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AHDB Pork Weekly Export Bulletin

30 November 2015

AHDB Pork Weekly Export Bulletin - 30 November 2015AHDB Pork Weekly Export Bulletin - 30 November 2015

British Pig Executive Weekly Export Bulletin

Data from AHDB shows that UK pork self-sufficiency has risen from 47% on 2006 to 55% in 2015. The additional volume of pork produced has been largely exported, with legs and loins remaining in the UK.
Demand for antibiotic-free pork is bound to surge, following the latest uncovered evidence of antibiotics overuse in Chinese pork production (see below).

European Union

Difficult situation for the northern European pork sector
A wide-ranging study by the French pork institute IFIP presented at the Space exhibition makes somber reading. In Denmark, for the first eight months of 2015, Danish weaner producers have lost €160 per sow and finishers €7.50 per pig. As land prices have halved over the past ten years, indebtedness has risen, in some cases above farm value. German finishers are losing more than €10 per pig and breeders more than €300 per sow. The situation is similar in Holland. (Source, IFIP)

Fighting ASF
According to Willy Loeffen of the CVI research institute in Lelystad, African Swine Fever (ASF) is now “endemic” in Eastern Europe. He also speaks of “a second front” on the Ukrainian border. He says wild boars and livestock transport are the vectors. (Source, Boerderij Vandaag)


Concerns ahead
Spanish pig production has been helped over recent times by the stagnation and lower wages, low construction costs and benign feed prices. This is likely to change as Spain emerges from the crisis. Also, the government is likely to halt subsidies on manure treatment. (Source, IFIP)



According to Michel Bloc’h, President of the union of meat producer groups in Brittany (UGPBV), the MPB should operate next week with all buyers except Bigard present. This information is not confirmed by François Pot, the President of MPB and Jean-Pierre Joly the Director, who said that all operators should sign the convention and that MPB will operate again with small volumes to start with (30,000 heads per week), possibly on 26 November. The last quotation, six weeks ago, was €1.30 per kg.

Consumption: the flop
According to Kantar Worldpanel, household purchases of fresh pig meat over period 10 (from 7 September to 4 October) decreased by 13% in volume compared with last year (except for processed products: +4.2%). Alarming figures are recorded for pork chops, falling by 22% and joints, which decreased by 15%. Even sausage sales decreased by 1%. Purchases of charcuterie products increased by 0.7% in volume. However, over the first nine months of the year, charcuterie purchases decreased by 0.8%. Should these results be associated to the demonstrations of French producers (especially in Brittany) requesting to label the French origin of pork and to label national brands with EU stickers, which lead to the removal of several products from supermarket shelves? Well, this was mentioned nowhere…

Own brand retail packs
Leclerc are launching a range of Ferial (own brand) retail packs containing two portions of various cuts of cooked pork: cooked joint with herbs, braised ham with rind on, 2 braised knuckles and cooked deboned shoulder cuts. Retail prices range from €8.45 per kg for the knuckles to €12.49 per kg for the joints. Lidl are launching a tray of 4 slices of Bayonne ham (12 months drying) retailing at €2.99 per 120g.

Impact of the crisis on the value of French pig farms
With pig prices now below €1.25 per kg, pig farmers are not only saving on planned investment but also on maintenance of their production tools. Some pig farm buildings need maintenance, refurbishing and renovation but many pig farmers have not managed to budget for these expenses and the value of their farms is deteriorating. Some farms have lost 30% of their value, for example electrical installation needs to be redone every ten years or manure treatment installations need to be replaced every 20 to 25 years. The transmission of pig farms is already more difficult and the risk is that many pig farms become too dilapidated and will simply have to close down, which would impact total French pig production.

Pork: According to the European Commission, in the latest November report, forecast slaughterings for the first half of the year 2016 should be relatively stable. A small decrease of 0.2 % in the first quarter will be partially offset by an increase of 0.1% during the second quarter.
Piglets: Prices decreased last week in Brittany; 25kg piglets eased by €c1, with prices for post weaning down €c18. FNP-Coop de France prices decreased by €c4 for 25kg weaners and €c68 cents for 8kg piglets.
Cuts: The market is still disrupted by the consequences of the attacks and the slower trend at the end of the month. Production of legs is low due to a very low demand. Nevertheless, the cold temperatures have helped sales of cuts for boiling or salting.



After the €c17 decrease in the German recommended price over the past four week, numbers of slaughter pig seem to have dropped this week. Thus, the market is more in balance compared with previous weeks. While sales and meat prices are still below expectations, several slaughter facilities mentioned an unchanged pig price as reasonable during the first half of the week. Therefore, the recommended price remained unchanged. As of last week, the price for slaughter pigs in Germany is €1.25 per kg. Nonetheless, the current market situation is far from satisfying, almost all market participants are dissatisfied with both sales and prices. (Source, AMI)



Pork price increases
Producer prices in Russia have firmed. In the Central Federal District, the lieveweight price for bacon pigs was RUB98 per kg(US$1.49 per kg) for first grade and RUB94.3 per kg (US$1.43 per kg) for second grade pigs. The average price for boneless brisket was RUB209.6 per kg (US$3.18/kg). (Source,

Brazilian pork detained on the Russian border
According to Rosselkhoznadzor, a 26 tonne consignment of frozen pork arrived in St. Petersburg from Brazil was found to have traces of defrosting. It is understood that this would have resulted from the reloading of the cargo from one container into another in the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain and resultant temperature abuse. The pork will not be returned to the sender. (Source,


