World Pork Expo: Genesus' Jim Long Expects Strong '17 Pig Prices in US, China & EU

10 June 2017, at 12:10am

ANALYSIS - Jim Long, President and CEO of Genesus Genetics, shares expectations for 2017 pig prices in the US, Canada, Russia, China and the EU, as well as global drivers of the swine industry.

"In the US, we're seeing small expansion. Today, producers are making good money, and the prices have gotten stronger," said Long. "It should be a very good summer for producers in America and Canada. Probably in the fall, it will not be as good."

The big market mover in North America right now is expansion of slaughter plants with one - Prime Pork - recently starting production in Windom, Minnesota. Seaboard Triumph Foods plants in Iowa and Michigan are expected to start production later this summer, which will change the dynamics of demand for hogs and be beneficial for all producers, Long said.

As for global prices, Long says Chinese pig prices will stay strong. Russian prices will remain steady, and Europe will continue to benefit from their export capacity to Asia.

Global Swine Outlook

"China's been the big story for the last two years. The huge liquidation they had a couple years ago of sows going out of production has driven prices up significantly," he said. "Profitability's still there. Pork imports primarily from Europe, but a lot from North America, have supported both the European and North American prices. In Europe today, hog prices are extremely good. Producers are happy and they're making money."

Russia's strong right now and are building their herds with a plan to get to self-sufficiency. Ultimately, they want to have supplies to export.

In the European market, the Spanish industry is very aggressive - it's the only EU area that's growing.

"They've done a fantastic job in Spain capturing the Chinese market," Long noted. "The packers have been there, and they work hard. We are working some in Spain ourselves. The Asian market is changing some of the product that is produced in Europe. They want darker meat in Asia. They want more marbling or taste in their product versus a leaner product, which has been the European tradition."

Global Industry Drivers

Drivers in the global swine industry include continual producer consolidation meaning there will be fewer producers producing more pigs.

"We're going to see continual genetic technological improvements, which will be available for all producers no matter the size," Long said. "That's one thing with the swine industry - there's no technology that is controlled by any one entity. Anybody who has interest to stay competitive and maximize their production has the ability to capture the technology or acquire the technology."