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AHDB Pork Weekly Export Bulletin

16 September 2013

BPEX Weekly Export Bulletin - Week 37BPEX Weekly Export Bulletin - Week 37

British Pig Executive Weekly Export Bulletin

BPEX participated to the main Australian food show, Fine Food Australia, which took place in Sydney from 9 to 12 September. The Australian market for imported pork is growing steadily due to low international prices against the domestic price. Pork must be heat treated by importers to protect Australian producers from the PRRS virus. It is dominated by frozen boneless cuts from the USA and Canada and frozen boneless middles from Denmark, Holland and, increasingly, from Belgium and Ireland. Last year we secured access for frozen boneless pork for heat treatment and further processing. The opportunities for UK exporters include middles and, in the medium term, cooked products such as pies, preheated bacon and precooked bacon.

Meat exports to Third Countries are increasingly burdensome. The 10th report on trade barriers by the European Commission describes 154 new trade barriers with the 31 main EU trade partners. The number of listed trade barriers has now risen to 700. Meat and Livestock Australia and Danish Meat have recently delivered similar reports regarding meat.


Ongoing price pressure due to increasing pig numbers

Increasing pig numbers (slightly lower than 1m last week) combined with insufficient meat sales resulted in a reduction of the recommended price by €0.08 to €1.85 per kg last week. As a result, many producers delivered larger numbers of slaughter pigs expecting another price decrease in the upcoming price round. Larger numbers combined with low demand for pig meat is resulting in ongoing downward pressure. Nonetheless, lower numbers of available pigs are expected as soon as the “panic selling” is over. Further development of the recommended price is uncertain, stability or further reductions both seem possible. (Source, own)

Agreement at last on minimum wage

The four leading meat companies in Germany, Vion, Tönnies, Danish Crown and Westfleisch, have agreed to a minimum wage. German competitors such as France, Denmark and Belgium have long complained of unfairness regarding the low wages paid to foreign workers, mainly from Eastern Europe, in German plants.(Source, various)


Consumers and castration of piglets

According to a survey by Nielsen and a French retailer with 1,000 regular pork consumers, the French express a real interest in animal welfare: 35% of respondents will choose trays mentioning “animal welfare” compared with 15% for any other mention. 85% of French consumers do not know that French piglets are castrated. 23% of respondents said they would reduce their purchases if they were aware of this and 75% would recommend that their supermarket should seek an alternative. Finally, 91% of consumers think that vaccination to reduce boar taint is an interesting solution, 83% think it is interesting in terms of animal welfare and 84% of consumers would advise their supermarket to buy vaccinated pigs instead of castrated pigs. The survey was commissioned by Zoetis (ex Pfizer Animal Health) and published as an editorial in the French retail magazine LSA.

Unfair competition

This week, French TV news showed the anger of GAD employees demonstrating at the gates of the French pig meat processor. The same program included a report on Tonnies Fleish in Germany, showing the working conditions of foreign employees, mainly recruited from Eastern Europe at very low cost.


The professional organization has just appointed Thierry Meyer (Socopa-Bigard) as President of the pig meat section of SNIV-SNCP.


Pigs: Although supplies are moderate, it is proving difficult for the industry to capitalise on this trend. French pig meat is not the most competitive on export markets and the busy return to school period has passed.

Cuts: The meat trade has slowed as a result of falling demand. Although supplies have been limited, they have been sufficient to meet current demand. Lack of activity at pork butchers is applying downward price pressure. Prices, at best, are stable for hams and shoulders and have eased for loins.


Higher piglet exports

The Danish Agriculture & Food Council anticipate the export of piglets in 2013 as a whole to reach 9.7m head, compared with 9.2m last year – and 8m in 2011. During the first seven months of 2013, 5.6 million piglets have been exported, primarily to German finishers. (Source, Borsen)

Consumption of antibiotics increases

According to a new report from Danish Statens Serum Institut and the National Food Institute, farmers used 6% more antibiotics on their pigs between 2011 and 2012. If numbers are adjusted to account for decreasing pig production, the increase is actually 10%. Pig production accounts for 76% of animal antibiotic consumption and therefore, the sector is central in the fight against overuse. (source, Ritzau).


Fresh legs are traded at unchanged prices on the European market which is positive in the light of the lower German quotation. Shoulder prices have eased, influenced by the German market. Necks have been traded at lower prices in line with the normal seasonal trend. The UK bacon market is stable. On Third Country markets, good activity is reported in the Russian market, with a fair trade to China. Sales are quiet to Japan.



The mangalica festivals

The Hungarian breed, sometime called Mangalitza in the UK, famed for the quality of its pork, its fatness and woolly appearance, now benefits from special festivals in large towns such as Budapest, Debrecen and now Székesfehérvár taking place this September - See mangalicafesztival and mangalica . The breed that nearly became extinct is experiencing a strong revival and may well achieve, in the medium term, a similar success to Iberian pork. In this vein, Mangalica pork and sausages have also been well marketed in Hong Kong as luxury items. (Source, various)


German domination

During the first six months of the year, German imports have dominated the Cyprus chilled and frozen pork market, pushing out more traditional imports from Greece. (Source, own)


KSL standards revised

Although, this news dates back a while, it is worth mentioning the revision of farm assurance standards in Norway. These are fairly simple and cannot be compared with British standards. See (Source, Matmerk)


Exports ride high

Strong performance to Mexico (+21% in volume), the China/Hong Kong region, Central/South America, led by Colombia (+49% in volume) and ASEAN (+60% in volume), boosted pork exports by 8.5% in volume in July, to 178,794 tonnes worth £360m. (Source, USMEF)


Import ban

On 3 September, Rosselkhoznadzor banned the import of pigs and raw pork products produced in Belarus due to the ASF outbreaks. Heat treated products are still eligible to be imported. (Source,


Higher pig numbers

During the January to August period this year, the population of pigs in the Ukraine increased to 8,356,100 head, up 4.4% compared with the same period a year ago. The largest number of pigs is registered in Donetska oblast with 627,600 head of pigs, up 7.9% on the year. (Source,


Processors high margins

Fresh pork prices remain very high with chops retailing at A$25.00 per kg (£15.00) at Coles. Coles and Woolworth still put a high emphasis on loose sow housing. They apply these to own label bacon and ham, as they must use the whole pig from their high welfare schemes. However, they face strong competition from well marketed branded products. For example, 100g sliced cooked ham is sold at A$3.00 at Coles against A$3.49 for the same product from Primo using cheaper imported pork. (Source, own)

Changing pork market

Due to the PRRS legislation, 100% of fresh pork is supplied from Australian farms. For processed products, only 32% of product is of Australian origin and this percentage is still falling due to the large price difference between Australian and imported pork. Over the last ten years, Canada has lost market share against EU pork, with their share falling from 50 to 18% against combined EU exports rising from 18 to 54%. Imports from the USA have fallen slightly from 34 to 28%. However, we are talking about a larger market. (Source, own)

Hong Kong

Thai expansion

With Chinese pork increasingly frowned upon on safety grounds (many retailers and food service operators do not sell it as they do not want to take risks), Thai pork, from Betagro and CP, is increasingly dominating retail (see bulletins passim), food service and manufacturing imports. This said, there is low priced Brazilian pork on the market, plenty of US, Danish and Canadian pork together with Japanese, Australian, US Berkshire and Hungarian premium pork. We are pleased to report that British premium pork is now available in the food service sector. (Source, own)






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