Genesus Global Market Report EU and Spain June 2024

Mercedes Vega, General Director for Spain, Italy & Portugal

A year ago, we observed the market evolving in an unprecedented manner. This seems to be setting a trend for how our sector is transforming and adapting to ongoing changes that influence production and the meat industry.

The price at Mercolleida is 1.8 €/kg live weight. This value has been repeating for the last 10 weeks. Producers want to raise prices due to less supply, but the meat industry cannot because there is less demand for meat. Consumption in Northern Europe is not strong enough this spring.

Source Mercolleida

Market values are below last year, but there is still a shortage of pigs, as demonstrated by the price of piglets. This high piglet price is helping to increase processing weights.

Source Mercolleida

On one hand, the market is gradually increasing the weight; we have gone from 115.5 kg in 2020 to 122.2 kg in 2024. Producers are trying to optimize production by adding more kg: they get more kg per pig, hope for a sudden price increase, and delay the entry of piglets, avoiding buying them at still high prices, even though they have dropped to 73 € for a 20 kg piglet plus premiums.

Source Mercolleida

For producers, despite the existing problems, it remains a profitable year, as we can see from SIP Consultors data over the past year.

According to MAPA data, from January to March, 13,800,837 pigs were processed compared to 14,038,812 a year ago, which means 1.7% fewer animals, but the weight processed only reduced by 0.52%, with 1,315,673 tons compared to 1,322,580 tons a year ago.

Spain continues to have a higher price than other EU countries, hoping that Germany will raise the pork price so the industry can maintain its margins.

Source Mercolleida

The decrease in exports to Asian countries in 2023 compared to 2022 does not help position the meat price:

  • China: – 25.4%
  • Philippines: -36.2%
  • Japan: -20.1%
  • South Korea: -27.8%
  • Taiwan: -30.7%

With all this, we can say that the Spanish Pig Sector has “taken on this new challenge”:

  • Increasingly verticalized production concentration
  • Decreased production in the EU
  • Decreased exports outside the EU
  • Adaptation to new animal welfare regulations in the EU
  • Increased health issues
  • Lack of qualified personnel
  • Problems created by “high-performance” genetics regarding increased farm mortality

By changing and adapting to the new reality, as it has done on other occasions, the sector maintains its position in the global ranking.

World Mega Producer 2023

As it has done for the past six years, Genesus published the “World Mega Producer 2024” this week. In Spain, production concentration continues, with the census not changing much but shifting ownership. In this new edition, we still have three Spanish companies among the 49 largest pig producers in the world:

  • Grupo Valls Companys in 13th place with 300,000 sows
  • Grupo Costa Food in 22nd place with 160,000 sows
  • Grupo Jorge in 43rd place with 105,000 sows