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ThePigSite Newsletter - 14 May 2012

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Monday 14th May 2012.

Jackie Linden - ThePigSite Senior Editor

Jackie Linden
Senior Editor

Editorial – Pig Industries Hit by General Economic Woes (but There is Some Good News in the EU)

The general state of the UK economy, how consumers are reacting to it and the resulting prospects for the UK red meat and dairy industries were discussed in the main session of the Outlook Conference held in London recently.

“2011 was the year it all went wrong for the UK economy,” said Head of Agriculture at HSBC, Allan Wilkinson in his presentation on the current economic climate and how it impacts agriculture. However, recent surveys point to a stabilisation in the economy as one indicator points to a greater willingness for businesses in the UK to invest, he said.

He presented data showing the consolidation of the buying power in the agricultural supply chain in the UK, which shows that consumers and farmers are squeezed by the supermarket buyers and suppliers to the industry (feed, equipment and agrochemicals), who hold the real market power lies.

The ‘Big Picture’ in terms of the red meat and dairy outlook was presented by Giles Quick, Director of Kantar Worldpanel in his presentation on consumer trends in the UK and the drivers of spending.

He stressed that red meat and dairy products are a cornerstone of UK food retailing, worth £15 billion a year. The grocery trade is using many more promotional deals on these items and there has been growth in both the budget and high-end parts of the market. Health is here to stay as an important driver of food purchases, and the concept of ‘British is best’ is important in consumers minds in the current uncertain times.

Finally, Mr Quick stressed that if retailers were to take more account of whole store value, rather than category value, it would help sales of red meat particularly, which would benefit producers and processors in that sector.

Longer term prospects for agriculture generally and on prices for red meat and dairy products in the light of the economic and consumers trends were addressed by Ken Boyns, Director of Market Intelligence at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

He said that demand for meat and dairy products will remain strong, while supply will be constrained and/or challenged. The rate of technological improvement, its level of adoption and hence, supply potential will drive world prices.

“The UK must focus on technology and global markets to remain competitive,” he told the Outlook Conference audience.

Turning to the US, the economic recovery is continuing but the rate is slowing. According to economist, Eric Trachtenberg, from McLarty Associates, speaking at the American Meat Institute Expo and conference in Dallas, consumption and residential investment have increased but falling non-residential investment could make the recovery stall.

Rabobank expects stable, slightly pressured pig prices globally in the second quarter of this year, with a modest recovery in the second half of 2012. Global pig prices have softened in recent weeks to the extent that the Chinese government announced in late April that it has initiated procurement for its frozen pork reserves, according to the report, Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q2 2011. However, pig prices are still high by historical standards in order to offset high feed costs.

In the longer term, Rabobank expects growth in global meat protein consumption to continue to lag behind income and population growth in important emerging markets, raising volume risks to processors and price risks to buyers, from processors to consumers.

Clarification has been provided – at last – on some of the vital details relating to flooring and space allowances acceptable under the forthcoming EU directive. With much of the focus on the partial ban on sow stalls, other aspects of pig housing also included in the new rules have been overlooked until now.

Finishers with concrete slats with a slot width of more than 18mm – but not more than 21mm – will not need to replace them after all. It has also been confirmed by the European Commission that producers may include the space occupied by free–access feeders when calculating 1.64 square metres of unobstructed floor area for gilts and 2.25 square metres for sows.

This news will be welcomed by many pig–keepers all over Europe. In the UK, Defra, NPA and BPEX say they have been working to prevent the rules, which come into force in January along with the partial stalls ban, from bringing the European pig industry to its knees.

Based on data collected from UK National Pig Association members and scaling that up across the EU, the organisations estimate the total cost of replacing concrete slats for the sake of two or three millimetres would have been more than £50 million (around €62 million).

Today, we have updated the look of ThePigSite to bring you the information you need for your business as well as to interest you. We hope you like the bright new format and continue to enjoy its content.

EU Pig Population – 2011
The latest estimate for the EU pig population sees the region's total number of pigs for 2011 at almost 148.6 million, 1.5 per cent below the figure for the previous year, writes Jackie Linden, senior editor of ThePigSite.

Semen Storage and Handling
Semen is damaged by rough handling, temperature shock and exposure to light, it is, therefore, important that you take care when storing and handling AI doses on your unit, according to BPEX Action for Productivity No. 30.

Alternatives to Antibiotics in Animal Health
The history of antibiotic use in animal production and alternative strategies that work are reviewed by Sandra Avant of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in the latest issue of Agricultural Research.

