Philippe Mallétroit, Director France, Genesus Inc.
This is our first Global Market Report focusing on France, therefore a short introduction to the French pig production.
France today has 960,000 sows – down from 1,250,000 sows back in 2000 – producing 21.3 million finisher pigs annually. The French pig industry is dominated by smaller family farms. Farrow-to-finish farms represent 82% of all sows, with an average of 200 sows per farm.
73% of the pigs are produced in North West of France, Brittany area.
French farmers are known for being good producers, with high productivity per sow. Throughout farms in France you see group housing systems, anything from pens to ESF to Gestal 3G system. As many European countries, France has been dominated by lean production (pietrain), but starting to see a turn towards Duroc. Average slaughter weight in France is 115-120 kg. Cooperatives are an important part of the French pig industry – the two largest Coop’s being Cooperl and Aveltis, together they operate around 350,000 sows Organic farming start to grow slowly in France, with a target of about 1 million organic finisher pigs produced on the upcoming years.
French export of pork declined by 5% in 2017, this mostly due to the constant decrease in sow numbers. In 2016 China was the main export market for French pork – despite the decline they saw in 2017, China remained a significant export market for France, accounting for 11.5% of the market share in 2017. The decline of export to China was offset by an increase to other markets – exports to Italy increased by 28% and brought Italy back as the main market for French pork in 2017.
Pork imports increased by 3% in 2017 – all coming from other EU countries, with Spain being the main importer
Meat price in France