Wholesale pork prices update
During last week, pork prices on the Ukrainian market were under pressure. The average wholesale price of first grade pork was UAH30.74 per kg (US$1.29 per kg). The prices range for the current week is UAH28.5-30.5 per kg (US$1.20-1.28 per kg). (Source,


Antibiotics resistance
Chinese and British scientists reported that they have found a strain of Escherichia coli that is resistant to colistin, the antibiotic of last resort. The resistant bacteria were found in 20% pigs, 15% of raw pork samples and 1% in people in Southern China. It’s not the first time colistin resistance has been spotted, but this time the phenomenon comes with a nasty twist. The resistance is conferred by a gene found on a plasmid, a portable piece of DNA. That’s alarming because plasmids can both transfer within a family of bugs and to other families of bacteria as well. The scientists — from the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, the China Agricultural University in Beijing, and other institutions — called the resistance gene mcr-1. Reporting in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, they described the emergence of mcr-1 as “the breach of the last group of antibiotics” by plasmid-mediated resistance. There is no certainty that resistance to the newly found gene will spread. On the other hand, the continued excessive use of antibiotics such as colistin, which in banned and only used for humans in Europe, by Chinese pig producers is of concern. “China is one of the most serious abusers of antibiotics in the world” said the Liberation Daily. And this appears to be the tip of the iceberg. In addition to pigs, poultry and farmed fish, antibiotics abuse is rife in the Chinese health system. For example, 100% of women in a Shanghai maternity ward were administered antibiotics. Overall, around 75% of Chinese hospital patients are given antibiotics against typically 22-25% in the West. The overuse of antibiotics produced by a huge industry is such that they are found in waterways. “In the Pearl River, researchers found high concentrations of penicillin, norfloxacin and five other common antibiotics”. Sources include domestic sewage, hospital waste, aquaculture and animal slurry. (Source, STAT, The Sunday Times)

Crackdown in Jiangxi
The government of Jiangxi Province has announced a “hundred days crack down”. The authorities are targeting illegal slaughter, water injected pork and pork from unfit or dead pigs. (Source, CNAgri)

Welfare standards for livestock production
The Chinese Veterinary Medical Association is currently writing a new welfare code for all livestock and poultry. It is assisted by leading producers. (Source, CNAgri)


Aldi backs Aussie pig farmers
With Christmas around the corner, Aldi has become the first supermarket to support Australian pig farmers by using the pink Australian Pork logo on its own branded Berg hams. The logo was developed to help consumers identify products made from 100% Australian pork (Source: The Land)


Not a record year but…
After registering exceptional profits in 2014, 2015 should still be a vintage year for the net revenue of pig producers. However, as discussed in past bulletins, profitability is already falling sharply and is likely to be negative in 2016. (Source, Pork Checkoff)

More loose housing for sows
At the moment 10% of US sows are housed in groups. This number is rising as Walmart and McDonald are committed to source pork from such production system. Some nine states have already banned stalls and tethers. (Source, Porc Magazine)

Move on antibiotics
With more pressure from consumers, users and administration, large producers are now pushing for a reduction of the use of antibiotics. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will publish new policies by the end of 2016. The agency aims to stop the use of prophylactic antibiotics. The National Pork Board will invest US$1.4m (£915,000) on the subject. The project is supported by the largest operators such as Tyson and Smithfield. (Source, Porc Magazine)

Who will grow?
Over the next three years, Choice Genetics expects the production of Smithfield, Tyson, JDS, Cargill and Hormel to remain flat. However, production Triumph-Seaboards could reach 50,800 pigs per day which would place them in third position. Clemens Food Group will also double production to 20,400 pigs per day which will allow them to overtake Indiana Packing. (Source, Choice Genetics)

Tyson to close two factories
Tyson Foods, the biggest US meat processor, said it would stop operations at two of its plants in the United States, affecting about 880 employees. The company said it expects to cease operations at a pepperoni plant in Jefferson, Wisconsin and a prepared foods facility in Chicago, Illinois in 2016. (Source, Reuters)

GMO labelling
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has clarified its guidance for the voluntary labelling of GMO-free food. The FDA recommends terms such as “not bioengineered,” “not genetically engineered” and “not genetically modified through the use of modern biotechnology.” However, the FDA will not take enforcement action against a label using the acronym “GMO” as long as the food is not derived from a genetically engineered plant and the food’s labelling is not otherwise false or misleading. The FDA discourages any “free” claims such as “GMO-free,” “GE-free,” “does not contain GMOs” and “non-GMO.” (Source, FDA)

E. coli and Chipotle: disinformation?
An outbreak of E. coli linked to Chipotle restaurants has infected people in New York, Minnesota and Ohio. The first cases reported in Washington and Oregon late last month before illnesses were dismissed. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said new cases have also been reported in California. The eagerness to link Chipotle to all US E.coli poisoning is disturbing. (Source, various)


Maple Leaf Foods recalls boneless pork products

The Canadian company is recalling approximately 4,030 pounds (1,827.97Kg) of boneless pork shoulder products. The products were not presented at the US point of entry for inspection. Without the benefit of full inspection, a possibility of adverse health consequences exist. (Source: Consumers Affairs)


Less pork this month
Pork output fell by 2% in the first part of November as production was hit by strikes of truck driver and pork veterinary inspectors. Despite rising exports to Russia, production exceeds market demand and prices have fallen. (Source, various)

Two more abattoir approved for China
Two pork processing plants in Santa Catarina have been approved for export to China, making a total of six. Twenty nine Brazilian poultry plants are now also approved. (Source, Midia News Brazil)

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