China’s pork imports collapse in April

The two charts reproduced in this Blog are not comfortable viewing for Western pigmeat exporters.  Certainly, if the patterns shown here are repeated over the summer then Continue reading

Hogmageddon in the autumn?

The US hog price has behaved like the proverbial dead cat in the last few months. It was falling and then it bounced – and now it’s back on the floor, twitching. I fear this may portend a very weak global hog price in the autumn. Indeed, we may finally get “hogmageddon”. This contrasts with Continue reading

What – no growth in Chinese pork imports?

The CEOs of pork processors and farmer organizations are fond of saying that there are big opportunities for pigmeat exporters to China. But do the numbers support this claim? No, they don’t Continue reading

Smithfield and Shuanghui create a Chinese puzzle

The announcement of the takeover bid for Smithfield Foods by the Chinese company Shuanghui caught some observers by surprise. But the tendency for cash-rich Chinese companies and investors to purchase productive assets, brands and know-how in the west should have been expected to spread to the food and drink sector: especially when the Chinese food sector is growing at double digit rates along with the demand for “safe, quality” food products. In the June issue of Whole Hog we devote two pages to considering Continue reading

Is H7N9 supporting the US hog price?

The first three quarters of 2013 looked set to be planned, and probably painful, for US hog farmers. After record prices and record exports in 2011 and 2012 last summer’s hike in feed prices spoilt the prospect of a winter holiday in Florida as hog margins turned negative. But, according to the census data, farmers gritted their teeth, held on to their sows,  and hoped for better weather and a big corn harvest in 2013 in the expectation that improved productivity and the age-old hog price cycle would get them through the winter of 2012/13. If and when feed prices dropped in the autumn of 2013 they expected to get their reward.

But it hasn’t worked out quite like that.

North American hog prices have fallen back in 2013 – and so have Europe’s – but not by as much as might have been expected. And yet US pork exports are Continue reading