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W11: Weekly Pork Update

Updated Mar 22, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W11 in the global pork landscape. In summary, European pork production fell by more than 1.3M MT to 22.1M MT in 2022, down 5.7% to the lowest level since 2014. US pork export volume and value totaled 236.77K MT and USD 643.4M in January, up 13% and 16% YoY, respectively. Brazilian pork export volume and value in the first two months of 2023 amounted to 167.9K and USD 397.3M, up 14.9% and 28.9% YoY, respectively. In Italy, African Swine Fever continued to spread across Northern parts of the country, especially in the Piedmont and Liguria regions. Lastly, Australian pork production is forecast to drop by 3% to 425K MT in 2023 due to the high cost of production and declining consumption.


Decrease in Production of All Types of Meat in 2022 (Mar 14)

According to preliminary data from the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat), the total production of beef, pigs, poultry, and sheep decreased by 1.7M MT compared to 2021, down 4.0% to 41.25M MT. This was particularly evident in pigs. According to Eurostat, 12.7M fewer pigs were slaughtered in reporting slaughterhouses in 2022. The largest decreases were recorded in Germany, Belgium, and Romania. Total EU pork production fell by more than 1.3M MT, down 5.7% to 22.1M MT, the lowest level since 2014. Only in very small countries, such as Latvia, Greece, and Luxembourg, pork production increased compared to 2021.

The Planned Restructuring of the European Pig Sector (Mar 14)

High feed and energy prices and environmental restrictions are putting pressure on pig farmers in the European Union (EU), leading to a reduction in operations. Additional factors facing production are the outbreaks of African Swine Fever in Central Europe and reduced pork demand from China. With falling sales to China, EU exporters have diversified their export destinations. However, these alternative markets, mainly Asia, cannot compensate for the reduction in sales to China. Furthermore, domestic consumption is decreasing, particularly in Germany. All these negative factors in the market, together, led to a record drop in the total hog herd and also in the breeding stock in 2022. With a lower breeding herd, the supply of pigs for slaughter will inevitably decrease this year. Less availability of animals for slaughter will also stimulate the restructuring of the sector. In 2023, pork production is expected to decline by 0.75M MT carcass weight equivalent (CWE) to 21.75M MT, and pork exports are forecast to fall to the 2016-2019 level at 3.75M MT, almost 500K MT less than in 2022.

EU Pork Production at Lowest Level in Almost a Decade (Mar 16)

For European pork producers, the last 12 months have been challenging with input costs soaring, further outbreaks of ASF, new greening requirements, and the consumer cost of living to name but a few headline obstacles. This has led to pig meat production for the region falling to the lowest annual volume since 2014 in 2022, to a total of 22.1M MT, a YoY decline of 5.6% (-1.3M MT). All key producing nations saw a significant decline, but the most noticeable was Germany. Although Germany has been recording production declines since 2017, the annual decline has only been in the region of 2-3%, however, in 2022 the annual decline stood at almost 10%. A loss of nearly 0.5M MT in 12 months. Poland, Spain, Denmark, and Belgium each recorded annual production declines between 110K-180K MT in 2022.

The EU Community Pig Herd Decreased by 5.2% In 2022 (Mar 16)

The community pig herd fell by 5.2% in 2022, to 134.3M heads, according to data published by the European Commission based on surveys carried out at the end of the year. Therefore, the downward trend that was already observed and that affects almost all the Member States of the European Union continues. In Spain there has been a drop in the census of pigs for the first time in many years; however, in the other large producers in the European Union, the herd was already declining due to a confluence of factors, including the incidence of African swine fever or the increase in production costs aggravated by the war in Ukraine. Germany, the second producer of pork meat behind Spain, already registered a decrease of close to 10% in 2021 compared to 2020 and again in 2022 saw its workforce reduced by just over 10%.

NGOs Disown EU Agriculture Commissioner’s Greenwashed Flagship Pig Meat Report (Mar 16)

Green groups are up in arms over a recent Commission-drafted report on the sustainability of the pig meat sector, slamming it as a greenwashing exercise and disowning the conclusions which purportedly reflect the views of the expert group of which they were part. The report, which is due to be presented by EU agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski at a meeting of EU agriculture ministers on Mar 20, is the outcome of a series of meetings of the European pig meat reflection group. The group was first announced by Wojciechowski, who has been vocal on the issue of pig meat sustainability, back in February 2022. Its aim was to review the sustainability of the pig meat sector, from socio-economic dynamics to environmental and climate challenges, especially in light of the economic fallout caused by a series of crises, including the COVID pandemic and the further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Europe. 

