Spain & Portugal: Hog Markets

SPAIN & PORTUGAL - On 16 November, Campofrio’s packing plant in Burgos caught fire and was totally burned, writes Mercedes Vega from Genesus.
calendar icon 18 December 2014
clock icon 5 minute read

This big corporation is partnership between Mexico’s Sigma Group and China’s Shuanghui Smithfield.

The plant was producing 60,000 tonnes between cooked and cured pork products and 1,000 people used to work at the plant at the time of the fire.

Part of this production will now be transferred to plants that the company owns in Valencia, Villaverde (Madrid), Soria, and other parts of the group in Portugal, France and Italy.

The company also owns a slaughterhouse in the same locality, which was not affected.

Campofrio Food Group is a European market leading company in meat products. In Spain, the company has nine production plants.

Globally, it has 30 production sites.

The company produces and sells its products in eight European countries and the United States and indirectly through independent distributors into 80 countries

In all,Campofrio slaughters 1.5 million head of pigs with a total volume of 41.5 million in Spain.

There is a lot of speculations about pork prices increasing because of the destroyed plant, however, the price of pork in Spain has followed the European market.

As usual, prices in Germany are still putting the market direction.

The year is ending and the swine industry in Spain has experienced very great changes since the beginning to date. In the first three quarters, the industry had been making money.

Since last September until now, the market has changed dramatically with current price below break-even.

Pricewise, this year started at 1.25 € / Kg. live weight (average for the first two quarters of the year was 1.38 € / Kg. live weight).

Today prices are at € 1.045 / Kg. live weight.

Up to July the maximum value (1.48 € / Kg. live weight) was achieved with € 1.30 / Kg. average live weight for the year and 1.35 € / Kg. live weight on a year to date basis.

Hog prices have lost 29 per cent in value from July up to now in Spain, whereas Germany lost 25 per cent.

According to data from MAGRAMA (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment) for the first nine months of the year, the sector has grown by 3.1 per cent to 31.6 million heads going to slaughterhouses.

These data mean an increase of more than a million compared to the same period last year.

As for pork production, this was at 2.6 million tonnes, up 2.8 per cent from the same period of 2013.

A report issued by the European Commission for the first nine months of the year shows EU exports of hog products at 2.12 million tons.

This represents a decrease of 7.3 per cent over the same period of 2013. The main reason for this decline has been the closure of Russian imports from the EU, but also, due to political difficulties, there was a decrease in sales to Ukraine and Belarus.

The Russian market accounted for 24 per cent of total exports of EU pork in 2012 and 2013. In the first nine months of this year only 59,907 tonnes have been exported.

Major markets where the EU has exported are: China 500,778 tonnes, representing 23.6 per cent of the total; Hong Kong 295,337 tonnes, up 13.9 per cent ; and Japan 253,788 tonnes, up 12 per cent .

However, Spain has exported 264,844 tonnes of pork to other countries in this period, which represents a 20.8 per cent increase on the same period in 2013, which amounted to 219,205 tonnes.

These data support the good work of the Spanish packing plant industry having exceeded the amounts that have been lost because of the closure of Russian borders and increasing exports to the third countries.

As for the Portuguese market, this has had the same problems as the rest of Europe, with the price going down, being in this moment €1.93 kilo carcase at 57 per cent .

The IV Congress Anavepor (National Association of Swine Veterinarians) took place in Lleida on 19 and 20 November.

This congress, which is held every two years, was attended by 636 pig vets compared with the 400 on the previous occasion.

It was a success both from a technical point of view thanks to the topics covered, and also from the point of view of attendance and networking of the attendees.

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Charlotte Rowney

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