Jim Long, Pork Commentary, No Joy in Hog Town, November 4, 2019

Pork Commentary,  November 4th, 2019
Jim Long, President-CEO, Genesus Inc.

Our sense is that the U.S.-Canada swine production sector is getting worn out by the markets and lack of profitability over the last couple years. The hog market has eaten producer equity.

Producers see lean hog futures reflecting profitability, but there is a sense of mistrust if it will become reality.  All know about China but the attitude is “Show me the money.”

We always hear about hedging and risk management using future options but we have never seen any data that indicate producer participation. Maybe it’s because most producers think of the lean hog futures as a Las Vegas Casino where the house always wins in the end.

Whatever the reason, our sense, lots of producers are questioning their long term future.


Other observations:

  •  If Paylean makes hogs grow faster, the banning of Paylean (Ractopamine) by JBS and Tyson could mean 180,000 hogs per day grow slower. Will this cut carcass weights?
  • Feeder Pig break evens $70 for a 45 lb. pig. U.S. Cash Market $44. Spread as wide as we have ever seen. Never better time to buy pigs to put on feed.
  • The U.S. Sow price has had a big jump over the last month. See Below: (cents per pound)
Sow price Oct 3 Nov 1
550 lbs. and up 31.5 46.48
500-550 lbs. 30.5 45.18
450-499 lbs. 28.0 41.97
400-449 lbs. 26.5 37.54
290-399 lbs. 26.0 37.62









Big Sows have jumped (550 lbs.) $82 a head in a month. Shows how fast a market can change. Markets usually move when we least expect. No one, we expect, thought sows could jump $82 a head in a month.


We believe at some point small pigs and market hogs, will have an unexpected jump.

The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully Act

(This from the National Hog Farmer)


A Legislative Act that addresses deceptive labeling, “The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully Act” would address deceptive labeling practices in alternate protein and require plant-based meat alternatives to be labeled as “imitation” meat.

The legislation introduced by Congressman Roger Marshal (R-KS) and Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) will codify the definition of beef for labeling purposes, reinforce existing misbranding provisions to eliminate consumer confusion, and enhance enforcement measures available to the U.S.D.A. if the Food and Drug Administration fails to take appropriate action.

The National Cattlemen’s Association is supporting the bill.  As Pork producers we should too. It will only be a matter of time before “imitation” pork-meat will be marketed.


Let the “initiators” call it what it is. Don’t “piggy back” on our product names.


Seems that the chlamydia- lack of estreus issue that has been a factor over the last while in some gilts is being recognised. We understand major credits are being offered as compensation for the problem.
If you had problem best to get in line to get yours.


U.S. Exports 

U.S. Pork Exports last week were the highest since July 2015, except for the two weeks earlier.  China Exports reported last week (10, 220 metric tons), Second highest week on record. (Highest two weeks earlier).  No doubt there appears to be more pork being exported.

The ASF issue is going to lead to more exports to China, Viet Nam, Philippines and South Korea.


Metafarms is the leading Pork Production- Analytic System.  Below is the average of 270 farms, re: Sow production last quarter.

Sow production – July 1st to September 30th, 2019

Pigs Weaned/Mated female/Year 26.7
Litters/Mated Female/Year 2.36
Pigs Weaned & farrowing space 154
Pigs Weaned lifetime female 40.9
Average Total Born 14.6
Pre-wean mortality 11.9
Pigs/Weaned/Sow 11.8
Average Wean Age 20.4
Culling Rate 42.3%
Sow Death & Destroy Rate 12.2 %
Replacement Rate 50.7%



Couple Numbers jump out at us; Sow Death & Destroy Rate of 12.2% and Pig weaned lifetime at 40.9.

Seems to us there must be lots of female breeding stock that are far from robust.


Get acquainted with the
Global Mega Producer

A program of recognition led by National Hog Farmer sponsored by Genesus Inc.


Vall Companys Group


Vall Companys is recognized as a Global Mega Producer for 2019.


The Vall Companys Group story began in 1956 as an agri-food family-owned operation. The company’s operational model is based on the integration of all stages of the production process. With 213,000 sows in production, Vall Companys is the largest European independent Mega Producer swine company.


What has made Vall Companys unique is the development of an integration model, in which farmers provide facilities and labour. The rest of the services -animals, feed, veterinary control- are provided by the integrating company. The model was first used in the pork sector, and subsequently introduced in the poultry area. They are in all production chain

Key figures:

  • Total sales: 1.8 billion dollars
  • Production meat (thousand MT)
  • Pork: 340
  • Poultry: 135
  • Beef: 13
  • Cured ham: 13
  • Processed: 7
  • Sows in production: 213,000
  • Production of pigs: 5.3 million heads
  • Production of poultry: 72 million heads
  • Production of feed: 1.79 million MT
  • Flour: 470 thousand MT
  • Associated farms: 2,100
  • Activities: feed manufacturing, meat industry, animal production (swine, poultry and beef), flour milling, veterinary medicaments, merchandising and transportation.
Mercedes Vega, General Director for Spain, Italy & Portugal; Luis Pico, Sow Production Manager Vall Companys; and Jim Long, President-CEO, Genesus Inc.
Mercedes Vega, General Director for Spain, Italy & Portugal with Jose Quirino Cabañes – Production Director and Alfredo Castell – Genaral Manager at Agrocesa, part of Vall Companys Group