EU Pig Supply Smallest in 10 Years With Netherlands Stable (Mar 16)

Last year, significantly fewer pigs were slaughtered in the 27 member states of the European Union than in previous years. 236.96M pigs were caught, compared to 249.57M the year before. In 2021, production was record high. Nevertheless, it is ten years since fewer pigs were slaughtered in the EU than last year. In the Netherlands, the number of pigs slaughtered remained constant, at just over 17M according to EU figures. Production fell most sharply in Germany. Nearly 5M fewer pigs were hooked there last year but the market leader, Spain also gave in. Last year, 56.65M pigs were slaughtered there, compared to 58.37M in 2021. In Poland, about 2M fewer pigs were slaughtered last year than in the previous year, and in Denmark, the decrease was almost 1M pigs.

EU Countries Agree to Exclude Extensive Livestock From Industrial Emission Standards (Mar 18)

The EU countries have agreed on their position to negotiate the revision of the Directive on Industrial Emissions, which will reinforce environmental requirements in pig and poultry farms and, for the first time, also for cattle, but which leaves livestock out of the scope of application extensive. The position agreed upon by the Twenty-seven, who will have to negotiate the final text with the European Parliament during the Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of the year, also toughens the requirements for pig and poultry farms with respect to regulations. This is a legislative adjustment to achieve the EU's climate commitments, which was based on a proposal from the European Commission that sought to cover all farms with more than 150 animals, including cattle, to reduce methane emissions or ammonia, among others. 


New Regulations on Animal Welfare Published (Mar 13)

Royal Decree 159/2023, of March 7, was published, through which various decrees relating to animal welfare were modified. In the specific case of pigs, Royal Decree 1135/2002, of October 31, concerning the minimum standards for the protection of pigs, for which more specific requirements are established, is modified. Specifically, there are new values ​​for the maximum density of animals on farms and new conditions in relation to food, water, feeders, their environmental conditions, and the availability of handling materials for the animals. The ultimate aim is to reduce the need to practice piglet tail docking. The existing farms will have two years to carry out the necessary adaptations.

One of the Largest Pig Slaughterhouses in Europe Opens Its Doors in Zafra, Spain (Mar 15)

One of the largest pig slaughterhouses in Europe, with a capacity to slaughter more than 900 pigs a day, will be inaugurated on Mar 16 in Zafra (Badajoz), a project in which merchants from the Spanish manufacturing industry participate. The corporate purpose of macro-matadero, which is located on some 50ha of land in the municipality of Zafra (Badajoz), is the slaughtering and cutting of all kinds of pigs and the use of derived fresh products and by-products, as well as marketing and export. The initial investment exceeds USD 21.52M (20M euros), of which six have been provided via financing by the regional government. 

United States

Lean Hog Futures Kickoff W11 Lower (Mar 13)

Lean hog futures were mostly lower on the steady to lower cash during the session and technical activity. April was down USD1.22 at USD 86.22 and June was USD 0.17 lower at USD 102.60. Cash hogs closed lower. The cash hog market continues its inconsistent trend. With more available market-ready hogs, processors are running the show. When more numbers are needed, they’re more aggressive and bidding up to move big runs, but when they have what they need, they’re backing off. Demand, overall, has been relatively strong on the global market and domestically and that’s helping provide some needed support in the market. Barrows and gilts at the National Daily Direct were USD 2.77 lower with a base range of USD 66.40 to USD 82 with a weighted average price of USD 75.40; Iowa/Minnesota USD 1.67 lower with a weighted average price of USD 77.21; Western Corn Belt USD 1.29 lower with a weighted average price of USD 77.17; Eastern Corn Belt did not report due to confidentiality reasons.

US Pork Exports Robust in January (Mar 13)

January pork exports totaled 236.77K MT, up 13% YoY, while export value climbed 16% to USD 643.4M. Exports to Mexico, which finished 2022 on a remarkable run on the way to an annual record, set another volume record in January. Export volume for the month was a record 96.8K MT, up 11% from a year ago and 7% above the previous high in December 2022. January export value soared 40% to USD 191.2M. Demand for US pork is surging even as it faces increasing competition in Mexico, due to the suspension of import duties for all eligible suppliers through the end of 2023. Mexico also recently opened to some imports from Brazil. Pork exports to the Dominican Republic also remained strong in January, increasing 28% YoY to 8.19K MT while export value jumped 67% to USD 23.8M.

US Pork Export Sales up on Week (Mar 16)

Net pork sales totaled 35.6K MT, 62% higher than the week before, but 5% lower than the four-week average. The listed buyers were Mexico (9.9K MT), Japan (6.4K MT), China (5K MT), South Korea (4.1K MT), and Canada (2.8K MT). Shipments of 29.8K MT were 2% lower than the prior week and down 1% from the four-week average, mainly to Mexico (13.5K MT), Japan (3.8K MT), China (3.5K MT), South Korea (2.7K MT), and Canada (1.6K MT).

