sausages. This is the second largest plant in the group after Bremen. The group is owned by the Tönnies family.
(Source, AFZ)

Pork Prices Hamburg Market Week commencing 08 April 2013
Cut namePrice range (€ / kg)
Round cut leg 2.30/2.50
Leg (boneless, rindless max fat level 3mm) 3.15/3.35
Boneless Shoulder 2.50/2.70
Picnic Shoulder 2.00/2.20
Collar 2.50/2.65
Belly (bone in, ex-breast) 2.40/2.60
Sheet Boned Belly (rindless) 2.25/2.55
Jowl 1.60/1.75
Half Pig Carcasses U class 2.02/2.10


Temperature controlled livestock lorries gain in popularity

Around 65% of new livestock lorries in the country are now fully closed or half closed. Producers include Berdex and Wanroij. The vehicles often use UV light sterilisers and diesel heaters.
(Source, Boerderij Vandaag)


Pork prices Barcelona Market Week commencing 08 April 2013
Cut namePrice range (€ / kg)
Gerona Loin Chops 2.58/2.61
Loin Eye Muscle 3.53/3.56
Spare Ribs 2.98/3.01
Fillets 5.43/5.46
Round Cut Legs 2.83/2.86
Cooked Ham 2.50/2.53
Rindless Picnic Shoulder 1.75/1.78
Belly 2.49/2.52
Smoked Belly with Spare Rib Section Cut off 2.92/2.95
Shoulder chap or Head Jowls 1.18/1.21
Back Fat, Rindless 0.93/0.96


Fewer pigs in Poland

Pig stocks in Poland decreased by about 15% last year, partly due to high feed costs and new welfare requirements and partly due to an inefficient production structure with many small and medium-sized farms. The number of pigs in Poland has decreased by about 40% over the past six years. At the same time, Poland's imports of live pigs increased by 43% during the first 11 months of 2012 to a total of 3.45 million head. Approximately 50% were imported from Denmark with the majority of the others coming from Germany and Holland.
(Source, Landbrugsavisen)


Decrease in pig production in the EU

The European Commission’s report "Short term outlook for arable crops, meat and dairy markets” forecasts a decrease of 2% in EU pork production in 2013, whereas a small increase in production, at around 1%, is predicted in 2014. Exports of pork to third countries outside the EU is anticipated to decline in 2013 as a result of changes in production and then to marginally increase in 2014.
(Source, Landbrug og Foedevarer)


Smithfield ramps up ractopamine-free production

The Clinton and Tar Heel plants in North Carolina now produce 43,000 ractopamine-free pigs daily. Tar Heel is reputed to be the largest pork plant in the world.
(Source, Asian Pork)

American ban on stalls

The ban on sow stalls is spreading in North America; New Jersey is the 10th US state to announce that, in the future, pregnant sows must be loose. In Canada, the slaughterhouse company Olymel also announced that it will phase out the use of stalls for pregnant sows by 2022. This will align Olymel with similar announcements from other companies in North America such as Maple Leaf and Smithfield Foods.
(Source, Markedsnyt for Svinekoed)

Increase in US pig stocks

USDA has published pig count results as of 1 March 2013; the stock was made up of 65.911 million pigs, 1.5% higher than at the same time last year. The report suggests producers increased production in hope of lower feed prices. Demand for pork is low and there are more pigs on the market than expected which has resulted in producers reducing intentions to expand stocks. Iowa State University's latest index shows that pig farmers lost $25.13 per pig in January compared with $31.54 in the previous month.
(Source, Markedsnyt for Svinekoed)

Rib launch

Boston Market, the 471-strong restaurant chain noted for its roast chicken offering is planning a major launch with pork ribs under the slogan “The big rib-ate”.
(Source, News Channel)


Retail battle

CP All, the owner of 7-Eleven store chains opened 546 new stores in 2012 bringing it to a total of 6,822 stores. Profits are up to £246m. However, Tesco has increased the number of stores it operates to 1,400, particularly with the Tesco Express format and maintains its leadership of the market. Tesco has also widened its mall concept where its larger stores play the anchor role.
(Source, various)


More sales of local premium pork

Sales of pork from the Korean native black pigs (KNP) are increasing. The meat has a better colour, more flavour and better marbling than standard pork and shows no difference in tenderness or juiciness.
(Source, Asian pork)


Import competition

With local producers unable to compete against US and EU pork imports, the representative organisations have asked for a new import levy of 32%, as already exists for chicken. At the moment, the country is 80% self-sufficient.
(Source, Fiji Times)


Chinese wholesale price week commencing 08 April 2013
 Price (RMB/Kg)£/Kgchange on week
Pig carcases 18.59 1.95 -3.78%
Source: BOACL
Prices collected from wholesale markets in 36 medium and large Chinese cities


A very good review on Chinese attitudes to food safety by the well known consumer science team at Gent University led by Wim Verbeke has been published in Food Control (Liu et al., 33 : 93-104).

In China, there are three quality labels:

  • Hazard-free Food: the scheme has operated since 2001 and is monitored by the Agriculture Ministry, Centre for Agri-food Quality and Safety. The certificate is valid for three years. For pork, residue control is paramount.
  • Green Food: the scheme has operated since 1990 and is monitored by the China Green Food Development Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture. Veterinary residues, presence of feed additive and growth enhancers are forbidden. The scheme is rated “A” without GMOs. Green Food has a highest awareness of the three schemes (80% in selected provinces) ahead of Hazard-free Food (around a half) and Organic Food (around a quarter). People from Beijing and Shanghai have a better knowledge of all schemes (81%, 66%, 46% for Beijing respectively). On the other hand, another survey shows that only 0.4% of the Chinese population know the three labels and regional surveys throw totally different results.
  • Organic Food: the scheme has operated since 2004 and is monitored by the Organic Food Certification Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture. Again, residues, feed additives and others are forbidden. The scheme is rated “AA” without GMOs. In Shanghai and Nanjing, some 38% of Chinese consumers are aware of organic pork.

The review records 69 consumer studies.

Chinese consumers trust the government but still perceive a lack information and transparency. About a third get their information on food safety from television, slightly more than from newspapers. The Chinese have a very fuzzy idea of what constitutes safe food. It should be “free from additives” (44%) or “not polluted” (26%). When buying food, safety comes first, ahead of environmental credentials and nutrition. They are quite distrustful of organic food and 72% question the validity of the claim of absence of hormones, antibiotics and feed additives in pork. Some 40% distrusted the claim of non-polluted environment and the use of organic feed. Only 16% are ready to pay the existing premium for organic food.

However, they are willing to buy food with high safety credentials, with milk and eggs the most popular. In Nanjing, some 98% of people want to buy ‘green’ milk and 94% safe eggs. Regarding pork, 71% are dissuaded by ‘green’ pork by price (46%), quality and safety issues (22%), lack of availability (17%) and lack of confidence in the certification (14%). Still other surveys point out to strong demand for fresh pork. ‘Safe’ food is more likely to be bought in supermarkets by young educated people including teachers. Specialist ‘safe’ food stores are not yet popular but have a “bright future”.

In conclusion, despite a low level of detailed knowledge, Chinese consumers hold generally positive attitudes towards safe food”. They are willing to pay more and most of them are occasional buyers.

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