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Newsletter 19th December 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 19th December 2005
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Due to the Christmas and New Year break please be aware the next newsletter will be on the Tuesday 3rd January 2005. The site will however be updated over the festive period so there is no need to go without!
* Events / Promotions
Pig Journal Vol 55 - Read and Order here

* This Weeks Industry Showcase
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* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

This week we start in the US, where some lawmakers believe consumers have the right to know they're eating meat produced in America, and are trying to re-instate the law included in the 2002 Farm Bill but never implemented to do just that. Supporters of country of origin labeling, say it will boost consumer confidence and fatten the wallets of livestock farmers by creating more demand for U.S. meat.
     Opponents believe COOL will cost too much money for little or no benefit. They don't believe most consumers are willing to pay the cost of program, which will be passed on by processors. Opponents think it is too burdensome for packers and farmers.
     Under COOL, all muscle cuts of beef, lamb and pork; ground beef, lamb and pork; farm-raised and wild fish and shellfish; perishable agricultural commodities like fruits and vegetables and peanuts must be labeled at retailers to indicate their country of origin.

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain say that slaughter barrow and gilt weights continue to run at record high levels. For the week ending November 26, barrows and gilts in Iowa-Minnesota averaged 271.5 pounds and all barrows and gilts under Federal Inspection averaged carcass weights of 201 pounds. This was a record high for both of these weight series.
     Average carcass weights for barrows and gilts in 2005 are expected to average close to 198 pounds, which is 11 pounds above the average weight in 1999. The good news is that the percentage lean for slaughter hogs in 2005 is also a record high, they say. Record high weights and record high percent lean is a real success story for the U.S. hog industry.

The NPPC last week criticized the EU’s stand on agriculture tariffs and subsidies as “untenable” and “holding hostage” the World Trade Organization negotiations now taking place in Hong Kong.
     NPPC international trade counsel Nick Giordano, who is in Hong Kong for the trade talks, urged the EU to reduce its agriculture duties, particularly on pork. The EU protects its pork producers through quotas, high tariffs and a web of non-science-based health restrictions on imports.

Nationwide, times are good for pork producers like Scott Long, in part because of popular low-carb diets and rising exports to countries where worries about mad cow disease have reduced beef consumption. With the holiday ham season here, pork producers are enjoying near-record prices. "We're busy," said Long, 47, during a recent tour of his 15-acre ranch south of Stockton. "Saturdays, we'll have people waiting in line."
     Hog farmers across the country are seeing a boost in sales. In 2004, the last year for which figures are available, the industry nationwide sold 20.5 billion pounds of pork, up from 19.9 billion pounds the previous year, according to estimates from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Manitoba Pork Council is expressing its frustration following news that Canada has imposed provisional antidumping and countervailing duties on unprocessed grain corn imported from the United States. Last week the Canada Border Services Agency announced, effective immediately, imports of unprocessed US grain corn will be subject to provisional antidumping and countervailing duties totaling $1.65 US per bushel.
     MPC Chair Karl Kynoch says, while the biggest impact of this duty will be felt by Canada's livestock industry, it will have a minimal impact on American corn growers.

Within the UK food industry, new research has revealed that suppliers of fruit and vegetables and fresh meat, fish and poultry are the most likely sectors to experience consolidation. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the least likely sectors for consolidation within the UK food market are the fruit squash, sugar and sweeteners, and preserve sectors.
     David Cockburn, director at Grant Thornton Corporate Finance, said: "Consolidation through mergers and acquisitions or portfolio re-alignments, and through company failures, has been a feature of the food industry for over 100 years. "As external factors such as demographic changes, retailer price pressures and increased competition from overseas imports make themselves felt, food suppliers are having to make their business strategies increasingly innovative and cost-effective.

Aurofac / Aureomycin - Justified, Reliable
Aurofac / Aureomycin - Justified, Reliable

The British pig industry needs to lobby for an Nitrates Vulnerable Zone breathing-space or there will be another sharp decline in the national herd, says the NPA. The industry should also seek funding for a campaign to extol, to arable farmers, the yield-boosting virtues of slurry.
     The Irish have shown the way ahead when it comes to coping with new, stricter NVZ. In Ireland, the government has recognised pig farmers need more time to find extra landowners to take their slurry, or the national herd will be decimated.

With the exception of Parma Ham production in Italy, Britain has the highest average cost of pig production at 111.4p/kg, according to BPEX. These costs include a significant amount of depreciation and if this is excluded production costs fall to 96.3p/kg.
     Average cost of production in all participating EU countries is quoted at 100.8p, but was 93.8p at the start of the decade. The average GB Adjusted Deadweight Pig Price for 2004 is quoted at 102.55p leaving a typical producer with a loss of almost 9p/kg deadweight for every pig produced if all depreciation costs are included.

As the trading year draws to a close, buyers and sellers are reflecting on a year of relative pig price stability, according to FWi. But with producer returns in many cases failing to match production costs, very few producers will be ending the year in a stronger financial position than at the start.
     The GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price slipped slightly to 101.68p/kg this week compared with its overall 2005 average of 103.94p/kg. Spot quotes remained relatively firm with bacon trading in the 104–107p/kg range up by an average of 5p/kg compared with December 2004.

