BPEX Export Bulletin - March 2010

The British Pig Executive's (BPEX) Export Bulletin for March 2010 reports pig industry trends from around the world.
calendar icon 30 March 2010
clock icon 11 minute read



The European markets generally are characterised by ample supplies of meat impacting a pressure on prices, while on the other hand, indications are that winter soon is coming to an end, and Easter is approaching with the first warm sunshine urging people to go outside and take their barbecues out, thus impacting increasing prices. Right now on the European market, fresh legs as well as other cuts are sold at an unchanged price level. The British bacon market remains under pressure. The market situation on third countries remains unchanged compared to the latest weeks.
(Sources, Danish Crown, Tican, Danish Agriculture and Food Council)

Tican increases its sales efforts

Tican has hired new people for the sales department. The new jobs are established in order to add value to the way that Tican wishes to manage and serve its customers in the future. Increased focus on the individual customer and his or her needs will be an even higher priority in the future sales effort. Firstly, Tican will visit customers in Japan and explain the new initiatives, which they also will benefit from. In the UK, Tican has in Direct Table entered a new trade agreement with the supermarket chain Sainbury’s, and the new Product Manager, Frank Christiansen, is already busy optimising both existing and new products for this purpose.
(Source, Tican)

The requirement of loose housing sows can reduce pig production

Prospects are that at Bornholm, slaughter pig production will fall by 25 per cent over the next four years. It is caused by the EU requirement stating that sows should be in loose housing as of 2013. It means that every fourth pig on Bornholm – equivalent to 100,000 – will disappear, should the old buildings not be renovated. However, it is not affordable and it is not possible to get the investment financed because of the economic crisis in the farming sector. Should production on the island decrease so much, it will be too small and Danish Crown may have to close its slaughterhouse there.
(Source, DR)

Ongoing disagreement on a new collective agreement

The Food union, NNF, and Danish Industry failed to agree on a new collective agreement covering approximately 16,000 workers in the food industry and slaughterhouses. After more than a two hours’ meeting, the conciliator had to conclude that the parties are too far apart from each other to reach an agreement. So the scene is set for the parties to be covered by the conciliator’s final mediation proposal, informs NNF. Previously, the parties in vain attempted to negotiate on their own but the negotiations broke down 10 days ago. The negotiations in this field have been made in light of threats from Danish Crown, which is keeping a close eye on the negotiations, while considering the plans for the future of slaughterhouses. The outcome of the considerations may be a plan that can lead to a large scale closure of pig slaughterhouses. The requirement made by the slaughterhouse is a substantial reduction in salary for employees. Late on Sunday night (28 March), the two parties agreed on a proposal from the conciliator.
(Source, All media)

Danish Slaughterhouses - payments Week 12
Slaughterhouse Danish Crown Tican
Slaughter pigs (70.0 - 86.9 kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 1.147*
Euro 1.107
Sows (Above 129.9 kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 0,868*
Euro 0.801
Boars (Above 109.9 kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 0.734*
Euro 0.671
*A change in payments according to meat percentage and payments for transport to the Danish Crown slaughterhouses have had the impact that the quotes increased by €0.040 for slaughter pigs and by €0.067 for sows and boars. Accordingly the Danish Crown quotes are higher than the ones from Tican.


Charcuterie and health

Charcuterie products used to have a poor image in terms of health. The negative image caused by high fat and salt content seems to progressively disappear. For ham only, there are eight different references with reduced salt content. Altogether the health range of charcuterie products amounts to €110.8 million, which represents 1.5 per cent of total charcuterie retail sales in CPM. From a distance, it seems that health ranges have a limited impact on sales but very few consumers know that:

  • Herta reduced the fat content of the very popular Knacki sausages by eight per cent during the last two years
  • The average fat content of a slice of cooked ham is three per cent
  • Before 2013, the fat and salt content of all charcuterie products will have to decrease by five per cent

Therefore, the total charcuterie market which increased by €1.63 billion within five years probably benefited very significantly from the efforts of the industry to reduce not only the fat content but more importantly the salt content of all charcuterie products. In value, total retail sales of cooked ham almost reached €2 billion in 2009.


