Global Market Report – France
Philippe Mallétroit – Director for France,Genesus
This summer the average pork price has been much lower than summer from the previous year and reached a maximum price of 1.296 €/kg (67.96¢ US / lb carcass) at the beginning of September.
If we compare the 2018 summer season from June to September (Week 27 to week 39), we can see an average price of 1,242 €/kg (65.15¢ US / lb carcass).
In comparison, last year at the same period, the average price was 1,422 € (74.59¢ US / lb carcass), that’s means a 17 € (19,66 $ US) difference per finisher pig.
Average pork price was 1,201 €/kg (63.02¢ US / lb), on the first 9 months of the year (until October 8th). In 2017, for the same period, price was 0,226 € per kg higher, that’s means a 21 € (24,3 $ US) difference per head. For a 200 sows farrow to finish producer, it is about 100 000 € (115 645 $ US) per year.
African Swine Fever
Pig industry in Europe was expecting than Germany will be probably the first European country to be affected by African Swine Fever (ASF), after other countries from East of Europe as Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldova… and more recently Bulgaria
However, on September 13th first confirmation of first cases of ASF on wild boars was announced in Belgium. Threat is round the corner in Europe. Indeed, as we could expect it, 13 countries (South Korea, China, Taiwan, Belarus, Mexico, Philippines, Japan, South Africa, Singapore, Uruguay, Australia and Malaysia) banned import of live pigs and pork from Belgium. China, Philippines and Korea are good customers for Belgium, and they represent 3,6 % of the value of Belgian pork exports.
If ASF continues to spread over other big European producing countries like France, economic impact will be important. Vigilance is required, and the best protection against ASF is Biosecurity.
Space 2018 report
SPACE show celebrated his 32nd edition this year, and stay the main livestock show in France.
This year, we have seen a growing interest from producers, but also from the french pig industry (cooperatives, packers) to improve pork meat quality.
A co-organized conference was scheduled with Porc Mag magazine and IFIP (french pig research center) about “carcass grading system : can we integrate organoleptic criteria ?”
Our observations :
First of all it is interesting to see today in France we can start to consider to pay producer regarding meat quality and organoleptic criteria for the pork they produce. It was totally unimaginable few years ago.
During this conference, Mr Gilles Nassy from IFIP made the observation that for many years french pig industry focused to produce a very lean pig (Piétrain), always leaner, and for that reason french pork lost his meat quality with a low rate of intramuscular fat (1,5-2%)
He also said : « a good pork quality is a meat with over 2,5 % intramuscular fat and with a good water retention».
A study from INRA, French National Agronomic Research (Lebret 2009) demonstrated that intramuscular fat has a significant impact on pork tenderness and pork juiciness.
A interesting question has been asked, because we don’t hear it for the first time : « Is it possible to produce a better pork regarding meat quality, without increasing production costs ? ». An answer has been done by french geneticist Mr Sourdioux : « In theory yes it is possible but it will be a lengthy work to do it ».
We are totally agreed with him, it is a lengthy work who can’t be done in a short time. It is why, since more than 20 years, Genesus selects his Duroc to obtain an economic pig with a low production cost and a tasty meat, with intramuscular fat ≥ 3 %.
To conclude, I’m going to quote a Spanish customer (18 000 sows) met in September:
« We are looking for a pork with a good rate of intramuscular fat, but who has to be economic to produce. It is why we use Genesus Duroc since the last 4 years. »