BPEX Export Bulletin - November 2011: Week 44

by 5m Editor
10 November 2011, at 12:00am

The British Pig Executive's (BPEX) Export Bulletin for the second week of November 2011 reports pig industry trends from around the world. Among the highlights are the imminent health certificate for the UK to export pig meat to South Africa, and the EU has negotiated a new meat export health certificate with Iceland.

Subject to further confirmation from Defra, the important and long-awaited health certificate for export to the Republic of South Africa is now available under 7319EHC, says BPEX. This country is willing to start importing British pork as soon as possible with many low cost commodities but also with pork ribs, an emblematic item in South African restaurants.

The EU has also negotiated a new meat export health certificate with Iceland. It is available from Carlisle under 7396 EHC.



On the European market fresh legs are sold at slightly increasing prices. Shoulders and production meat are sold at slightly increasing prices as well. The price level of other cuts remains unchanged. Loins are sold well, whereas now collars are out of season. Exports of bacon products to the market in the UK follow a fine demand at stable prices. On third-country markets, the situation remains unchanged and stable.
(Sources, Danish Crown, Tican, Danish Agriculture and Food Council)

Pig quote will be increased before Christmas

This year by the end of November and the beginning of December, Danish Crown as something new will raise the pig quote by three Eurocents per kg. It is due to Christmas and the holidays when pigs will be put forward to avoid postponements in the beginning of 2012, and also because there are more sales of Christmas products. As of week 46, the weight limit will be lowered by 2kg to 85.9kg and as of week 47, further lowered by 2kg to 83.9kg. In week 1 of 2012, the weight limit will then be raised by 4kg.
(Source, Danish Crown, Landbrugsavisen)

5 per cent more pigs in Denmark

On 1 October there were 12.7 million pigs in Denmark according to the latest pig count from Statistics Denmark. This represents a five per cent increase compared to last year’s figures. The number of sows increased by two per cent whereas the number of piglets and slaughterpigs increased by six and seven per cent, respectively. On the other hand the number of gilts decreased by three per cent.

Consumption of antibiotics is falling in Danish pig production

Last year, the consumption of antibiotics decreased by five per cent measured by the number of doses per produced pig. The development in 2011 shows a further fall in consumption to the effect that by now the total decrease is 20 per cent. The explanation for the decrease is a development towards more treatment of the individual animal and towards focusing on the individual animal’s needs.
(Source, Landbrugsavisen)

New pig production in Viet Nam

A state-owned Vietnamese food group is going to build a new slaughterhouse near Ho Chi Minh City. The Danish Dan Pig will be in charge of the planning, design and technology. All must be delivered over five years, says Kent Skaanning, owner of Dan Pig. The Vietnamese delegation just visited Denmark where they had the opportunity to see all aspects from slurry treatment to slaughterhouses. The production will total one million slaughter pigs per year. Commenting on the problems in Danish pig production, Mr Skaanning explained that while Danish pig production is on the verge of bankruptcy and is facing a difficult economic and political situation, it is all over the world regarded as being on top. Dan Pig receives strong requests as abroad Denmark is famous for its pig production.
(Source, Ringkøbing Amts Venstreblad)

Danish slaughterhouses - payments week commencing 31 October 2011
Slaughterhouse Danish Crown Tican
Slaughter pigs (70.0-86.9kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 1.401
Euro 1.401
Sows (above 129.9kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 1,000
Euro 1,000
Boars (above 109.9kg)
Difference to last week
Euro 0.867
Euro 0.867


Subsidies for improved practices

Some investments designed to improve production practices on French pig farms are eligible to financial support via FranceAgriMer, up to 40 per cent of investments. Included in the programme are: healthcare buildings, nursery, isolation pens, cleaning and disinfecting equipment, quality of drinking water, isolation of dead bodies, traceability equipment, handling equipment, loading equipment, surveillance equipment, automatic feeding and bedding equipment, energy saving equipment, ambiance improvement (temperature, humidity, smell), compliance to EU or national standards, access to quality schemes, production diversification and integration to landscape. This support can reach €20,000 and €25,000 for young farmers and in less favoured areas. This support can only be allocated to improvement and not maintenance. Requests must be completed and sent to FranceAgriMer before 21 November. This support is accessible to all pig farms with a minimum of 20 sows and/or 60 pigs and the farmer must keep the herd for a minimum of five years. Money is paid once improvement is completed.