Lean Hogs Finish Down (Mar 16)

CME April lean hogs finished down 1.650 cents at USD 1,846.37/MT (83.750 cents per pound) and set their lowest price since March 7 at USD 1,843.51/MT (83.575 cents). Hog futures are too high based on where cash prices and the cutout are trading. The pork carcass cutout dropped by USD 1.99 to USD 86.38 per hundredweight (cwt), according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Hams sank by USD 6.34. The USDA said separately that average hog weights rose to 287.1 pounds in the week ended March 11 from 285.9 pounds a week earlier.

Lower Dressed Weights Trim the First Quarter of Pork Production in the US (Mar 16)

ERS attributes feed costs, PRRS, and economic uncertainty for producers marketing animals earlier in 2023. US pork processors harvested fractionally more hogs last month than in February 2022 but overall produced less pork. Federally inspected hog slaughter for February 2023 was 0.4% higher than a year ago, at 9.9M head; while estimated FI pork production, at 2.16B pounds, was down 0.2% from the year prior. According to the USDA Economic Research Service's Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook for March 2023, the contributing variable for these figures was dressed weights, with February 2023 weights down nearly 1.4 pounds from February 2022. 

USDA Long-Term Forecasts for Pork Production and Consumption (Mar 16)

Pork production will reach 14M MT in 2032, a number that represents an increase of 11.7% in relation to the estimated total in 2021. Compared to other proteins, pork will grow at a much higher rate than beef, even if it is outpaced by growth in poultry production. From 2023, pork production is expected to be higher than beef, widening the gap between the two years after year and predicting that 1.25MT more pork will be produced than is estimated for beef in 2032. Pork meat will be the one that will most increase per capita consumption in the period 2021 – 2032 (10.2%), reaching 25.5 kg/inhabitant in 2032, followed by chicken (9.7%) and turkey (1. 3%) with consumptions that will reach 48.1 and 7 kg/inhabitant at the end of the period respectively.

Research Aims to Develop Boars More Tolerant of Gestational Heat Stress (Mar 17)

In utero heat stress of boars is a significant threat to pork production, and a University of Nebraska–Lincoln reproductive physiologist is leading a research team that aims to develop boars that are more genetically tolerant of gestational heat stress. In the United States, about 6M sows a year produce litter after exposure to gestational heat stress, a threat that is increasing with climate change. At an average of 11 animals in a litter, that’s 66M piglets affected each year in the US alone. Researchers have known for decades that direct exposure to summer heat stress dramatically impairs sperm production in adult males. In addition, new evidence demonstrates that exposure to in-utero heat stress, or IUHS, also impairs boar sperm production, decreasing counts by about 24% and increasing the proportion of abnormal sperm by about 42%. That renders the semen poor quality, said Amy Desaulniers, assistant professor of veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences and the project’s principal investigator. 


Germany Confirms Eighth Swine Fever Outbreak (Mar 14)

A new outbreak of African swine fever has been confirmed at a farm in Brandenburg, bringing the total number of outbreaks in domestic pigs in Germany to eight. Officials also confirmed that two animals that died late last month in Cottbus had fallen victim to the disease. Since July 2021, three outbreaks have occurred in domestic pigs in Brandenburg, followed by another on a farm 12 months later. In addition to Germany, six other European countries have reported ASF outbreaks in farmed pigs this year, with a total of 2,212 cases in Europe. Romania has seen the most outbreaks, followed by Poland, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Germany’s Significant Decrease in the Slaughter of Pigs in 2022 (Mar 15)

In 2022, 10.5M pigs were slaughtered, a significant decrease of 9% compared to 2021. This decrease brings the number of pigs slaughtered to a level even lower than in the crisis year 2019. With a share of 60% in terms of weight, the pig sector remains the largest contributor to slaughtered animals, with 1.03B kg of pig meat every year. 


Brazil and Australia Open Talks for Agricultural Trade Agreements (Mar 13)

The Brazilian and Australian governments have opened talks aimed at forging new agricultural trade agreements, according to a statement from the Brazilian agriculture ministry on Mar 17. Brazil aims to export pork to Australia while the South American country in turn could start importing Australian wheat and barley under a potential pact. To implement the agreement, Brazil and Australia must negotiate a reduction of bilateral trade tariffs at the World Trade Organization, according to the statement.

Brazil Resumes Positioning of Pork Towards China, Chile and Hong Kong (Mar 14)

At the end of the first two months of 2023, international sales of pork meat made by Brazil accumulated 167.9K MT, which represented a growth of 14.9% compared to the same period last year. In terms of value, these exchanges resulted in an income of USD 397.3M, reflecting a YoY increase of 28.9%, based on what was reported by the Brazilian Association of Animal Proteins (ABPA). Ricardo Santin, president of the organization, attributed this performance to a rebound in demand from China, a trend that he explained began in the second half of 2022, approaching 2021 levels. Between January and February, China positioned itself as the main destination for Brazilian pork, absorbing 73.1K MT, 37.8% above what was imported in the first two months of the previous year. The ABPA reported that other relevant destinations during the first two months were Chile, with the purchase of 13.5K MT, after an increase of 93.6%; and Hong Kong, where the presence of the Brazilian pig increased by 4.9%, up to 14.9K MT. Specifically, in February, exports from the South American territory stood at 78.6K MT, 10% more than YoY, while the value did the same at 25.4%, generating USD 184.9M.

