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Newsletter 5th December 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 5th December 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start with our weekly China hog report, where in various regions the build up of live hog inventories has been significant lately. Hog deliveries have also been restricted in regions that are affected by bird flu.
    Meanwhile, prices of raw materials for feed have fallen significantly amid the current downturn in China's livestock production and these factors have weighed on live hog prices nationwide to some degree recently.
     Although local pork consumption has increased, it did not lend much support to live hog prices which were generally stable in the northern provinces of Shandong, Henan and Hebei.
     In this weeks piglet report, piglet prices were largely influenced by weak hog prices. The subsequent rise in hog stocks have led prices to decline and dampened buyers' interest in piglets.
     In the provinces of Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Jiangsu, piglet sales have fallen significantly. Big commercial farmers were also buying fewer piglets on profit concerns. No deals involving native and foreign common cross-breed lean piglets were concluded in the provinces of Hunan and Hubei.

Vietnam's pig and cattle breeding sector is developing quickly as avian influenza ravages the poultry industry, according to the government. Pig farms have been developed in several northern provinces and each farm averages about 200-500 hogs and 100-150 sows of foreign stock.
     A breeding cooperative model using hi-tech and veterinary-check-in husbandry was formed in these provinces and has shown efficiency.

In South Africa, the culling of pigs infected with swine fever is continuing in some parts of the Eastern Cape, says the agriculture department. They said results received showed that there was no cause for panic as swine fever had been contained in the province and that 123,657 pigs had been culled so far.
     The final figure was expected to be close to 150,000. Swine fever was first identified on piggeries in the Western Cape in July.

Australian Pork Limited has rejected a call from animal welfare group Voiceless to convert the entire commercial pig herd to free-range production. The group is calling on consumers to avoid hams this Christmas as a protest against what it says are cruel conditions in pig stalls.
     In reposte, John Lamont, from APL, said it would be cruel to leave pigs to roam in paddocks. "In a country like Australia with our climatic conditions, pigs like humans do get sunburnt and will suffer from skin cancer," he said.

In the UK, a promise by Defra that it will reduce the burden of red tape on farming and give clearer guidance on forthcoming legislation has been generally welcomed by farm leaders. But concern has been expressed at the lack of regulations so far identified for attention and at plans to introduce levies to share the costs associated with an outbreak of disease.
     "We want to free farmers to do what they do best," he said. Tim Bennett, NFU president, said the strategy was good news as it signalled a new direction for government and a willingness to consider alternatives to regulation, such as voluntary schemes, training and education. But Mr Bennett stressed he was unhappy about the prospect of farmers being charged a disease levy, as the government had responsibilities here too.

Improving EU prices and better demand are signalling firm pigmeat prices as the year draws to a close. Although the GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price only moved ahead marginally to 101.65p, spot prices saw further increases with spot bacon traded at an average of 104.5p/kg.
     This compares with 100.5p/kg a year ago - worth an extra £3 per pig. Despite extra pigmeat supplies being drawn forward due to abattoir closures over the Christmas period, demand is still running slightly ahead of supply. EU traders are also reporting low stocks in cold stores and generally tight supplies. Demand for lighter weight pigs throughout the UK has also improved with firmer prices for cutters traded in the 109–113p/kg bracket.

Alphamune G - Shielding, Earning
Alphamune G - Shielding, Earning

Canadian livestock producers are calling on the federal government to make the most of the upcoming WTO Ministerial meeting in China to reinvigorate efforts to achieve more liberalized and fair trade, reports Farmscape.
     “It’s important that increased market access, tariff reduction happen on behalf of the pork industry in Canada and we’re concerned when we see the talks moving slower rather than quicker,” says CPC President Clare Schlegel.

The CPC says swine producers are clear, they want a national swine traceability system that's both cost effective and internationally accepted. A delegation from the CPC's Hog Identification and traceability Working group completed round two of public consultations yesterday and Working group Chair Dennis McKerracher says producers have been extremely supportive of the effort. "Some of the reoccurring themes was having a system that was costs effective." he said.

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that Triumph Foods, which is about to open a new slaughter plant in St Joseph, Missouri, announced this week they are planning to build a second plant in East Moline, Illinois. Both plants are designed to slaughter 1,000 hogs per hour. The St Joseph plant is expected to start in early 2006, however planning and permits are needed before construction can begin on the East Moline facility which is not likely to start before 2009.
     Last month, Olywest, a partnership of hog packer Olymel and Canadian hog producers Hytek and Big Sky Farms, announced plans to build a big new hog slaughter plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Olywest also is planning to expand its hog slaughter plant in Red Deer, Alberta. Another Canadian packer, Maple Leaf, is planning to construct a new hog slaughter facility in Saskatoon.
     If all this comes to pass, North American hog slaughter capacity could be 10% greater by the end of this decade. Barring something unexpected, packers will have adequate slaughter capacity to handle all the hogs likely to be produced in the foreseeable future.

Increased supplies do not seem to be the cause of weaker hog prices, which reached lows for the year during Thanksgiving week and averaged the lowest prices in November of the past 22 months, said a Purdue University Extension marketing specialist. "Low prices do not seem to be related to increased supplies, which are up only 0.4 percent this year," said Chris Hurt. "The same can be said for the more recent period of October and November when supplies have only been up about 1 percent. Yet, with such a modest change in supply, prices are dramatically lower this fall.