The four-day week (bank holiday on 1 November) is not bad for the market because our base price in Plérin remained firm (+0.2 cent). The offers are limited: according to "Le Marché du Porc Breton", slaughtering in the zone UNIORC in October has gone down by two per cent compared to last year at the same period. The demand is good, both in France and for exports.


The seasonal rise of prices continues in all categories. On the whole, the tendency should continue in the medium term. The FNP-FNCBV prices have gone up last week by +6 cents for 25-kg pigs and +€1.24 for weaners.


The market is very stable. Demand is very calm in France especially for loin and legs. On the contrary, shoulder and breast are still very dynamic for export. Prices remain stable.

Pork prices Rungis, week commencing 31 October 2011
Cut name Price range (Euro/kg)
Back fat, rind-on 0.90
Trimmings 1.45
Leg 2.28
Loin including chump 2.96
Loin excluding chump 2.66
Belly extra without trimmings 2.37



Marketing of pig meat on the domestic market is satisfactory and retail promotions are helping to increase demand. Hams are demanded in higher quantities and quotations for chops and loins are improving. The export business is satisfactory too. However, the fact that the duty free import quota for South Korea is coming to an end does impact on possible profits on this market. Also, the import ban on German slaughter pigs to Russia has caused slight insecurity.
(Source, AMI)

2013 regulations may lead to shortage of piglets

Crucial for the piglet quote next year will be the implementation of the 2013 regulations in competing countries. Hans Aarestrup, director of Danish Pig Producers, expects northwestern and southern Germany to be most affected by the 2013 regulations, which he expects to lead to a deficit of piglets. According to Danish Agriculture & Food Council, between 60 and 65 per cent of producers in northwestern Germany are ready for 2013 and just 30 to 40 per cent in southern Germany. According to Mr Aarestrup, this will result in higher demand for Danish piglets. A deficit of five million piglets before 2014 is still the most realistic scenario, he says.
(Source, Landbrugsavisen)

Pork prices, Hamburg, market week commencing 31 October 2011
Cut Name Price range (€/kg)
Round cut leg 2.30/2.45
Leg (boneless, rindless max fat level 3mm) 3.10/3.25
Boneless Shoulder 2.60/2.75
Picnic Shoulder 2.10/2.30
Collar 2.30/2.45
Belly (bone in, ex-breast) 2.40/2.60
Sheet Boned Belly (rindless) 2.38/2.58
Jowl 1.60/1.80
Half Pig Carcasses U class. 2.00/2.10


Pig health system

Vion plans to have its Good Farming Star health system working by 1 January 2012. Antibiotics usage and abattoir health reports will be monitored through the on-line management system, Farmingnet.

Nervousness about pork quality

According to the Dutch state nutrition organisation (Nevo), pork is 20 per cent leaner as it was 20 years ago. This is generally thought as a good thing as fat is shunned in Holland as much or even more than the rest of Europe. However, this could be detrimental to pork quality. Hence, Vion has launched a research programme with the NIZO research organisation.
(Source, Agrarisch Dagblad)


New product

The upmarket Duroc d’Olives pork is produced using Danish Duroc boars on Danish Large White x Landrace sows with a specific feed using a lot of olive oil by pig producers Bart and Bénédicte Mouton-Dobbels. Some 600 pigs per week are now produced in East Flanders. See
(Source, Food & Meat Le Boucher)


Major fall of Iberian pig numbers

Between 2008 and 2010, the number of certified Iberian pigs has fallen from 4.17 million to 2.58 million (-38 per cent) due the economic crisis.
(Source, Agrodigital)

Pork prices in Barcelona market, week commencing 31 October 2011
Cut Name Price range (€/kg)
Carcasses (secondary grade) 1,566/1,572
Gerona Loin Chops 2,36/2,39
Loin Eye Muscle 3,41/3,44
Spare Ribs --/--
Fillets 5,83/5,86
Round Cut Legs 2,40/2,43
Cooked Ham 2,02/2,05
Rindless Picnic Shoulder 1,60/1,63
Belly 1,96/1,99
Smoked Belly with Spare Rib Section Cut off 2,39/2,42
Shoulder chap or Head Jowls 1,43/1,46
Back Fat, rindless 1,43/1,46