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

The multi-million dollar market in fake crop protection products is spreading across Europe, putting UK farmers at risk of unwittingly using ineffective pesticides, agrochemical company DuPont, has warned. Criminal gangs are increasingly targeting crop protection products, believing the industry to be a soft target, according to DuPont's European anti-illegal activity product manager Tom McHale.
     Unfortunately for growers, spotting fake products was pretty difficult, he said. "It looks like the genuine article - you're talking about very small differences in packaging. The first a grower will know is when the crop dies." That was because the contents bore no resemblance to the genuine product in most cases, he said. "Fakes have either very poor quality active ingredient, sometimes at a very much reduced rate, or even none at all."

In Malaysia, the movement of pigs from two farms in Tanjung Sepat near Sepang has been stopped after several of the animals were found to have been infected with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). The disease was detected two days ago. A team of veterinarians combed the area and stopped the movement of pigs from the farms.
     Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Kerk Choo Ting today said some of the animals were infected with the "Type O" viral strain, similar to the one which attacked pigs in Penang recently.

In their protective armor of color-coded plastic hats, face masks, gowns, gloves and rubber boots, the production line workers at Charoen Pokphand Food's Saraburi factory could be mistaken for workers in a biological warfare facility. In some respects they are, reports the International Herald Tribune.
     Charoen Pokphand Food, Thailand's biggest agribusiness and food conglomerate, has set itself the goal of becoming "the kitchen of the world." But as the biggest exporter of chicken from the world's fifth-biggest chicken exporting country, the company is also trying to figure out how to maintain growth and profits in the face of mounting international fears of an avian flu pandemic.
     The company is also pushing forward with plans to diversify its product range and "balance the risk," Adirek says. The company is building a $10 million factory to produce cooked pork for Japan, taking advantage of the lower costs of breeding pigs in Thailand than in Japan. Last year it bought a sausage factory from its parent, Charoen Pokphand Group.

The Titan Boar from JSR Genetics

Company news

Bob Brcka recently joined PigCHAMP, Inc. as the company's new Marketing Manager. In this capacity, Brcka will develop and implement programs to advance the use of PigCHAMP products and services. Brcka brings extensive experience to his new position.
     He received an agricultural journalism degree from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa. Previously, he served as advertising/sales promotion manager and retail marketing manager for Land O'Lakes, Inc. Additionally, he was director of marketing /strategic planning for Pioneer Hi-Bred International. Most recently, Brcka was the business process manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Des Moines, Iowa.

With a distinct lack of sushi bars in the East Yorkshire village of Beeford, international pig-breeding company ACMC treated a delegation of Japanese visitors to a buffet luncheon, which included a very traditional British delicacy - ham sandwiches!
     Apparently, they were eagerly consumed and much appreciated by the party, comprising ten large-scale pig producers from the NK Trading Group in the south of Japan. Led by Ms Ayano Oka, they made the trip to the UK to evaluate British genetics, before travelling on to Spain and Germany.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., (BIVI) announces the addition of Chris Beard and Douglas Skartvedt as sales representatives for the company’s swine division. Both have more than 10 years of swine health sales and production experience.
     Beard most recently served as swine industry specialist for the swine business unit of Pfizer Animal Health. He received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind. Beard will service customers across the United States. As a BIVI swine division sales representative, he will provide team support in the distribution and sales of the company’s broad portfolio of swine vaccine products.

V-Drinker - No More Height Adjustments
ARATO V-Drinker - No More Height Adjustments

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 5 new features this week:

Manage Debt to Your Advantage
By Dr. Dennis DiPietre and published by PigCHAMP - One of the most basic ideas in the wise use and management of debt is something called debt structure. It’s a good time to review this concept since many producers have been paying down debt rapidly in the last 19 months and are beginning to take debt on again, often under different terms or perhaps a new loan agreement.

A Comparative Analysis of Two Hog Firms from Iowa
By Brent Hueth, Maro Ibarburu, and James Kliebenstein, Iowa State University - The study looks at business organization and coordination of specialty-market hog production using a comparative analysis of two Iowa pork niche-marketing firms. They describe and analyze each firms management of five key organizational challenges: planning and logistics, quality assurance, process verification and management of "credence attributes", business structure, and profit sharing.

NADIS Pig Disease Focus - December 2005: Twisted gut in pigs
By NADIS - “Sudden” death in the grower pig is a not uncommon finding in the modern pig herd. One of the most common causes of such losses is rotation of the intestine within the abdomen about all or part of its attachment to the body underneath the spinal column. Such a twist will cut off the blood supply to the gut, causing gangrene and rapid death. The condition may be seen sporadically or in outbreaks.

US Pork Outlook Report - December 2005
By U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service - This article is an extract from the December 2005: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, highlighting Global Pork Industry data.

Pork Central Hog Market Thoughts for December 15 2005
By Allen Prosch, Pork Central Coordinator, University of Nebraska - Feed costs are at historical lows. March 2006 corn futures closed at $2.01 on December 8, 2005. More importantly, when this contract closed below $2.10, interest and volume in the contract increased rapidly.

That's all for this week.


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