With a Visit to the Health Agency of South Korea, Paraná Wants to Accelerate Pork Sales (Mar 15)

Inspectors from the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA), South Korea's sanitary agency for the analysis of products of animal and plant origin, should come to Paraná in the coming months to visit slaughterhouses and pork slaughterhouses as part of the State approval process for export to the Asian country. The visit will take place after an invitation made by the delegation from Paraná, led by Governor Carlos Massa Ratinho Junior, on Mar 15. In addition to the governor's agenda, a team led by the CEO of Invest Paraná, Eduardo Belkin, visited an innovation center maintained by the South Korean government focused on the process of accelerating startups.

Cost of Pork Production in the Three States of the Southern Region (Mar 15)

The survey of the cost of pork production carried out by Embrapa based on new technical coefficients showed a monthly increase in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, while in Paraná there was a slight decline. The cost shows a decrease in relation to the same period of the previous year, which, however, has not been updated and, therefore, loses its comparative effect during 2023. It is true, however, that pig farmers continue to suffer losses, given the prices received in pig commercialization remain below the cost of creation. In Rio Grande do Sul, for a cost of USD 7.59/kg (R$7.05), the selling price reached USD 5.89 (R$5.47), signaling a loss of more than 22%. In Paraná, the cost reached USD 7.41 (R$6.89) and sales USD 7.25 (R$6.74), equivalent to a charge of 2.2%. In Santa Catarina for a creation cost of USD 7.67 (R$7.13), the sale price reached USD 6.31 (R$5.86), indicating losses of 17.8%.

CSF Vaccination Campaign in Alagoas Ends the 3rd Stage (Mar 16)

The Brazilian Association of Swine Breeders (ABCS) and the Official Veterinary Service (SVO) carried out the third stage of the Vaccination Campaign against Classical Swine Fever (PSC) in Alagoas. The disease is highly contagious and can cause great damage to swine production. The initiative was free and vaccinated 116.79K pigs in 4,572 properties in Alagoas, a state that is part of the PSC's Non-Free Zone (ZnL). The ZnL comprises 11 states in the north and northeast of the country and represents about 50% of the Brazilian territory. The initiative seeks to facilitate the growth and structuring of the pig farming chain in the region, which represents an important consumer market, as well as safeguard the health status of the Free Zone (ZL) of PSC, which comprises 16 Brazilian states. Vaccination has provided financial benefits to producers in Alagoas and, for the president of ABCS, Marcelo Lopes, the future of expanding pig farming and pork consumption in Brazil lies in the northeast region of the country.

Pig Farmer’s Purchasing Power Recedes in São Paulo (Mar 16)

The drop in live animal prices in recent days has been reducing the purchasing power of pig farmers in São Paulo compared to the main inputs of the activity, corn, and soybean. According to researchers from the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea-Esalq), the pressure on animal prices comes from the weakening of demand by the industry for new batches of pigs for slaughter. In view of this, Cepea calculations show that on Mar 14, pig farmers in the region of Campinas (SP) managed to acquire 5.26kg of corn with the sale of a kilo of pork, 0.7% less than on the previous same day. As for soybean meal, the pig farmer could buy 2.71kg of the derivative with the sale of a kilo of pork, a decrease of 0.8% in relation to the volume of the previous same day.

The Average Pork Cost in the South Region of Brazil Registered a Slight Increase in February (Mar 16)

Embrapa's survey, through its Pig and Poultry Intelligence Center, pointed out that the cost of live pig production in the South region showed a slight increase in February. The average cost in February based on the average costs indicated for the three States in the Region reached USD 1.34 (R$7.02), meaning a monthly increase of close to 1%. As pointed out in the opening month of the year, the parameters for calculating the cost were changed and, as a result, began to present a lower value. Apparently, the monthly cost reached a reduction rate of between 10% and 12%.


Buy-Out Scheme for Pig Farms Approved (Mar 13)

The European Commission approved, under EU State aid rules, a USD 215.38M (€200M) Flemish scheme to compensate pig producers for reducing or entirely closing their production capacity. The aim of the scheme is to reduce nitrogen emissions in the agricultural sector that result from pig production. The scheme is open to micro, small, and medium-sized companies operating a pig breeding unit in Flanders. Under the scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants amounting to up to 120% of the loss of value of assets, namely of pigs and facilities, related to the closure of capacity. The scheme will run until June 30, 2025.