Producers are frustrated

Irish producers receive low prices for their pigs and the price movements do not reflect what is happening on the wider European market claims Tim Cullinan, the Chairman of the pig section of the Irish Farmers’ Association at a large meeting of pig farmers. This is an on-going issue in Eire. No agreement was reached following a further meeting with processor Rosderra.
(Source, Irish Farmers’ Association)

Pork consumption is up...

... by a massive 10.9 per cent in volume according to Kantar Worldpanel (52 w/e 7 August). Retail prices are keener with an increase of 4.1 per cent in value. Bacon sales are up 6.7 per cent in volume (0.9 per cent in value) and sausages by 4.2 per cent (0.1 per cent in value). Obviously, these figures point out to strong food price deflation.
(Source, Bord Bía)


ASF outbreaks and measures taken to prevent its spread

In order to prevent pork infected with the ASF virus from entering the capital special road cordons were arranged on the roads entering Moscow checking all trucks loaded with pork, especially from Kurskaya and Tulskaya oblasts. As of 31 October, Rosselkhoznadzor registered three outbreaks of ASF in different regions of the Russian Federation. Currently, measures are being taken to prevent further spread of the infection. Between 29-30 October, 280 pigs were taken from private households in Kursk and slaughtered in order to stop the spreading of the disease. 13 groups, including veterinary inspectors, Rosselkhoznadzor officials, police and Emergency Control Ministry officials search for pigs in private households and slaughter them. The Governor of the city introduced quarantine until 27 November. Transportation of pigs to and from the quarantine area is forbidden.

Increased volume of simultaneous breeding

On 26 October, Miratorg, one of the leading pork producers in the Russian Federation, hit the 1 million mark of pigs that are simultaneously bred in all enterprises of the complex. This is an important milestone in the company’s development because it’s planning to produce 2, 5 million pigs per year, which means that the number of simultaneously bred pigs should be 1.36 million.


Ukrainian pork prices as of 28 October

According to the data provided by the State Statistic Committee, the average purchase price for pigs of the first and the second category was USD 2,220 per 1 tonne. During the last month the price grew by 1 per cent, and during the last year by 14 per cent. The lowest prices for pork are registered in Ivano Frankivska Oblast; USD 1,625 per 1 tonne; and the highest in Luganska Oblast; USD 2,632 per 1 tonne. As of October 28, the average wholesale pork price was USD 3.87/kg, the highest price was registered in Kyiv Oblast (USD 4.49/kg) and the lowest price was registered in Sumska Oblast (USD 3.12/kg).
(Source, the National Statistics Committee)

Import ban lifted

The ban on the import of pigs and pork from Lithuania to Ukraine has been lifted. Imports were banned since 1 June 2011 due to outbreaks of African Swine Fever registered in Lithuania.


Economic woes

Following the 2009 crisis when the country GDP fell by 8.1 per cent, the largest fall in the Eurozone, recovery is anaemic with GDP growth of 1.4 per cent in 2010 and 1.5 per cent in 2011. The number of unemployed has risen strongly to 11.5 per cent of the workforce. Public finances have also turned for the worse and the country still faces structural issues with state pension, state-owned companies and inward investment. For instance, Slovenia now ranks 57th in Global Competitiveness, a fall of 21 places in 2 years. As a consequence, although pork consumption remains at high level, consumers are looking for cheap prices.
(Source, UK Embassy, various)

The small farm issue

The Slovenian farming sector is still hampered by a lack of competitiveness due to the small size of holdings. This can be traced back to communist days when no farmer could hold more than 10 hectares of land. Since, misguided agricultural policies have privileged small family farms following the Austrian and Swiss examples, however without the higher commodity prices enjoyed by these two countries. The result is an acute lack of investment in pig farming and falling pork production. Imports are rising particularly from Germany.
(Source, GIZ)

Pork promoted

As in other EU countries, supermarkets are putting fresh pork forward for promotion with prices as low as € 3.90 /kg for loin steaks. Meat products are less so and supermarket displays are as impressive as ever.
(Source, various)


Is the bull market over?

