Spanish and European Hog Market

by 5m Editor
13 February 2012, at 9:03am

EU - Hog live prices have been going down over the last weeks of December and most of January, which is usual for this time of the year, writes Javier Santamartina from Sales & Service at Genesus Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Traditionally hog prices in Spain push up a little higher around 6th to 7th week of the year. However in 2011 the prices started to increase a little bit before these weeks. This year the prices have been steady which is not normal because of higher pork available, but packing plants are freezing pork and store it up for the months ahead when the price will be higher.

Pork primal cuts are receiving a lot of pressure on decreasing value. Also Spaniards are having a hard time selling hams for this time of the year. The good news is that the amount of market hogs is lower helping prices.

In Italy, for example, the breakeven will arrive later for the national swine industry, meanwhile in other European countries with more activity on international markets, like Denmark price goes much better. In fact, just last week Denmark reinitiated selling pork to Russia.

Korea keeps the demand of belly at its maximum point and it is expected that China will continue pushing for more pork over the next months. There are concerns in Europe about how to satisfy demand from countries like Korea or China. Is USA, Brazil or EU prepared for even a higher demand? On the other hand the exchange rate between Euro and American Dollar is helping Europeans to go a little further in international markets. But also a weaker Euro makes cost of production even higher here in Europe because grains (soybean specially) and fuels are more expensive.

The International Monetary Fund IMF has released a new document showing no growth for Spain’s economy over the next 2 years. On top of that new environmental and animal welfare regulations are ready to take place in the country. Currently about 30 per cent to 40 per cent of pig farms meet 2013 standards.

At the beginning of 2011 a lot of clouds were on the horizon for pork producers. At the end the reality showed different results. If is fair to say it was not a brilliant year in terms of profits, neither was a nasty year. Most of people had breakeven and some made some profits.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for week of 30 January 2012
Country Domestic price
(own currency)
(per pound liveweight)
USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 86.75¢
US$/lb carcass
Canada (Ontario) 1.59
C$/kg carcass
Mexico (DF) 25.08
MXP/kg liveweight
Brazil (south region) 2.45
BRR/kg liveweight
Russia 92
RUB/kg liveweight
China 17.04
RMB/kg liveweight
Spain 1.16
€/kg liveweight