This Is Not the End of the Rise in Pig Prices in Poland (Mar 13)

According to analysts, the last few months have been a time of further strong increase in the purchase prices of pigs in Germany, and thus also on the domestic market. The increase in the purchase price of pigs is supported by the reduced supply of pork due to the low profitability of its production in 2020/21, with the relatively strong EU demand for pork. An additional factor contributing to the increase in purchase prices of pigs is the continuing strong cost pressure among its producers. According to the analysis, in the period from January to December 2022, the value of Polish pork exports (livestock, meat, and processed products) increased by 15.7% YoY compared to a decrease of 4.9% in the same period of 2021, which was due to higher prices received by exporters and lower sales volumes. The purchase price of livestock in January was USD 1.74/kg (PLN 7.59), +89.0% on an annual basis, and the price of feed for pigs was USD 0.48/kg (PLN 2.11), +16.0% on an annual basis. As a result, the livestock/feed price ratio was 3.59 in January compared to 2.49 a year ago, indicating a clear improvement in the profitability of production.

The Polish Pig Market Is Mostly Taken Over by Corporations (Mar 14)

The Polish Association of Pig Breeders and Producers (POLSUS) presented information on the current situation of the pig market in the country and in the world. It shows that in Poland the market is largely taken over by corporations. According to POLSUS spokesman Bartosz Czarniak, there is stagnation in the pig market in Poland and Germany. ISW exchange sessions end with small price deviations, and the manner of conducting the auction and the number of animals sold indicate a slim chance of changing the price at the moment. On the Small Stock Exchange, the price was set at USD 2.54/kg (EUR 2.36) in class E. For a month, there has been an observation of price fluctuations in the range of USD 2.53- 2.54/kg (EUR 2.35-2.36) on this trading floor, which further confirms the belief that the price is stable. This is reflected in the VEZG parquet, which has not changed its price since mid-February and the rate for the Odra River is currently USD 2.45/kg (EUR 2.28) in class E.

Export of Pork Products From Poland (Mar 15)

Processed products found buyers mainly in the European Union countries representing 62% of the volume, including mainly on the German market with a 14% share and 31K MT, Danish with 7% and 16K MT, and Lithuanian with 5% and 10K MT. Significant importers of pork products from outside the EU were: Great Britain with 27% and 60K MT, Ukraine with 5% and 10K MT, and the USA with 4% and 10K MT. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development together with the National Support Center for Agriculture supports the activities of exporters of meat products by organizing fairs and business meetings, which promotes and adds credibility to Polish food on foreign markets. The aim of these activities is to diversify the export directions as much as possible and to direct meat products also to non-EU markets, for example, to Asian countries, but also to Africa and North America.

United Kingdom

Processor Concern as Pig Numbers Continue to Tighten (Mar 13)

Pig numbers remain tight as the end of the first quarter of 2023 approaches, with the SPP lifting another 2.04p to nearly 210p/kg in W10, a welcome step up from disappointingly small hikes over the previous two weeks, according to Thames Valley Cambac. As for Europe, the big movers were France, Ireland, and Spain (up 5.6p, 2.95p, and 3.9p respectively), some prices were down slightly in sterling terms because the euro has weakened slightly, although in Euro terms these were all stand on. The cull sow price also stood on. TVC pointed out that they are approximately USD 1.08/kg (£1) more than they were this time last year. 

Pork Trade Declines in the UK During January (Mar 16)

Total pig meat imports for the UK reached just under 60K MT in January 2023, falling 2.1K MT (3.4%) from December 2022. The volume of pig meat imported has dropped 19.1K MT (24.1%) from January last year. Shipments from the Netherlands and Germany have seen substantial falls, down 51% (11.6K MT) and 44% (8.1K MT) from January 2022 levels, likely a result of lower production and therefore reduced supplies available. There has been growth in imports from Denmark, up 1.1K MT (8%), Ireland up 880MT (19%), and Belgium up 620MT (32%). Import volumes for all product categories fell between December and January, with the exception of fresh/frozen pork which recorded a marginal increase, up 1.6% (403MT). However, YoY imported volumes of fresh/frozen pork fell by 23.4% (7.6K MT). 


There Will Be Enough Ham at Easter, but the Prices Will Put Hungarians Off (Mar 16)

When it's Easter, Hungarian families have ham on their tables, even if they can squeeze the price of the delicacy out of their wallets, which have been hit by unfavorable economic effects. Real wages have been falling for four months now, and the purchase value of salaries is falling more and more. The rapidly rising food prices must be financed by lower wages. Europeans have the highest general inflation, and within this, food prices also rose the most in Hungary, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) measured general food inflation of over 40% in the last five months. In addition to these two areas, there are many other burdens on family coffers, which raises the question of whether you will get Easter ham. "There will be ham on the shelves of the stores, our member companies are prepared for the holiday season," Martina Mostisch, executive secretary of the Association of Hungarian Butchers, told Index.