Food Outlook – Meat and Meat Products
Global meat markets in 2012 are expected to see a recovery of supplies in traditionally importing countries and strong competition for markets, according to the latest Food Outlook report from FAO. Near record prices are constraining consumption growth.

Emerging Patterns in the North American Pig Market
There is a widespread trend towards increasing numbers of pigs produced per sow. Ed Barrie, Sow Weaner Pig Specialist explains why and what impacts this may have on the North American pork market in the latest Pork News & Views newsletter from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Process Mapping the Prevalence of Salmonella Contamination on Pork Carcass from Slaughter to Chilling
Current processing procedures generally lead to a lowering in the prevalence of Salmonella as the carcasses move towards the cooler, according to researchers in the US who reviewed 44 studies evaluating pork carcass contamination levels at various stages of processing in plants in several countries.

Proceedings of the 2012 London Swine Conference
The 2012 London Swine Conference was held in London, Ontario, Canada on 28 and 29 March, with the theme ‘A Time for Change’.

Quinolone Resistance Genes and Antibiotic Residues in Wastewater and Soil
Research from Beijing indicates that wastewater from pig farms may be a source of genes that could facilitate the spread of antibiotic resistance after examining wastewater from the farms and soil nearby.

Living in a World of Decreasing Resources & Increasing Regulation: How to Advance Animal Agriculture
A White Paper based on information from the 2012 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) on 26 to 29 March 2012.

Veterinarians Demand Faster Diagnostics
FRANCE - Speed and accuracy are the key features that veterinarians and farmers want from diagnostic tests, a new Europe wide survey has revealed.
Canada/Ontario: Here and Back Again
CANADA - Statscan recently released its 1 April Hog & Pig Report, writes Bob Fraser, Sales & Service, Ontario, Canada.
HIPRA Present in IPVS 2012 in Korea
SOUTH KOREA - Next June, HIPRA will participate as a main sponsor in the 22nd International Pig Veterinary Society Congress, to be held in Jeju, South Korea from 10 to 14 June 2012.

   United Kingdom

OUTLOOK CONFERENCE: Conference Examines Future of UK Red Meat, Dairy Sectors
Action on GHGs Builds Momentum
Mixed Reactions to Go–ahead for Grocery Adjudicator
Subdued Demand for Pig Meat
NFU Heralds Landmark Adjudicator Bill


Sino-Ukrainian Quarantine Talks Likely to Begin Soon
Winners Emerging from the Global Economic Crisis
Market Forecast to Soften to More Normal Levels
Alternative Strategies for Keeping Animals Healthy


No Decline in Pig Prices Acceptable


Sow Housing Rules Take Toll on Pig Farmers
Towards January 2013: Group Housing Pregnant Sows


Aussie Pork Industry Refutes Bacon Tax Claim
Australia Boosts Biosecurity Measures

   United States

FSIS Issues Proposed Rule for Meat, Poultry Products
CME: Hog, Cattle Carcass Weights Higher This Year
NPPC Expresses Concern About Safeway's Decision
Pig Abuse at Tyson Supplier Documented
CME: Global Meat Demand and US Export Outlook
NFU Encourages Judicious Use of Antibiotics
Even One On-Farm Injury is One Too Many, Says NFU
Soybean Crop Higher; Supply to Dip to Historic Low
Pork Exports Post Strong First Quarter Growth
CME: Farmers to Harvest Record Corn Crop
March Pork Exports Up Compared to February
Smithfield Foods Named in Top Companies Ranking
Ag Community Embraces Call for Transparency
CME: Continued Strong Growth in US Pork Shipments
Is Ethanol Production Linked to Antibiotic Resistance?


Satisfactory Interim Results from Danish Crown
Danish Crown Planning to Adjust Capacity


Declining Live Hog Prices Buck Seasonal Trends
Advice to be Aware of Signs of Brachyspira
Improved Response to Emerging Disease Threats
Negative Spring, Summer Pork Profitability Projected


Pig Production Cost Decreased in March

   European Union

French President-Elect Will Defend CAP Budget
Boar Taint Has to Go
Slat Issue Resolved


Is the China CPI the China Pork Index?
Imported Pork Contains 'Lean Meat Powder'
Higher Revenues, Lower Net Income for Zhongpin
Slight Drop in Chinese Farm Produce Prices


Pork & Chicken Producers Assure Steady Supply

   New Zealand

Flawed Pig Meat Import Standards Must be Dropped

   Russian Federation

Russia Could Ban Brazilian Meat
Poultry Contributes to Meat Production Growth

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