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AHDB Pork Weekly Export Bulletin

24 March 2015

BPEX Weekly Export Bulletin - 23 March 2015BPEX Weekly Export Bulletin - 23 March 2015

British Pig Executive Weekly Export Bulletin



The French commercial deficit in pig meat increased from €350m in 2013 to €400m in 2014. The value of exports was lower than imports (legs and deboned bellies). Distortion of labour costs remains a major issue for the industry which the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, acknowledged during his visit to Brittany last weekend. The self-sufficiency rate for legs is 80% while it is positive for other cuts. French processors need to import as they claim the quality of French cooked ham is not consistent enough. They would also like heavier, fatter pigs for the production of dry hams; finally, they are short of sow meat for the production of French “rillettes” and dry sausages or “saucissons”.

Opale, label rouge pigs

Launched in 2001, the organisation responsible for the promotion of label rouge (LR) pigs incorporates 150 producers, five producer groups and the Socopa abattoir. Production reached 7,500 pigs per week in 2014 with a target of 10,000. Although Label rouge is in place for dry saucisson, ham and pâté, the weak point of the industry remains the certification of LR for other popular cuts such as “copa pancetta”, “andouillette” or “lardons” which would allow for significant added value to the whole carcase. Today Socopa mainly sells LR charcuterie on the French market but they are now starting to export LR bellies to Japan.

The acquisitions of Monique Piffault

The successful business woman has now finalised the purchase of the Jean Caby site in Lampaul (500 staff) which should produce 35,000 tonnes of own-brand ham. The Madrange brand is recovering, with 4.3% market share (cooked ham) with the objective for 2015 of 5%, also Monique Piffault is planning to use the Madrange brand for other processed products, such as prepared meals. The Monique Piffault group should expand this year with more acquisitions in Italy and Spain.


Pigs: The 56 TMP base price remained firm last Monday at Plérin in the context of a balanced market and market fluidity. To note, there were 1,700 unsold pigs on Monday due to insufficient auction results, according to sellers.

Piglets: Even if there has been some hesitation across Europe at the beginning of the week, prices remained firm in France, mainly due to limited offers and regular demand. The FNP-Coop de France continues to recover. Last week there was an increase of €c4 for 25kg weaners and €c55 for 8kg piglets.

Cuts: According to, an increase in Brazilian production is on the horizon. This could increase by about 1% this year compared with 2014, according to USDA, and move to 3.3 million tonnes. In parallel, domestic demand has increased to reach 2.7m tonnes, pork being more competitive than beef, and to a lesser extent than poultry. This will supplement the positive effects of recent campaigns on purchases of fresh pork by households. Brazilian exports are, for their part, expecting increases by 2%, primarily spurred by sales to Russia.


Clemens Tönnies: “I will not become the boar king”

Attitudes towards the production of entire pigs are hardening in Germany with both Tönnies and Vion saying they will not increase boar pork production due to lack of demand. According to Huber Kelliger of Westfleisch, 98% of commercial specifications do not allow for boar meat. (Source, Boerderij Vandaag)

States are outbidding each other

For political gains, farming ministers from many German states are calling for more pig welfare measures. The latest example is Rheinland-Pfalz where Minister Ulrike Höfken and State President Malu Dreyer are calling for further animal welfare measures and… “early mediation with children”. (Source, AFZ)


Following two weeks of decreasing prices, the German pig market is stabilising. Slaughter pigs, supplies are still comparably high, but the demand from slaughter facilities has increased. A few abattoirs requested lower prices earlier in the week, but the majority are accepting the current recommended price of €1.40 per kg and order large numbers. Minor problems are still mentioned from the meat market, where the sales remain behind expectations. Nonetheless, the margins for the market participants mostly increased compared with 2 weeks ago. Overall, the German meat market is stabilising and the market situation for slaughter pigs is mostly balanced. Most market participants expect higher prices by mid-April at the latest. (Source, AMI)