The South of the Krasnoyarsk Territory in Russia Quarantined Due to African Swine Fever (Mar 16)

Quarantine due to African swine fever (ASF) has been introduced in certain areas of the Minusinsk district of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. In mid-March, information was received about the death of pigs in a personal subsidiary farm in the village of Malaya Minusa, Minusinsk district. Specialists took samples of pathological material and diagnosed African swine fever. "Currently, activities are being carried out on the territory of the Minusinsk region to localize the African swine fever virus," the press service said. The quarantine will be valid until April 14, 2023. At this time, it is forbidden to visit unauthorized persons in the episodic outbreak, except for employees who will eliminate the outbreak.


African Swine Fever Continues to Spread Across Northern Italy via Wild Boars (Mar 14)

Although there has not been any new evidence in the Lazio area near Rome since September, it has been detected in the Piedmont and Liguria regions and has increased dramatically since the turn of the year. According to the Ministry of Health, the animal disease is spreading to the west and east of the original area of infection. There were around 200 cases of African swine fever there last year; meanwhile, in early March, there will be a good 400. At the Suinicoltura Congress in Cremona at the end of February, the head of the national ASF reference laboratory, Francesco Feliziani, criticized the slow pace of animal disease control. The funds for the construction of the necessary protective fences of about 170 km flowed hesitantly and were not enough. An attempt to involve hunters and animal rights activists in a joint effort to reduce the wild boar population also failed. 


Chinese Hog Production Declines on Smaller Sow Inventory (Mar 15)

Chinese hog production in 2023 is forecast to decline 2% to 700M head due to a lower, on average, sow inventory in 2022 compared to 2021, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reported in a new Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report. The reduction comes after low hog and pork prices in 2022 forced many producers to reduce their sow inventories in 2022, although the inventory did rebound late in the year due to a recovery in hog prices. FAS China staff member Alexandra Baych noted that animal diseases, such as African swine fever (ASF), are expected to be endemic, increasing production costs for the sector. However, she said that the effect of ASF outbreaks on commercial production has become limited as producers appear to have adjusted production practices to manage outbreaks. The 2023 Chinese pork production forecast has been revised higher to 55.5 M MT as demand for pork products is expected to strengthen and producers are able to better manage animal disease outbreaks without affecting overall production volumes. Baych also relayed that variability in pork and hog prices is expected to be less extreme in 2023 than in prior years.

China’s Pig Farms Battle New Outbreak of African Swine Fever (Mar 15)

A rise in African swine fever infections in China is likely to reduce hog production later this year, farm managers and analysts said in W11, pushing up prices in the world's biggest consumer of pork as demand recovers. The incurable disease has plagued China for years, with an initial wave in 2018 and 2019 killing millions of pigs and leading to a dramatic decline in meat production that has roiled global markets. Chinese farms have significantly improved hygiene and procedures since then to reduce the impact of the virus, but it still circulates constantly, often increasing in winter. Infections this year began to rise relatively late in the season, around the Lunar New Year holiday in January, when millions of people traveled after China relaxed its COVID restrictions, three managers at pig farming companies and analysts said. 

With ASF Outbreak in China, Papers From Brazilian Slaughterhouses Heat up in the Stock Market (Mar 17)

An outbreak of African swine fever in China threatens meat production in Asia and could increase export demand for Brazilian meat in 2023. With the news spreading through the market on Mar 16, the largest meatpacking companies listed on the B3 were among the biggest rises of the day in the Ibovespa portfolio, the main stock index of the exchange. At the end of the session, JBS shares rose by 3.79% to USD 3.81 (R$19.98), followed by Marfrig shares, up 3.35% to USD 1.35 (R$7.10). Minerva closed with gains of 2.16%, trading at USD 2.16 (BRL 11.33). The BRF closed stable after advancing up to 8.22%. Not transmissible by eating contaminated meat, African swine fever can lead to death in pigs, which is why it has great potential to reduce the production of this meat in China later this year, putting pressure on prices. The Asian giant has pork at the base of its diet, with many traditional dishes based on protein. 


Slaughter of Iberian Pigs in Montanheira 2022/23 (Mar 16)

ASICI presented the results of the 2022/23 mountain range. As of March 2, 2023, the data reflect a 12.6% decrease in acorn pig slaughter compared to the previous campaign, minus 86.22K animals. According to data recorded at ÍTACA (Identification, Traceability, and Quality System), in the 2022/23 campaign, 596.27K acorn pigs were slaughtered, against the 682.49K animals slaughtered in the previous mountain range. This drop in numbers is marked by the severe drought suffered the previous year, which caused a reduction in the number of acorns available and, consequently, a reduction in the entry of Iberian pigs into the montados for fattening. Of the total number of slaughtered animals, 86.7% (516.99K animals) correspond to Quality Standard acorn pigs and 13.3% (79.29K animals) to PDO production. Of the total pigs slaughtered in Montanheira 2022/23, 62.1% correspond to black seal (370.56K), acorn 100% Iberian and 37.8% to red seal, corresponding to 7% acorn 75% Iberian (41.82K animals) and the remaining 30.8 % (183.89K animals) acorn 50% Iberian.


