Genesus Global Market Report France Hog Market

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Genesus Global Market Report France Hog Market Some Delays in Pig Harvesting 

Philippe Mallétroit – Director for France, Genesus

Due to three holidays in France, but also due to closure of two slaughterhouses (Covid-19 cases) and especially to the closure of the Kerméné packing plant in Brittany, pig harvests have not been good in May. Kerméné is one of the main packing plants in Brittany with 2500 employees and about 40,000 pigs slaughtered each week.

During this period the carcass weights increased to over 97 kg (214 lbs), due to the lack of removal on the farms.

Since the beginning of June the situation seems to have returned to normal, especially at the Kerméné packing plant. However, the hog price is the same for the last 5 weeks, at 1.346 € per kg carcass.

MONTH 2019 2020 Evolution
2019/2020 (%)
January 1.170 € 1.523 € + 30.17 %
February 1.178 € 1.484 € + 25.98 %
March 1.253 € 1.555 € +24.10 %
April 1.405 € 1.491 € + 6.12 %
May 1.457 € 1.362 € – 6.52 %
June 1.525 € 1.346 € – 11.74 %

Over the first 6 months of 2020, the market price average is slightly higher than last year despite an unprecedented health situation (Covid-19) that has had a strong impact on the consumption habits of the consumers.

Week Harvested pigs
2019 2020 Evolution 2019/2020 (%)
23 381 138 330 895 -13,18
24 320 813 390 015 21,57
25 379 946 380 120 0,05
26 378 373 373 311 -1,34
Total 1 460 270 1 474 341  + 0,96

 

In June (week 23 to 26) the number of pigs slaughtered was slightly higher than in June 2019, with an average carcass weight of 1.28 kg/ 2.82 lb higher.

 

Week Carcass weight average (kg/lb)
2019 2020 Evolution 2019 vs2020 (kg/lb)
23 95.37 / 210.20 97.14 / 214.10 +1.77 / 3.90
24 95.52 / 210.53 96.75 / 213.24 +1.23 / 2.71
25 95.17 / 209.75 96.26 / 212.16 + 1.09 / 2.40
26 94.78 / 208.90 95.82 / 211.19 + 1.04 / 2.29
Average 95.21 / 209.84 96.49 / 212.66 +  1.28 / 2.82

 

Since the lockdown is complete in France and with restaurants reopening, the situation should gradually return to normal and we can expect a pork price increase for summer. Nevertheless, there is concern about the temporary closure of one of the largest German and European packing plant, Tonnies slaughterhouse in Rheda (140 000 pigs slaughtered per week). This closure will certainly have a negative impact on pigs harvesting on the German and European markets.

Labour shortage

 

One of the main problems facing pig farmers in France today is the shortage of labour. Whether you talk to a farmer in Brittany  (the main pork producing region) or in the North, or in other areas in France, they have the same recurrent problem.

Of course, it is easier for a pig producer located in Brittany to hire farm workers, especially if he offers attractive conditions (functional and modern pig farm, good salary) than a producer from a French region with a lower pig density.

To overcome this labour shortage, different means exist.

Some French producers have chosen to use foreign workers (from Eastern Europe or from Portugal, etc.). This can work very well, even if sometimes the language problem limits the transmission of information on daily work.

Other pig producers have chosen to mechanize their barn as much as possible by investing in technology such as washing robots, sow lift farrowing crates, etc. These are obviously interesting solutions, but they nevertheless require a significant investment.

Finally, there are producers that chose of a more autonomous and robust genetics that does not require precision management, nor expensive assistance to be efficient. One of our French Genesus customers manages alone 130 sows at farrowing with an average of 13 weaned piglets per litter.

What is the recipe for such success?. A robust sow will need less assistance during the farrowing process and lactation which saves time and energy. In addition, the heavy and uniform piglets at birth have enough vigor to ingest the proper amount of colostrum, which greatly reduces the pre-wean mortality rate.

Moreover, the Genesus healthy sow recognized for its high feed intake during lactation leads to increased milk production. There is no more need for extra nursing sows, or to buy expensive creep feed with added milk protein. All these tasks otherwise are time-consuming and increase cost per pig produced.

Genesus sow is one of the existent solutions for managing the lack of labour in pig farms.

Scandinavian Farms and Genesus Collaboration in China

Jørgen Lindberg,CEO of Scandinavian Farms.

Genesus is pleased to announce the successful shipment of 3 plane loads of swine genetics from Genesus Nucleus Farms in the United Kingdom to Scandinavian Farms Pig Industries of Lianyungang, China.

 

Scandinavian Farms is a Danish Corporation which established a Danbred Nucleus Herd in China in 2013. Scandinavian Farms current production capacity is 14,000 sows.

In a recent magazine article in his native Denmark, Jørgen Lindberg, CEO of Scandinavian Farms was asked the following.

 

“Why do you switch now from Danbred 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, as well as when it comes to the pigs we get from Genesus.”

– Jørgen Lindberg, CEO of Scandinavian Farms

“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.”
– Jørgen Lindberg, CEO of Scandinavian Farms

“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.”
– Jørgen Lindberg, CEO of Scandinavian Farms

 

Source: Danish agricultural newspaper “LandbrugsAvisen”
Article Written by Einar Bo Thomsen

Scandinavian Farms and Genesus have established a Genetic Service and Marketing Agreement. Scandinavian Farms will work jointly with Genesus in selling Genesus Genetics in China.

“Genesus is proud to have the opportunity to work with Jorgen Lindberg and his team at Scandinavian Farms. The long-term genetic agreement we have entered into together will allow us to strongly market Genesus genetics in China and is proof of our commitment to the Chinese swine industry”

– Mike Van Schepdael, Vice President of Genesus

One of 3 planes being loaded.

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