All pig farmers are equal – but some gloomier than others

November 2012

The November issue of Whole Hog Brief leads with an analysis of the latest UK pig herd census data and Tesco’s new commitment to offer farmers a price for pork that reflects feed price changes. It seems that some parts of the United Kingdom are reducing sow numbers much faster than others and understanding how the United Kingdom’s regions are behaving is key to forecasts of where UK pig production is heading. Understanding where Danish pig prices are going is crucial to our views of the global pork market and we have the views of the chief economist at the Danish Agriculture and Food Council in the latest issue.

Our analysis of the Global Pig Price Index suggests that a cyclical downturn looks to be underway. Pig prices in the EU are falling back after their recent rocket-like performance.

Canada’s export sales seem to be holding up but there are warning signs for the USA’s pork export sales growth in the latest trade data shown whilst Australia’s exporters had a better month in August according to their most recent data. The Japanese pork market and the USA’s exports to Japan seem to have stalled and the lack of growth in the South Korean pork import trade continues.

VION’s retreat from the UK is now full scale and the Danish government is also retreating from the “fat tax”. Danish Crown’s recent final results and its dividend payments to its farmers are impressive – as is Tican’sannouncement of its bonus payments to its farmer suppliers. In Canada,  Maple Leaf Foods’ acquisition of the Puratone hog farms facility and Maple Leaf’s  results for Q3 take up the headlines.

Dr John Strak, Editor Whole Hog