Australian Pork Production Expected to Decline in 2023 (Mar 15)

Australian pork production is forecast to decline 3% in 2023 to 425K MT swt after stronger-than-expected production in 2022. Pig farmers in early 2023 are experiencing steep increases in costs of production, which should have a negative impact on slaughtering pigs and pork production at the end of 2023. Pork consumption is forecast to decline slightly in 2023 to 630K MT (CWE). Consumption in 2022 was the highest on record, and is estimated at 642K MT (CWE), but may in part be related to importers taking advantage of lower EU pork prices compared to the previous year. Analysts predict that pork prices imported from the EU will be higher in 2023, which could lower the amount of pork imported into Australia this year. Australia imports over a third of its pork needs and, for 2023, imports are expected to remain stable at 240K MT (CWE). Exports, which are very low and represent only around 8% of production, are also expected to remain stable in 2023 at 35K MT (CWE).


Begging the Government Not to Let the Pig Raisers Fight the Barbaric Pigs Alone (Mar 13)

Northern Pig Raisers Association appeals to the government and political parties to accelerate the suppression of " smuggling pigs " that still have a continuous smuggling process causing domestic prices to continue to decline. Mr. Suntaraporn Singreewong, president of the Northern Swine Raisers Association, said that Thailand had been facing the problem of “savage pigs” for more than a year, but was still unable to completely crack down and prosecute the maximum penalty against smuggling traffic. They want to set a plan to speed up the suppression of illegal pork as one of the ways to promote pig farming and maintain long-term price stability to improve the quality of life of farmers in the livestock sector to create sustainable career stability.

Swine Prices Are Expected to Stabilize (Mar 17)

The price of fattening pigs is USD 2.33- 2.56/kg (80-88 baht). For piglets weighing 16k/pig, the price is USD 63.97 (2.2K baht plus / minus 82). All regions have decreased pig production. Both the quantity and weight of fattening pigs awaiting sale. While the current farm price is still lower than the average farming cost in the first quarter of 2023, which is USD 2.93/kg (100.70 baht). The meeting resolved to adjust the base price at the front of the farm from the actual sale during the week plus USD 0.12/kg (4 baht) to reduce damage to farmers


Live Hog Price in Vietnam in W11 (Mar 19)

Live hog prices on March 19 in the Northern market remained unchanged compared to Mar 18. The live pig market in the North in W11 increased by USD 0.043- 0.13/kg (1K - 3K VND) which, live pigs in localities including Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, and Ninh Binh were being purchased for USD 2.04/kg (48K VND), an increase of USD 0.043- 0.085/kg (1K - 2K VND). Live hog prices in the Central and Central Highlands were flat compared to the day before. In W11, the live pig market increased and decreased by USD 0.043- 0.085/kg (1K- 2K VND). Specifically, live pigs in the two provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An were being traded at the same level of USD 2.04/kg (48K VND), up USD 0.043/kg (1K VND).


USDA Lowers Japan’s Pork Import Forecasts for 2023 (Mar 14)

The USDA released its latest report on forecasts for the evolution of Japan's pork production which is estimated, with close to 130K MT, while imports would be reduced by 5% to 1.47M MT compared to 1.52M MT in 2022. Demand for frozen pork, which goes mainly to Japanese processing companies, will provide steady sales of processed pork products in 2023, but high opening stocks mean 2023 imports will decline. Japan's pork imports in 2022 increased by 7% YoY. The growth of frozen imports was led by Spanish pork, which was marketed at competitive prices. Increased imports have made ending stocks in 2022, 22% higher than in 2021. This overstock will be reduced slowly but not sufficiently through 2023. Chilled pork imports were flat in 2022 as Japanese importers cater to a recovery in tourism and other demand drivers, a trend likely to continue into 2023.


Paraguay Expects Pig Farming to Recover in 2024 (Mar 13)

The Paraguayan Association of Pork Producers (APPC) explained that a recovery in the sector can only occur in 2024, as they consider that these twelve months will be a transition period. Of the 120 farms formalized in 2022, 35% closed with the crisis, 45% reduced the productive herd and only 20% are still on the production route, according to Jorge Ramírez, head of the union. Despite the negative numbers, the industry is working to reopen farms that had to stop their participation in the sector. Ramírez predicts that the situation will remain in conditions of over-demand because there are fewer producers, but they are managing new credits to overcome the sector of small and medium producers. In addition, large companies are also receiving a financial injection to stabilize themselves. 