Demands from abattoirs for livestock remain measured and prices will remain stable in Plérin this Thursday. The end of the month will slow down sales. Only the approach of the beginning of the month could boost the market. It’s still to confirm.


Like every year, in this period, demand remains correct, offers limited and exchanges fluid. Prices will remain firm.


Offers are sufficient to cover the demand. This context would result in firm prices for all cuts. The beginning of the month will help the meat market.



The marketing of pig meat is more animated now on the wholesale markets. In Hamburg, pig meat even was the focus of business. Increased prices were achieved for sales of hams, loins, collars and chops. Sales of shoulders, bellies as well as fat articles were stable but nothing more. Sow meat was sold at mostly unchanged prices. Despite the still large offer of pigs for slaughter, prices remained stable. Until 21 March 10.8 million pigs were processed this is an increase by 2.8 per cent or 300,000 head compared to the same period in 2009. The sunny weather raises the hope for the barbecue season to start soon and the popular cuts will be in strong demand in due course.

Danish Crown relocating jobs?

Following the food union NFF’s above mentioned refusal to accept pay cuts, Danish Crown is now considering to relocate 600 jobs abroad, mainly to Germany. The consideration is based on the significantly differing wages: labour costs in Germany are only half as high as in Denmark where average slaughter costs sum up to DKK100 (ca.12 GBP) per slaughtering (Germany, DKK44; Poland, DKK28). Danish Crown had asked the Danish workers to accept a pay cut of 20 per cent.
(Source, Lebensmittelpraxis)

Tönnies support Animal Welfare research projects

Clemens Tönnies has founded the non-profit organisation, B.&C. Tönnies Forschung (research), to encourage and support research projects on animal welfare focusing on animal production. The financial base will be secured by the Tönnies Fleisch; a 12-member board of trustees has been appointed to guarantee both independence and scientific expertise.
(Source, afz)


Meat product week

The Dutch food board, PVE, intends to emulate the BPEX bacon and sausage weeks. PVE is now planning a meat product week from 13 to 19 September with the aim of improving the products’ image.


Norel and Erebus in France

Spanish additives and raw material for animal feed supplier, Norel, has appointed the company Erebus as its new agent for the French market. Based in Saint Malo, in the heart of the Brittany region, Erebus is managed by Jacky Marchand, who has an extensive experience of the market. He has been working in the premix and feed industries, and also has been distributing feed additives such as flavours or organic minerals for several years. Brittany covers only six per cent of the France’s total area but it produces more than 60 per cent of the pigs (about 14 million per year), 35 per cent of poultry meat and 43 per cent of the eggs.
(Source, Allaboutfeed)

Animal welfare

Spain comes under attack because of animal welfare issues. The EU has sent a report to the Spanish Authorities, highlighting the continuous non-fulfilment of animal welfare during transport (Regulation EC No 1/2005). Problems with transport drivers’ authorisations, travel records, animal conditions during transport and ordinary inspections have been denounced by the EU. Spanish Authorities have 2 months to mend all these aspects, or otherwise, the European Authorities will turn to European Union Justice Court.
(Source, 3tres3)


Spanish company, Cárnicas Vilaró, has announced economic problems and the consequent labour force adjustment plan. The Spanish company has an asset of €124 million and a debit side of €99 million. It owns three slaughterhouses but only one of these is subject to the labour adjustment.
(Source, Eurocarne)

In March 2009, the Regional Cooperative, CRAPE, producing cereals, dairy products and Iberian cured hams in Salamanca, declared temporary receivership, asking for creditors because of the deep crisis suffered by the Iberian pig sector. The debt of CRAPE rose to € 10 million, and there were around 100,000 cured hams immobilised by the province court.
(Source, Elgranjamon)

Spanish company Jamones Blázquez, announced its recent acquisition, with facilities for producing 340,000 hams every year and employing over 40 people.
(Source, Elgranjamon)

Breeds and genetics

‘Topigs Ibérica’, the leader in pig genetics leader in Spain, will manage the Duroc and Pietrain centres that the company owns for all European supply. Moreover, they are improving all their protocols in order to achieve a more efficient genetic progress
(Source, Ediporcguia)