V-Drinker - the intelligent solution for wean-to-finish
ARATO V-Drinker - the intelligent solution for wean-to-finish

Many believe the best way to deal with the nutrients in manure is to keep them from coming out of the animal to begin with. By better managing what goes in an animal’s mouth, scientists say they can reduce, sometimes dramatically, the amount of nutrients coming out the other end.
     “By far, the most cost-effective way to minimize the environmental impact of the large volumes of manure generated within the watershed is through adjusting feed formulation for poultry and livestock,” a report has said.

Farmers, veterinarians and meat processors who routinely come into contact with pigs in their jobs have a markedly increased risk of infection with flu viruses that infect pigs. While the findings are not entirely unexpected, the strikingly higher risk of infection coupled with the fact that pigs can be infected by swine viruses, avian viruses as well as human flu viruses - thereby acting as a virtual virus "mixing bowl," especially on farms where pigs, chickens and people coexist - is a potential public health concern, a study asserts.
     "Pigs play a role in transmitting influenza virus to humans," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci."The worry is that if a pig were to become simultaneously infected with both a human and an avian influenza virus, genes from these viruses could reassemble into a new virus that could be transmitted to and cause disease in people."

Russia lifted the ban on beef and pork imports from six Brazilian states which means the ban remains on only two states, reports the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. The release indicates that Russian importers can again operate with beef and pork. According to the Russian Agriculture Market Institute before the September 2004 ban, Brazil was Russia’s main supplier of beef (35%) and pork (74%), and the second of broilers (with a 26% market share).

Company news

Schering-Plough Animal Health Corp, a global leader in advancing the health and welfare of animals, was celebrating its 50th anniversary last week. To commemorate this milestone and to show appreciation for the partnership of veterinarians through the years, SPAH is donating $50,000 to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) to support its Veterinary Medical Assistance Team (VMAT) program.
     Established in 1963, AVMF is the largest national veterinarian-directed charity dedicated to disaster preparedness and response. The donation from SPAH was presented to Robert P.Gordon, DVM, AVFM immediate past chair, during a ceremony marking the milestone anniversary held on November 30th at the Schering-Plough offices in Summit, New Jersey.

The Titan Boar from JSR Genetics

JSR Genetics, the UK based pig breeding company has won another multi million pound export contract. The contract is part of a massive ongoing breeding improvement programme undertaken by the Russian Federation region of Belgorod which is intended to make the region self-sufficient in pigmeat.
     This is a two phase process of which phase one is the initial importation of genetic stock followed by phase two the setting up of nucleus facilities to supply replacement animals for the local breeding programme. Tim Rymer, Chairman of JSR commented "During this contract we have developed an excellent understanding and working relationship with the Russian project team led by Vladimir Zotov, Vice President of the Government and Head of the Department of Economic Development.

On 2 December 2005, Genus plc completed the acquisition of Sygen International plc, owners of PIC. The acquisition transforms Genus into the largest animal genetics company in the world, with sector leading positions in cattle, pigs and shrimps. A prime objective of the acquisition is to put together the R&D activities of the two companies, to increase the prospects of producing future genetic products in line with customer's ever more sophisticated demands, which themselves are driven by increasing economic, welfare and environmental pressures.
See Also: Sygen (PIC) Shareholders Support Genus Bid

To reassure customers that the high quality of semen from their AI stud is being maintained, East Yorkshire pig-breeding company, ACMC, has introduced an independent audit of its whole AI operation. Claimed to be the first in the UK to instigate this procedure, it will involve quarterly visits from the Garth Veterinary Group and Salus QP Ltd, an independent laboratory, to ensure the stud adheres to best practice.
     Fully-qualified vets will check every link in the chain from boar health and housing through to collection of semen, processing, storage and despatch.

DuPont Animal Health Solutions - bringing new life to biosecurity.
DuPont Animal Health Solutions - bringing new life to biosecurity.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 4 new features this week:

Factors affecting depth of muscle as a carcass quality parameter
By T. Cottrell, C. Dewey, R. Friendship, C. Ribble Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph - This article is taken from the University of Guelph Swine Research Review 2005 report. Pigs produced with consistently large muscle depth are valuable for both the packer and the producer. The pork is more valuable for the packer because it meets the demands of the consumer.

Micro-Organisms as Feed Additives - Probiotics
By Ortwin Simon and presented at the 2005 Banff Pork Seminar - For many decades antibiotics (so called growth promoters) have been used as feed additives in various species of farm animals, to reduce the frequency of diarrhoea under certain conditions.

Customised Genetics - A Case History
With processors’ specifications becoming more and more specialized, US-based Andrew Coates, PIC’s Technical Services Director for Genetics, describes how a custom selection index can be designed to deliver to the most exacting contracts.

Alberta Hog Market Commentary and Outlook - Fall 2005
By Kevin Grier, Senior Market Analyst, George Morris Centre, in Guelph and Calgary. Published by Alberta Pork. This is the latest Alberta Hog Market Commentary and Outlook which discusses the USDA's Hogs and Pigs report and Bird Flu's effect on pork prices.

That's all for this week.


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