Production of Iberian pork rebounds

In 2014, 2.381m Iberian pigs were produced in Spain (+19.3%) confirming the turnaround of the sector. (Source, Eurocarne)

Impact of major flood

Some 7,000 pigs were lost due to flash floods of the Ebro River. (Source, Eurocarne)


Planning of production essential

Over the last few years, the processors of San Daniele hams have tried to work with pig producers in order to ensure supplies of products two years in advance of marketing the hams. The processors aim to ensure consistent supplies and sustainable margins for producers. However, this has been so far consistently rejected by the European Commission on competition grounds. The consortium is planning to increase production from 2.5m to 2.8m hams from 2014 to 2017. The consortium is also hoping to use Milan Expo to heavily promote San Daniele ham this year. (Source, Suinicoltura).


Exports and imports up

Portugal has doubled its exports of pork since 2010. In 2014, the country exported 51,404 tonnes (+27%), mainly due to increased exports to Venezuela and Angola (12,000 tonnes each) with Spain accounting for 15,000 tonnes. In 2014, Portugal imported 152,930 tonnes of pork (+9%) and 1.3m live pigs (+10%), more than 90% sourced from Spain. (Source, Agra Europe)


Smithfield approved for export to China

AQSIQ has confirmed that Romania and Smithfield Romania SA, a subsidiary of WH-Smithfield Foods with a large integrated operation in the country, can commence exporting to Mainland China. Romania is the 16th country to be approved for export to China. (Source, Reuters)


Big loan for pork processor

The EBRD bank has committed a loan of €109m to the Agri Europe firm for its Serbian operations and €11m for its Ukrainian operation. (Source, Agra Europe)


Higher pig population

According to the State Statistic Service of Kazakhstan, at 1 February 2015 the pig population totalled 896,700 pigs. At this level, the number is 6.6% or 55,900 pigs higher than a month ago. (Source,


Falling sausage market

According to forecasts by market experts, in 2015, the sausage market in Ukraine will decrease by between 8% and 10% to 235,000-240,000 tonnes. At the same time, sausage prices are forecast to increase by 50% and imports will decrease 40%. In 2014, the largest export markets for Ukrainian sausages were Russia and Moldova. (Source,


Belarussian trade could resume

After a meeting of representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of Belarus and the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, Leonid Zayets, the Minister of Agriculture and Food of Belarus, said that exports to Russia may resume from 20 March. He said that within 2 to 3 days, Rosselkhoznadzor officers are going to inspect Belorussian pork production enterprises in order to decide whether it’s possible to resume exporting to the Russian Federation. (Source,

ASF monitoring

According to data from the Central Research and Methodological Veterinary Laboratory, during the period 1 January to 28 February 2015, there were 35 outbreaks of ASF registered in Russia, most of them in Yaroslavskaya and Orlovskaya oblasts. 23 outbreaks were among wild boars, 11 in domestic pigs and one outbreak found in meat products. (Source,


Exports to Russia suspended

China has suspended exports to Russia due to “logistical difficulties”. So far, China has only exported 3,300 tonnes to pork to Russia from the Shanghui plants according to Sergei Dankvert. (Source, Russia & India Report)

New major pig farm

On 17 March, the 120,000 head pig units of Ruidong Agricultural and Poultry Company (????) were opened in Liguo Village Zhanhua district in Shandong Province. (Source, CNAgri).


Cyclone destroys local pig industry

The country which depends on pork production for its protein supplies has seen its herd decimated and pig farms flattened by the cyclone. This will need repopulating but Vanuatu is a poor country. (Source, various)


Pork under pressure

Higher slaugher in the first quarter (+4%) and higher slaughter weights (+1kg), meaning a rise of production of 7% have put pressure on the US pork market with prices down 28% on a year ago (around £1.12 /kg). Exports are down 21% due to the high US$ and labour disputes at US pacific ports that have also created a backlog, and imports have increased 25% due to the competitiveness. (Source, Meating Place)

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