Ukraine Is Preparing to Export Pork to Hong Kong (Mar 13)

Ukraine and Hong Kong discussed the possibility of exporting frozen pork and by-products from it, fat from poultry meat, and processed protein from it. Markiyan Dmytrasevich noted that after processing by the specialists of the State Production and Consumer Service, the materials will be sent to the Hong Kong side for consideration. As a reminder, the import of food products from Hong Kong to Ukraine can be carried out using the forms of international certificates in the absence of an agreed bilateral form. As reported, the European Union will open up to the export of Ukrainian pork within two years.

Ukraine and India Discussed Trade Opportunities in the Agricultural Sector (Mar 15)

The parties discussed changes in Indian legislation regarding the fumigation of grain imported from Ukraine. In addition, ways to speed up veterinary certification of Ukrainian pork and poultry meat, as well as meat products with the aim of their access to the Indian market, were considered. Government officials from India supported the "Grain From Ukraine" food program and emphasized the importance and necessity of continuing the "grain initiative". The First Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare of India also expressed interest in resuming imports of Ukrainian grains to their Republic.

The Average Purchase Price of Slaughter Pigs in Ukraine Increased by 4.3% (Mar 17)

The positive dynamics of prices on the carcass market continued, as a week earlier, the average purchase price of pigs in slaughter conditions increased by 4.3%. Such changes are noted in the analytical department of the "Swine Farmers of Ukraine" Association based on the results of weekly monitoring. The second week in a row for operators of the domestic cuttings market ended with a price increase of USD 0.081/kg (UAH 3) on average. Yes, most of the commodity batches for this week were sold at USD 1.98- 2.03/kg (UAH 73-75).


Local Government in Assam, India, Imposes Ban on Entry of Poultry and Pigs From Other States (Mar 13)

The government of Assam state in northeast India has imposed restrictions on the entry of poultry and pigs from other states in a bid to stop the spread of bird flu and African swine fever (ASF), officials said. The decision was announced by Assam's agriculture, livestock, and veterinary minister, Atul Bora, at a meeting on Saturday night. Bora urged livestock and veterinary department officials and swine and poultry associations to take steps to prevent soaring pork and chicken prices in the state following the ban.

South Korea

South Korea Introduced 100 Canadian Seed Pigs of 3 Breeds (Mar 14)

The Jeju Livestock Promotion Institute aims to bring in 100 pigs of three breeds in May, which include; Canadian Landrace (30), Yorkshire (50), and Duroc (20). The province decided to introduce excellent seed pigs to strengthen the competitiveness of the pig farming industry by creating a stable supply base for seed pigs. The seed pigs will be brought to Jeju after going through a selection process and disease testing.

New Zealand

Pork Industry Says Cheap Imported Meat Trumps Animal Welfare Standards in New Zeeland (Mar 15)

It is hard to sell homegrown pork products to New Zealand consumers during a cost of living crisis, even if local farmers follow better animal welfare practices than exporting countries, says pig industry body NZPork. NZPork’s chief executive Brent Kleiss said New Zealand imported large amounts of pork from countries with animal welfare standards below those required of their Kiwi counterparts, an issue his organization has been continually seeking to highlight. The country imported about 73K MT of pig, by carcass weight, in the 2021/22 financial year, with about 44K MT in carcass weight produced locally, he said. Kleiss said it was hard to sell New Zealand pork to local consumers, especially during a cost of living crisis, despite NZPork’s efforts to educate the public that imported pork was cheaper in part because overseas farmers did not have to meet the same welfare standards as applied here.


An Outbreak of Swine Fever Detected in the Center of Moldova (Mar 13)

An outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) was detected in the center of Moldova. "A case of infection with African domestic swine fever has been confirmed in the village of Mashcauti, Criuleni region. Measures are being taken to eliminate the outbreak, and the movement of animals and pork products, and wildlife reservoirs is being monitored. The population of domestic pigs and wild boars is being examined," the message says. The department noted that this is already the sixth outbreak of plague recorded in Moldova since the beginning of 2023. African swine fever is a contagious dangerous disease that does not pose a danger to humans, but causes serious damage to the livestock industry, as it cannot be treated and vaccinated.


The Taipei City Department of Health Inspected 2,115 Livestock and Poultry Meat Products for Leukotriene and 956 Food Products for Radioactive Residue (Mar 17)

The Taipei City Department of Health inspected 2,115 livestock and poultry meat products for leukotriene and 956 food products for radioactive residue. Inspection results were announced On March 16, 2023, and no leukotriene was found in the pork. They found 99 American beef products, all under the allowed limit. In addition, they found 26 violations in labeling the origin of the meat products and four violations in marking the source of Japanese food products. The channels included snack shops, restaurants, supermarkets, stores, food stores, and market vendors.

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