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Newsletter 12th December 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 12th December 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start in Europe, where Brussels' most recent offer on trade liberalisation will mean "very real challenges" for European farmers, offering substantial new market access to other countries, admits agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.
     The offer - which has been condemned by the NPA - includes a cut in average farm tariffs from 23 to 12 percent and an opening of markets in "sensitive products" such as pork. Fischer Boel says she cannot understand why Brazil and the US are complaining the offer does not go far enough.
     "So far, we are yet to see any meaningful commitment from the US to discipline its use of food aid to offload domestic surpluses. We need to find the right way to do this while making sure that genuine food aid continues to play its essential role. Likewise, the US must accept real disciplines on its export credit programmes.
     The UK's farming industry leaders have branded the government's vision for the future of CAP as "one-sided" and "out of date". The joint paper, from DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, was tabled in the run-up to key discussions on the EU budget and trade liberalisation.

In the UK, the NPA has urged government to give a commitment to more animals being slaughtered nearer their site of production. Giles Penn, managing director of DRS, told farming minister Lord Bach he was increasingly concerned about the long-term abattoir structure in Britain.
     Speaking at a meeting with the minister, he expressed disappointment that Cranswick's planning application for a new abattoir in East Yorkshire had been turned down by local councillors.
     He accepted it was not easy to sell the idea of an abattoir to local residents, but without more local abattoirs pigs would continue to be sent long distances for slaughter, which was detrimental to both welfare and the environment.

Pigmeat prices and supplies have remained in balance during the last two clear trading weeks before the Christmas period, according to FWi. The GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price rose marginally to 101.81p last week. Spot and contract prices also reflected generally firm processor and retail demand with no reports of any backlog of pigs in the system.
     Lighter weight pigs continue to earn a significant premium reflecting better fresh meat demand. Spot bacon was traded in the 103–105p/kg range with porkers/cutters worth up to 116p from specialist outlets. Cull sow prices have also maintained recent values with export abattoirs were quoting base prices of circa 77p/kg.

Compassion in World Farming has accused some leading retailers of selling pigmeat from animals reared abroad in ways that are banned on cruelty grounds in the UK. Sainsbury’s and Somerfield were singled out by CIWF for selling some own label pigmeat imported from stall systems which have been banned in the UK for over ten years.
     Pig welfare levels in the UK are acknowledged to be among the best in the world, with about 35% of breeding units now outdoors and a significant proportion of finished pig output on straw-based systems. But rising costs and falling returns have taken their toll on the size of the UK pig herd which has dropped by 40% over the past six years.

In Ireland, pig farmers have warned the Nitrates Directive will drive them out of business, without compensation. But Environment Department officials say they had no contact from the pig industry in four years of consultations on nitrates regulations which they hope to finalise with the European Commission this week.
     Pig and poultry farmers warn that most of their manure is exported to neighbouring farms, many of which cannot take their manure when the Nitrates Directive is enforced. The industry’s 1,200 direct and 4,000 related jobs and annual exports of €320m are endangered, says Co. Cork pig farmer Maurice O’Brien.

Enterisol Ileitis - The oral vaccine against ileitis
Enterisol Ileitis - The oral vaccine against ileitis

In the US, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report this week that hog slaughter for October through last week is up about 2% from a year earlier. The September Hogs and Pigs report indicated about a 1% increase in slaughter for the 4th quarter of 2005 compared to a year earlier.
     Some of the increase in slaughter compared to expectations is probably due to a larger number of slaughter hog imports from Canada. Cash hog prices gained some ground last week with top cash prices Friday morning $1.50 to $3.00 above a week earlier.

Lean hogs for the Dec’05 futures contract were slightly higher on Monday, reports Wayne D. Purcell. The market got it back together from Friday’s action after a pointed sell-off following rambunctious highs in that session. Traders on the floor stated they were waiting on the next move from the funds. Lean hogs (LH) traded up and down before closing up $0.20/cwt at $63.00/cwt.