Chinese pork prices are falling and some traders have been left exposed by the sudden downturn, having to discount heavily some consignments. This could rapidly become a rout after the Chinese New Year in January.

Import forecasts

The USDA forecasts an increase of pork imports including offal in 2012 to 1.2 m. tonnes, made of 480,000 tonnes of pork (+8 per cent) and 700,000 tonnes of offal (+15 per cent).
(Source, USDA)

Walmart stores re-open

The 13 stores closed over the last few weeks due to fraud on organic pork (see bulletins passim) have now reopened. Meanwhile, US pork is promoted in Walmart in stand-alone counters to increase the product visibility in the country. The pork is defrosted for sale. Earlier this year, the US Meat Export Federation invited a group of Chinese processors to visit the country.
(Source, various)


Exports to Korea are booming

Meat buyers from E-Mart, Home Plus, GS Retail and seven other leading Korean retailers visited the USA. The visit included meetings with suppliers of US pork and beef, a tour of Colorado State University, briefings, and foodservice and retail tours. South Korea is the fourth-largest market for US pork exports. By the end of August, it had purchased 146,627 tonnes of pork valued at $374.5 m. up 142 per cent and 192 per cent respectively over last year.
(Source, various)

Tariffs to Mexico dropped

Mexico has stopped imposing tariff for US imports. These were introduced after a trade dispute earlier this year and had been already lowered. As a consequence, the USDA expects pork exports to rise.
(Source, USDA, various)


Canadian pork for Russia

A trade mission led by Farming Minister Gerry Ritz visited Russia in October to discuss increasing trade in agricultural products between the two countries. Canada aims to displace Brazilian pork in Russia and exports have been rising over the summer. Sergey Dankvert said that the interruption of pork supplies from Brazil "has opened new opportunities to honest exporters from other countries, including Canada." Canada and Russia are planning to form a working group on the use of veterinary medicines. Canada also held a joint livestock forum with Russia in Ottawa in June. Finally, Canada Pork and the Russian Meat Union have signed a co-operation agreement.
(Source, Agra Europe)


Not bad unless you are a pig farmer

The Cypriot economy is faring relatively well and meat demand is holding despite heavy exposure to the Greek debt and some rise in unemployment with GDP forecast to fall next year. Two of the main banks, Marfin and Bank of Cyprus are exposed to the tune of £ 1.5 bn. and 800 m. respectively, a lot of money for a small country. Although some have expressed concern, the reality is that Marfin is owned by Emirates sovereign fund and that this represents only two years profit for Bank of Cyprus. Russia is helping the Cypriot government and has been buying debt with the view of protecting its large investments in the country and gain gas rights. Cyprus has found very large deposits off its coast and should benefit from it in the future. Meanwhile, tourism is up 15 per cent this year as people shun North Africa. This does not help much the relatively large Cypriot pork sector which suffers from high feed prices as the rest of Europe does and from the difficulties in Greece, its main export market.
(Source, various)


Porcine developments

Before joining the EU, Malta had high tariffs for pork and was about self-sufficient. Now, many retailers imports cheaper pork but many butchers who still market the majority of the meat prefer local pork. The local co-operative KIM counts 150 members for a total of 5,000 sows and the local state abattoir has a quota of 2,200 pigs per week. Pigs are slaughtered free of charge by government and the co-operative sell directly to retailers and processors and charge a small commission to farmers (€ 0.02 /kg + a small levy). The new Manager of the co-operative is Dr. Oliver Fendo. The main issue was the absence of an EU-approved abattoir to export surplus pork. A new abattoir was opened this summer on Gozo. Producers use UK genetics and a new AI centre and breeding farm have been opened.
(Source, Pig World)

Dominican Republic

Angry farmers

Pig farmers are resenting rising imports, most of which from the USA as endangering the whole sector. They also claim that, with producers under cost pressure, the black market for pork is booming.
(Source, Eurocarne)

November 2011