Danish Breeding Herd Back on Track (Aug 07)

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in August 2007 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.
calendar icon 5 August 2007
clock icon 4 minute read

The latest figures from the Danish Statistics Service show that the Danish breeding herd fell by 2.4 per cent since April and 0.7 per cent since July 2006.

With the breeding herd standing at 895,000 head, the Whole Hog said that while the herd had dropped back, this was a seasonal adjustment and not a sign of a fundamental downturn.

It said that the movement can be attributed to the restructuring o the herd.

The Whole Hog adds that the Danish industry sees a tough trading year ahead.

Karsten Fleming from the Danish Meat Association said that EU production is to grow modestly by 1.7 per cent from 2006 to 2007. Mr Fleming told the Whole Hog that world production is expected to increase by four per cent to 1.204 billion head with big gains in China and Russia.

The Whole Hog said that Kerstin Fleming's forecasts for Danish producers for 2007 showed a significant drop in prices in 2007 compared to 2006.

However the Danish industry has also shown that as an environmental indicator, food miles are too simple.

Research from Aarhus University shows more factors than the distance travelled have to be taken into consideration.

"No doubt it will come as a shock to many British consumers to discover that Buying British is not the most environmentally friendly way pf consuming pork," the Whole Hog says.

Greenhouse gas production from the pig supply chain

Vision for Global Meat Production

As the global population is increasing from 6.4 billion people now to 8.1 billion in 2030 and nine billion by 2050, Prof Lucianao Roppa, a Brazilian pig industry expert showed the Paradigms in Pig Science conference in Nottingham that meat production is expected to grow.

By 2015 meat consumption is expected to grow by 19 per cent, and pig meat consumption is expected to rise slightly lower than this figure at 16.7 per cent.

However the Whole Hog also warns that according to its price indicators global pig prices are at the top of the slope of the roller coaster.

It says that with an upturn since June 2006, the Whole Hog World Price Index has started to turn and it says that on previous evidence once the prices have started to turn, the downward trend could last for 12 months.

AT present, the Whole Hog says, flooding in the UK and searing heat in the rest of Continental Europe have done nothing to boost the fortunes of pig producers.

In July average EU producer prices were 7.2 per cent down on July 2006.

US Exports Slide

During May US pork exports were down by 12.9 per cent on the previous year, despite being up on the previous month by 5.9 per cent.

There was a rise in US exports to Japan of 13.5 per cent and year to date exports to Japan are 10 per cent higher.

Pork imports to Australia have risen in the face of declining production. Production fell by 5.9 per cent and imports rose by 25.2 per cent, the Whole Hog reports.

It says that despite a slight rise in exports, there are calls among producers for a kerb on pig mean imports.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Government is reported to be contributing RMB1.15 billion Yuan ($152 million) towards sow insurance payments.

The payment is in a bid to halt the soaring prices of pig meat on the domestic market.

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