Genesus Global Market Report: EU and Spanish pork markets

With the price at € 1,451 / kg live weight, we find that we have to go back until 2014 to find a higher value, € 1.48 / kg.

28 June 2019, at 4:05pm

The big difference is that in 2014, January to June rise was 18 percent; while this year we see almost 40 percent increase for this same period. Though the price stability in Germany and the Netherlands (1.43 and 1.39 € / kg respectively), reflects there is low chance for further price rising, at this moment.

Although demand is still greater than supply, the pork meat industry has not been able to pass on these last rises on live pig price due to the slowdown in pork sales seen currently in the industry worldwide.

Feeder pig price is also high. When usually March to fall we see price decrees, this year mid-April price came to € 53 /pig (20 kg), Mercolleida, and maintain strong. Last week price was set at € 51/pig (20 kg). This is the reference price, but the actual sale price with premiums has reached € 78/20 kg pig 3 weeks ago, and at this moment around € 73 - very high value, we are in June ...

With these Feeder Pig prices, it is not that the demand went down, but there is uncertainty about the profitability of these pigs.

In the first quarter of the year there were 1,269,595 slaughtered pigs - 14,208,389 tonnes, compared to 1,227,053 - 13,650,271 tonnes in first quarter of 2018. A 3.47 percent increase for number of pigs and 4.09 percent for weight.

The tendency for average slaughter weight is to increase year by year. In 2018 was 111.7 kg compared to 107.6 kg in 2015.

However, the situation this year is breaking with all the schemes, so far this year we have an average weight of 112.4 kg compared to 113.8 kg a year ago. Piglets are more expensive than ever at this time of year and the new Pini Group Packing Plant begins to do their tests. With these data, it will be "fun" to see what is going to happen in the second semester of this year in Spain, if in addition we place this in the context of the Porcine Sector worldwide with ASF, considering China’s situation more specifically.

ASF and Spain

This is a pathology of which, here in the Iberian Peninsula, we have great experience. In the 60s an aircraft from Angola landed in Portugal and left food waste with pork. We started to know it in Spain in the 70s and it took more than 40 years to eradicate it.

This gave us the opportunity to learn to live with it, to create control systems, to detect a possible infection and delimit its dissemination, as well as to investigate the search for a vaccine.

And that is why the news came out at the end of May, that the European Commission grants funding for the VACDIVA project "A safe DIVA vaccine for the control and eradication of African swine fever", coordinated by José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, with 10 million euros.

This project has the participation and experience of two global reference laboratories for African Swine Fever (ASF) such as those of the OIE and FAO, the EU reference laboratory (EURL), six national reference laboratories of the EU (of the 10 countries currently affected by ASF), four prestigious ASF research centers, two leading global companies in vaccine production and ASF diagnostic kits.

It will also have the participation of Russian, Chinese and African laboratories giving a very useful support to the project. There will also be active participation of swine producers, agricultural associations, hunting associations and international agencies. All these will broaden the impact of the communication, dissemination and training activities of the project.