This week, all the European markets kept constant in pig prices (€/kg carcass), except Spain where the price has decreased by six Euro cents/kg carcass, because of a continuing increase in pigs on offer.
(Source, Agrodigital)

Slaughterhouse Lleida 18.03.10 Zamora 23.03.10
Piglet 20 kg 44.0 €/Unit (+0.00) 52.0 €/Unit (+0.00)
Live fattened pig 1.170 €/kg (-0.047) -



Slaughterhouse Lisbon 15.03.10
Fattened pig – Carcass E 57% 1.480 €/kg (-0.030)


Increasing pig industry

Focusing on the plan of providing the country with its own products, including meat, the construction of another huge farm for pig breeding is planned in Primorsky Krai on the basis of an existing livestock farm in Yemelyanovskiy district. The new complex is expected to facilitate the production of 17,000 tonnes of pork annually and increase the number of pigs slaughterings to 73,000 in the region. The construction of an animal feed mill with the capacity of 75,000 tonnes is planned as well. Currently, Primorsky Krai produces 5,400 tonnes of pork per year and is only 49 per cent self-sufficient.

Spreading disease

In Kubanskiy, Novopokrovskiy district of Krasnodar Krai, another case of African swine fever was confirmed. As a result, 326 pigs had to be culled.


Pig statistics

As of 1 March this year, the number of pigs on all farms increased by 16.7 per cent or 1.115 million pigs, compared to the results of the same date in 2009. when 7.8 million pigs were counted.


Prospects of animal breeding

The Belarusian Ministry of Agriculture discussed the performance of the animal breeding industry at one of the recent meetings. The officials planned to increase last-years’ results of milk production by 11.9 per cent, cattle numbers by 13.5 per cent, pig numbers by 10.6 per cent and poultry by 13.2 per cent in 2010.


Trade retaliation?

Rumours are rife that Mexican authorities are looking to impede the half-million tonnes pork trade between the US and Mexico in retaliations to the strict constraints imposed to Mexican trucks entering the USA, contravening the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


Government subsidies to cut back production

The Canadian farmers are going to remove almost 32,000 sows from the production supported by the government, and hence they will reach a total reduction of 10 per cent or approximately 136,000 sows. It is the fourth and final round of cut-backs with grants from a fund holding C$75 million. This time, around 431 farms agreed to close down production. The Canadian stock of sows is 1.3 million animals. In addition to several years with low prices, farmers have also suffered due to a strong Canadian dollar. Canada’s total pig stock has declined by 4.5 per cent last year and it is now at its lowest level for 12 years.
(Source, Landbrugsavisen)


China agreed to reopen its market to imports of US pork, ending the ban that went in place after the outbreak of the H1N1 flu last year.

GERMANY - Pork Prices Hamburg Market Week commencing 22 March 2010
Cut Name Closest Export Manual Code No. Price Range
(Euros / kg)
Round cut leg 51121 2.20/2.35
Leg (boneless, rindless max fat level 3mm) 51121 3.00/3.30
Boneless Shoulder 56200 2.25/2.35
Picnic Shoulder 56120 1.60/1.85
Collar 56130 2.20/2.35
Belly (bone in, ex-breast) 55100 1.60/1.75
Sheet Boned Belly (rindless) 55210 1.50/1.75
Jowl 50230 0.75/1.00
Half Pig Carcasses U Classification 1.72/1.92

SPAIN - Pork prices Barcelona Market Week commencing 22 March 2010
Cut Name Price Range ( Euros/kg)
Carcases (secondary grade) 1.408/ 1.414
Gerona Loin Chops 2.15/2.18
Loin Eye Muscle 3.18/3.21
Spare Ribs 2.43/2.46
Fillets 5.33/5.36
Round Cut Legs
Cooked Ham 1.98/2.01
Rindless Picnic Shoulder 1.49/1.52
Belly 1.86/1.89
Smoked Belly with Spare Rib Section Cut Off 2.29/2.32
Shoulder Chap or Head Jowls 0.93/0.96
Back Fat, Rindless 0.63/0.66

March 2010

Sponsored Article

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.