The NPPC has commended President Bush and his trade negotiators for completing free trade agreement negotiations with Peru. Once a trade pact is implemented, according to NPPC, US pork producers will gain significant new market access in the South American country.
     “Pork producers will benefit greatly from this agreement,” said NPPC President Don Buhl. “U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and USDA Secretary Mike Johanns worked hard to ensure an ambitious deal on pork exports to Peru.”

Ivomec - Better products mean better results
Ivomec - Better products mean better results

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced recently that USDA has awarded $5 million in grants to researchers who will seek new ways to help small farmers remain profitable. Through USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), 15 colleges and universities in 13 states will receive grants of $500,000 to better understand what makes small and mid-sized farms and rural communities prosper.

In Iowa, the state is trying to implement an emergency rule to protect Iowa's waterways from pollution created by hog confinements, reports the GazetteOnline. Jeff Vonk, director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said confinements have increased significantly in the last two years, many of them in areas vulnerable to groundwater pollution. Vonk's department is filing an emergency rule allowing him to block or change plans for hog confinement projects.
     Iowa has 16 million hogs -- a 14 percent increase from 1980 and the largest hog population in the nation. And for the third straight year, the state is seeing record numbers of construction permits issued for livestock operations.

In Canada, Ontario pork producers no longer have to pay the Interim Trade Action Defense Fee effective December 7, 2005. The interim fee of $0.80 per hog marketed was implemented in June 2004 to pay for the cost of Ontario Pork’s defense against countervail and antidumping trade actions launched by the United States.
     Following a vigorous defense by Ontario Pork and the Canadian pork industry, the International Trade Commission ruled in April that the US hog industry had not been injured by Canadian live swine imports. All expenses incurred by Ontario Pork in this matter have now been recovered.

MaxiVac Excell 3 - Three Strikes against swine flu
Three Strikes against swine flu

A scheme to cut greenhouse gas emissions from pig manure has become Mexico's first project to win approval under the Kyoto Protocol rules on investing in poor countries, the project's developer said on Tuesday. It is designed to achieve reductions of 121,689 tonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent.
     The scheme, which covers 23 farms, has gained United Nations registration under Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), said Ireland-based AgCert International in a statement. "We are delighted to be the first company to have a CDM project registered in Mexico and we will now be moving toward certification as soon as possible," said AgCert's chief executive officer Bill Haskell.

In the most recent efeedlink China hog report, live hog prices generally continued to edge higher in the week ending Dec 5, as the build up in hog inventories has eased slightly in recent days. Hog raisers in some provinces including Guangdong continued to make losses. Reduced number of hogs released into markets nationwide lately have lent some support to hog prices.
     Hog prices in the provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Guangxi remained stable, along with the numbers released into local markets. While the negative impact of bird flu on poultry consumption has improved pork demand, this has not lent much support to local hog prices.

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* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 5 new features this week:

Factors affecting backfat 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 low back fat 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.

Organic Acids as Potential Alternatives to Antibiotic Growth Promoters for Pigs
By Zdzislaw Mroz, Wageningen University and presented at the 2005 Banff Pork Seminar - In the context of phasing-out antibiotics for growth promotion and prophylactics against enteric diseases in pigs within the EU, a particular interest is now paid to the antimicrobial potency of various carboxylic acids, and of short chain fatty acids (SCFA), in particular.

Nebraska Teeth Clipping - Have You Tried to Quit?
By Duane E. Reese and Barbara E. Straw - Results from several experiments were reviewed to collect information on the value of piglet “needle-neeth” clipping. The incidence of facial and udder lesions generally is increased when teeth are left intact.

Pork Central Hog Market Thoughts for December 1 2005
By Al Prosch, Nebraska University Pork Central Coordinator - The December lean hog futures contract prices held strong during the Thanksgiving week. Prices across all contracts rallied, and with the December 05 contract at $62.25/cwt, or approximately $46.00/cwt on a live weight basis, we are starting December in a good price range.

Tech Talk: Benefits of organic manure
By BPEX - The benefits of organic manures are not taken into account by Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules because the intention is to reduce nitrate leaching.

That's all for this week.


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