Highlights from this year’s Pig Congress
At this year’s Herning Pig Congress, Danish pig producers expressed their satisfaction with this year’s price development, which is currently DKK 12.80 per kg – the highest in 18 years. One year ago, the price was DKK 8.30. African Swine Fever in Asia is the reason for the rise.
Erik Larsen, Chairman of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Pig Production, expressed his satisfaction when he kicked off the Annual General Meeting of the Herning Pig Congress on 22-23 October and emphasised the importance of taking full advantage of the current situation. The consequences of last year’s drought and low prices, which caused a decline in pig slaughtering, continue to reverberate.
”A high price and a good harvest have made it a much more promising year compared to last year,” he said. ”We now have the opportunity to make the necessary investments or possibly reduce debt. This is also the time to step on the accelerator to ensure that we maintain our high standards of efficiency in pig production.”
The underlying cause of the economic upswing is African Swine Fever that is currently hitting Asia and particularly China. The Chinese population consume large quantities of pork and before the outbreak, China’s pig industry accounted for 50 per cent of the world’s pig production. There is some uncertainty about how big the losses actually are, but estimates are in the region of 33 per cent.
African Swine Fever is high on the agenda of Europe’s pig industry too. An outbreak in Denmark, for example, would have major consequences. According to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration’s latest calculations, the financial costs alone would amount to DKK 2 billion. A wild boar fence has now been erected at the German border and tougher checks on livestock transport have been introduced, including random checks to ensure that lorries are clean before they reach the Danish washing and disinfection facilities. If this is not the case, they are returned to Germany to be washed. There are also notices not to bring in food from other countries where African Swine Fever is present. Even packaging containing food remnants is enough to spread the infection.