Spain is free to explore niche market for pork in China


The main European producer of pork is increasing its pig inventory and processing volume.

Posted on Dec 05 ,07:17

Spain is free to explore niche market for pork in China

Spain, the largest supplier of pork in the Chinese market, is expected to set a stronger foothold in Asia as more and more processing plants are receiving approval for export to China. Currently, Spain is increasing its pig inventory at the highest rate in Europe (4,2%) and the processing volume is also high, according to the latest Genesus report. "Spain has the lowest price of all major European producers. Even so, they are at € 1,488/kg live weight, far from the € 1,038/kg live weight of a year ago. We also continue to see heavier market weights than last year - 114.19 kg compared to the 113.31 kg of 2018 same week.
More hogs, more weight and price continue to rise - this can only be a response to very strong demand. Producers are in no hurry to sell and recover hogs’ weight.

A European leader in pig production, Spain is increasing pig inventory and processing volume. This November, although no official figures yet released, there has been record activity in the processing plants", reported Mercedes Vega, General Director for Spain, Italy & Portugal, Genesus.
For the following years, pork exports to China can increase not only the volume but also the value thanks to the protocol that authorizes Spanish exporters to deliver products such as bone ham, sausages, pepperoni and loin. Although the protocol was signed in 2018, the first shipment of high added value products was made in October this year. "This opens new opportunities for Spanish pork products in a high-quality niche market. Since Spain has the pork, the knowledge and ability to make end-products with high added value, changing from that current 'commodity' to a niche market will encourage them to offer and strengthen high-quality products", added Mrs. Vega.
That can also bring some relief for the processors that are confronted with record-high prices for raw material and can't afford to transfer it all in end-product prices.
Spain has remained one of the few producers in the EU that is still increasing the pig inventory, while Germany and the Netherlands are in decline. Denmark was reporting a decline in pig inventory in the last couple of years, but recently Danish Crown, the country's largest pork producer announced a programme that is expected to add 1.2 million pigs in the processing plants in 2020.

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