Genesus Global Market Report Canada – Waiting for China (or Godot)


Bob Fraser – Sales & Service, Genesus Ontario 

I reference the famous Theatre of the Absurd play by Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot* because here in Canada our wait for better days from China is feeling all to similar. Like for Godot we wait and hope but seemingly he never shows up.

*Waiting for Godot” is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), wait for the arrival of someone named Godot who never arrives, and while waiting they engage in a variety of discussions and encounter three other characters.

So it has been with China. With the devastation of ASF in China and beyond conventional wisdom seems to be something equating to 25% of the world’s pigs are gone!

Simple Economics 101 would say that that fact should certainly do you some good. However here in Canada, we continue to wait and hope. Approximately a year ago March we had a nice futures lead speculative run. Ultimately proved a tease and relatively short-lived.

Since that time the market has mostly gone the wrong direction. With geopolitical issues leading to tariffs and for a time last year a straight-out ban for Canada. We seemingly no more than get that lifted and we have coronavirus adding insult to injury. Theatre of the Absurd indeed.


Monthly Hog Market Facts – Net Returns Farrow to Finish 2019

January (-$29.79), February (-$33.43), March (-$27.16), April  $36.50, May $47.33, June $29.96 – First 6 months $3.90

July $6.27, August $22.33, September (-$32.26), October (-$25.54), November (-$27.84), December (-$30.09) – For year 2019 (-$5.46)

January 2020 (-$29.41)

As you can see above more negative than positive numbers and a negative average for the year, bleeding continues. It makes one not even want to consider where we might be without exports to China.

“Canada exported about 63% of its pork production last year. That does not count live exports to the United States. The export share compares to 61% in 2010 and just 40% in 2000. U.S. export share of production last year was 23% compared to 19% in 2010 and 7% in 2000.” 

– Kevin Grier, Market Analysis and Consulting
Canadian Pork Market Report, February 2020 –

As one can see Canada has long been export-dependent for its fortunes in the pork business and increasingly so.  The US is now increasingly discovering the pros and cons of that game. As Kevin Grier further outlines below this is a hard game and as of late the EU appears to be the major winner

Losing Export Share 

“In 2010 Canada supplied 20% of global imports. In 2019 that share had declined to just 15% of the world’s imports being supplied by Canada. Canada’s losses were broad-based losing share to all major markets except China and Mexico.
Interestingly, despite the massive growth in U.S. production, it supplied about a third of global import demand in 2010 and about the same in 2019. The EU was the big global export leader as its tonnage more than doubled. It supplied 29% of world import demand in 2010 and 41% last year.”

– Kevin Grier, Market Analysis and Consulting
Canadian Pork Market Report, February 2020 –

It appears that as the North American industry becomes more and more export-driven the volatility increases. Particularly for the producer at least. This seems to be part of the push for ever-increasing integration – placing pork as the profit centre and pig production as a cost centre.

Here in Ontario, Progressive Pork Producers (3P) recognized this trend some 20+ years ago. They chose to integrate up to Conestoga Meats. A producer coop owning a plant that now slaughters 38,000 hogs per week. They share the packer margin that is adding fifty dollars plus presently to the above margins.  After many challenging years looks like a pretty good idea presently.

Manitoba has integrated the other direction, down.  Maple Leaf Foods has a considerable integrated production base. Hylife, a large production base with a sizable packing plant in Neepawa MB, has just been purchased 51% by CP, a massive integrated Thai company. Canada, whether the integration is up or down, appears to be rapidly following the US model. Whence the independent producer?

Article Source: Danish agricultural newspaper LandbrugsAvisen

Written by Einar Bo Thomsen on January 18, 2020

Article has been translated to English from Danish

Interview with Jørgen Lindberg – Director, Scandinavian Farms-China

Scandinavian Farms Drops Danbred

and chooses Genesus


It will be pigs from Canadian Genesus, who will play the lead, when the major reconstruction of the Danish-owned Scandinavian Farms Pig Industries starts in China.

Jørgen Lindberg, Director of Scandinavian Farms Pig Industries, Lianyungang, China.

You have had pigs from DanBred since you started in China in 2013. Why do you now switch to Genesus?

‘It is an important decision when choosing, which genes to build your herd on. Therefore, we have examined the market and the various suppliers very thoroughly. Overall, we think we get the best solution with Genesus, both when we look at the agreement and the terms, and when it comes to the pigs we get from Genesus.”

Were you not satisfied with DanBred’s pig?

“Yes – the pigs from DanBred have the best genes in the world, and it went well. We had both a nucleus herd with 1,600 DanBred sows that we owned together with DanBred, and a production herd with 14,000 sows and the production of 350,000 slaughter pigs annually. But we have learned that pig production in China is not the same as in Denmark. We cannot expect our employees out here to manage the pigs as we are used to in Denmark. That is why we are now switching to pigs that do not need near the same thorough care to produce good results”

What is it that the pigs from Genesus can?

“With the Genesus sows we get about 16.5 piglets per litters compared to DanBred’s 17-18 piglets. In contrast, the birth weight of the Genesus pigs is quite a bit higher and the pigs are stronger. In Chinese conditions, we believe that it is an advantage with fewer, but in turn stronger piglets, which easier will get all the way to slaughter. As another important factor, feed is 60 percent more expensive in China than in Denmark. Therefore, it is important that the pigs are strong from birth so that they utilize the feed better and reach the slaughter weight faster”.

Genesus is honoured that Danish-owned Scandinavian Farms has chosen our Genetics. We believe the preceding article summarizes the advantages of Genesus.


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