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Weekly Overview: Prospects for Ukrainian Agriculture and Danish Pork

03 November 2014

UKRAINE & DENMARK - Ukraine not only faces political risks but also the challenges of climate change, low global development rates and declining margins in the products it is trading and the need to open up new markets in the face of intensified competition. In Denmark, pig farmers have been hearing of the benefits of expanding finisher facilities and the importance of biosecurity, while the country has been voting for its favourite national dish.

According to market analyst, Sergey Feofilov from UkrAgroConsult, speaking at the recent Grain Outlook Conference in London, Ukraine needs a broad range of reforms to challenge in the modern market place – not least development of the country’s export logistics.

As it stands, Ukraine is the third largest exporter of corn in the world, the sixth largest exporter of wheat, the fifth largest exporter of barley – where just four years ago, it headed the list. It is still the number one exporter of sunflower seed and sunflower oil.

The reason for this dominance in the global grain trade, which has a strong influence on the meat and livestock markets around the world, is that the soil and climate in Ukraine, particularly in the western regions, are almost ideal for farming.

Climate change has also so far been favourable to Ukraine, helping to boost yields in central Ukraine, with last season’s crop yielding around 21 million tonnes of wheat, 27 million tonnes of corn and seven million tonnes of barley.

With the total grain crop expected to reach 58.75 million tonnes, exports are expected to rise by more than 1.5 million tonnes to 33.43 million tonnes.

“There is a positive outlook with exports higher than last year and production higher,” Mr Feofilov said.

He added that the main difficulties facing the country are the cost and physical logistics of transporting and exporting the grain and other products.

Moving on to Denmark, participants at the recent Herning conference heard that there are major benefits to be gained from producing finishers in new, larger units.

This is shown by the results of research undertaken by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. The Danish Pig Research Centre (VSP) as called on finisher producers and their banks to invest in new developments.

The Danish Pig Research Centre has also stressed that a high level of hygiene ensures that as little MRSA CC398 as possible is transmitted from livestock farms to the surrounding society.

There are several strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria but one strain in particular, CC398, is associated with animals and in Denmark, it is primarily found in pigs.

To limit the transmission of MRSA CC398, it is therefore crucial that everyone working on pig farms is aware of their responsibility in this regard.

The Danes seem to enjoy eating pork as much as raising pigs. In a bid to find the top national food, the choice has been narrowed down to eight dishes, representing all the regions of the country. Six of those dishes feature pig meat.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock



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