Danish Breeding Herd Marks Time (November 2009)

By Chris Harris, Senior Editor, ThePigSite. Our snapshot of the ongoing global pig industry trends as reported in November 2009 Whole Hog Brief. To read the full detailed analysis including all the commentary and graphical data, subscribe to the publication.
calendar icon 12 November 2009
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The latest figures from Danish Statistics show that there has been a small rise in the potential breeding herd in Denmark, according to the latest issue of Whole Hog.

The herd numbers rose by 1.4 per cent compared to last year and the sows in pig with litter rose by 2.8 per cent.

The October census shows the total number of pigs in Denmark at 12.701 million down on last year but up on the July census.

In the UK, the Whole Hog shows that although the total number of pigs is slightly down, the breeding herd has increased.

In the June census the total pig herd was 4.636 million head, down by 1.6 per cent year on year.

However the Whole Hog says that the breeding herd was up by 4.8 per cent and sows in pig were also up by 3.3 per cent.

In Canada, the Whole Hog reports that the pig herd was down by seven per cent year on year in October at 11.8 million pigs and the breeding herd was down by 4.4 per cent to 1.3 million head.

The Whole Hog says that the Canadian pig numbers have now fallen by 18 per cent over the last two years.

US Price Rally - Trick or Treat

The US pig prices have become firmer and this is offering some hope to producers, but the Whole Hog asks whether at this time of year this is a trick or a treat.

The UK is the only country to show some seasonality in prices in Europe and these rises have started to drop away.

The Whole Hog asks whether the firmer prices in the US are just a fluke caused by the weather, TV pundits, e.coli in beef or other outside forces.

It says there appears to be no support for the firmer prices and these could fall in the next cycle.

The Whole Hog shows that Smithfield Foods still heads the list of the major US pork companies despite a fall of 9.6 per cent in its sow numbers. He next in the list of "powerhouses" is Triumph Foods with a sow herd also falling but only about a third the size of Smithfield's.

IN Canada, Hytek heads the list of major pig producing companies with a 58,000 strong sow herd that has fallen by 3.3 per cent over the last year.

Big Sky Farms, which ThePigSite has just reported has applied for protection under the Company's' Creditors Arrangement Act, is the second largest producer with a herd of 42,000, the Whole Hog report says.

EU Producer Prices Carry On Down

EU pig producer prices have continued to fall over the last month.

The Central and Eastern European countries of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovenia all saw their prices fall along with the Euro zone countries.

The average price was €137.78 per 100kg with Danish prices down to €121.38 and French and Irish prices down €123.25 and €125.96. Only the German prices were about the Euro zone average.

Canadian and US Exports Fall Back

The Whole Hog shows that exports of Canadian pig meat were down by 4.7 per cent in the year to date up to August.

The drop has largely been put down to the fall in exports to China, Hong Kong and Russia.

US pig meat exports re also down. In August they reached 129,741 tonnes a fall of 21.8 per cent year on year and 11.6 per cent drop compared to the previous month.

Australia's Pork Trade Gap Widens

The Whole Hog reports that the latest figures for Australian pig meat exports fell by 23.5 per cent in August compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, Australia imported 21.6 per cent more pork year to August compared to the same period in 2008.

The figure for August alone saw a 42.4 per cent rise in imports year on year.

The latest figures from Japan show that pig meat imports fell by 9.4 per cent year on year.

In July, Japan imported 61,981 tonnes, the Whole Hog says, which is 14.1 per cent down on July 2008.

In South Korea, imports fell by 16.6 per cent in the period from January to August compared to the same period last year.

Total imports were down to 196,640 tonnes.

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