Mercedes Vega, General Director for Spain, Italy & Portugal

The year 2018 has ended more quiet than expected in Spain and the EU 15 after the alarm arose from the outbreaks of PPA.

We finished the year with a price of Mercolleida´s hog market, higher than what was expected, of € 1,038 / kg alive with an average weight of 113 kg of live weight. This price is below 1 – 2 cents of € of European competitors; but this difference is less than a year ago. Spain has had a higher price almost all year, only during the winter its price has been lower. Average prices in € / kg alive weight have been 1.13 in Spain; 1.10 in Germany, 1.08 in France and Holland, …

We also finished and / or started the year with a value higher than a year ago of 0.023 €. As regards the slaughter weight, it is increasing year by year, in 2015 the average was 107.6 kg of live weight and 83.71 kg of carcass weight, while in 2018 it was 111.3 kg of live weight and 85.34 kg of carcass weight.

With these sales price data and with the production cost forecasts of around 1.05 € kilo (according to SIP Consultores estimates), the producers have been losing for the last two months, but less than what had been thought to be. We finish the year with a sale price above the €. The production has increased and the sacrifices are going to be between 6 and 8% higher than those of the previous year. The meat industry has not been able to revalue meat in recent months but has increased the volume to compensate for this lack of price.

Although we have had a complicated period of time as a consequence of the ASF throughout the EU, pig slaughtering has been increased but the stock of frozen meat has not been increased in Spain, as is it in the rest of Europe. The Spanish meat industry continues to do a good job, being able to export all this production at competitive prices.

But despite the fact that the year 2018 has closed better than expected, the year 2019 begins with much uncertainty, on the one hand production has been increased but not enough to be able to supply the all new projects (for spring it is expected that new slaughterhouse of Binefar of the Pini Group will begin to operate). On the other the price of Mercolleida starts € 1,038 against € 1,015 over last year and the average weight of slaughtering is increasing.

Regarding exports

Last November during the visit of the President of China, Xi Jinping, to Spain, an agricultural protocol was signed that will allow the opening of the Chinese market to fresh meat and sausages derived from Spanish pork, including cured ham. Until now, only frozen or boneless meat could be exported and cured products with a minimum of 313 days of cure. This new agreement will open new opportunities for the Spanish pig sector and can give greater added value, allowing for higher quality products. Spain in recent years has gradually been changing to make a finished pig with Duroc and producing meats with more quality in order to supply specific market niches. This opening of China is an opportunity for this type of Spanish products.

Last November 20th we had the opportunity to be in the “V International Forum of the Porcine Sector”, in Madrid organized by INTERPORC. It was an event with a great attendance and very interesting speakers from the EU, the United States and Spain.

There were very interesting conferences about the sustainability in pig production worldwide and communication as one of the main challenges to be faced by the pig sector, as well as the positioning, reputation and visibility of the pig sector along the entire chain of value.

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This post was written by Genesus