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White Knuckle Ride Continues for French Pig Industry

by 5m Editor
29 September 2008, at 12:16pm

FRANCE - While French pig producers finally started to see finished pig prices catch up with production costs in August, according to the French national agricultural statistics agency Agreste, they have yet to regain the lost ground of the past year when prices failed to cover costs.

Producers now face the prospect of the usual year-end tailing off in prices, which can be expected to last until early next year.

Finished pig numbers for August topped 2 million head, bringing the calendar year-to-date total to 16.3 million. Having drastically cut sow numbers at the end of last summer, this August's breeding stock cull total of 33,890 head was just over 10% down year-on-year.

There was a similar year-on-year drop of 6.8% in piglet slaughterings, at 24,429 head.

Pig meat exports have improved: July's monthly total of 59,000 tonnes was 16% higher year-on-year. It included significant tonnages to Russia, Denmark and Belgium.

Internal pigmeat consumption of pigmeat in France dropped to around 150,000 tonnes (total carcase equivalent) in July. This is significantly lower than at any point in 2006 or 2007.

French Pig Slaughtering Figures (adjusted for working days)
(head) July 2008 August 2008 Y-o-y change August 2008/7 Year to date (January – August) 2008 Y-o-y change in ytd 2008/7 (%)
Clean pigs* 1983373 2034493 2.1 16359073 1
Cull breeding adults 36173 33890 -10.1 295996 -3.5
Piglets 29329 24429 -6.8 200275 1
Total 2048875 2092812 1.8 16855344 1
(tonnes, carcase equivalent) July 2008 August 2008 Y-o-y change August 2008/7 Year to date (January – August) 2008 Y-o-y change in ytd 2008/7 (%)
Clean pigs* 156284 161015 2 1306972 0.7
Cull breeding adults 5193 4908 -1.6 42339 -4.9
Piglets 333 309 -3.9 2039 4
Total 161810 166232 1.6 1351620 0.5
*Class E charcuterie
Agreste

5m Editor