Russia Hog Market

RUSSIA - This past week, while the majority of North American pork producers (and the allied fields) were in Des Moines for the annual Work Pork Expo, I was attending to the seventh delivery of 715 purebred York gilts to our partner, Ariant located in Chelyabinsk, Russia, writes Susan Wulf, Managing Director of Genesus.
calendar icon 12 June 2014
clock icon 5 minute read

I know that I have written about this company and deliveries before; yet it still amazes me that a 747 jumbo jet, filled from nose to tail with Genesus pigs can travel 5,485 miles nonstop (Chicago to Chelyabinsk) in comfort that is almost nonexistent to me in seat 43B on a commercial flight. And, I would have to change planes three times to travel the same nonstop, direct route as these girls!

The utmost care and attention is given to these animals as soon as they are selected for export. They are moved from “general housing” to a separate, off site quarantine barn for 4 weeks. During this time, the Canadian government oversees blood testing of the animals, reviews the country of acceptance requirements, all necessary documents, permits, customs among other things to ensure smooth movement of the animals.

Genesus (and our hired exporter) either loads the crated animals in Winnipeg for a direct flight to Russia, or at times, the animals are trucked down a predetermined route to Chicago and loaded at O’Hare International airport. These custom made crates, are fitted with absorbent flooring, shavings, screens and waterers for the comfort of the animal. The crates themselves are made to certain, exact specifications to ensure ease of loading both on the plane as well as the trucks. Crates can either be two or three levels. Maximum animal weight in each crate is 3000 kg (6600 pounds), with maximum animal payload on each plane at 70,000 kg (154,300 pounds).

During the flight, the payload master walks the cargo area hourly to insure that the temperature, humidity and air pressure is maintained throughout. Upon arrival in Russia, the crew is greeted by both customs and federal veterinarians who inspect the mountain of paperwork as well as the animals before they are off loaded onto trucks. Once on the trucks, the animals get fresh water, and if it is during the day, tarps are placed on the top so that they don’t get sunburned on the ride to the new farm.

Upon arrival to their new home, the animals are then placed in pens and a Genesus representative (me), my translator and the buyer’s veterinarian, as well as farm manager, walk each pen, inspect each animal for injuries that could have occurred during transport or unloading and we each count and verify the identification of each animal received. Then, after this process, we finally sign an acceptance act and deed, agreeing on all aspects of the animals sent.

See what I mean about the attention and care given to the animals as compared to me travelling economy on a commercial flight?

Genesus is doing everything it can to provide the highest quality animals to our customers whether it be from our nucleus farm in Russia or from our farms in North America.

Finally, we are seeing a very slow softening of the pork prices at the packing plants in Russia. From an unexpected and unprecedented high of 141 rubles per kilogram (1.86 USD/lb) just 6 weeks ago, this week pork prices are 120 rubles per kilogram (1.58 USD/lb) in the Krasnodar region. Current market weights are 108 kg, or 238 pounds. A drop from $442 USD to $375, a difference of $67 USD in 6 weeks.

More pork isn't being produced nor are there any slaughter animals being brought in from anywhere, so the change in price can be directly attributed to less demand in the marketplace. Two weeks ago I went to the open air market and strolled through the meat building – not very much meat for sale. More sausages, fowl and game were available than beef or pork. Several long time vendors weren’t even in their stalls. Perhaps with this drop in price the meat producers will see more sales and Russians more pork on their dinner plate.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of 2 June 2014
CountryDomestic price
(own currency)
US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)
USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 114.72 USD/lb carcass 84.89¢
Canada (Ontario) 249.51 CAD/kg carcass 83.30¢
Mexico (DF) 29.45 MXN/kg liveweight $1.02
Brazil (South Region) 3.31 BRL/kg liveweight 67.38¢
Russia 116 RUB/kg liveweight $1.53
China 12.86 RMB/kg liveweight 93.67¢
Spain 1.412 EUR/kg liveweight 86.77¢
Viet Nam 56,000 VND/kg liveweight $1.20
South Korea 5,644 KRW/kg liveweight $2.52
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