Australian Pork Newspaper
P. 1

Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
Vol 23. No. 1 January 2019 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 387 Cleveland 4163 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Fax (07) 3821 2637 Email
The Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Australia team participated in the BISA Production Economics program.
Boehringer Ingelheim hosts Swine Academy
HAPPY New Year to all
Australian Pork Newspaper
readers and we’re all hopeful for a better 2019 than the past couple of years have been for Australian pig farmers.
So, what are the numbers looking like to support that hope?
Well, we are presently put- ting the final touches on the latest Production Survey, pro- duced with the help of pro- ducers representing close to three-quarters of the nation’s breeding pig herd, from Octo- ber last year.
The results seem to be show- ing that, despite the signifi- cant improvement in pig pric- es over recent months, pro- duction volume intentions are for a mildly reducing weekly slaughter average into the ear- ly parts of this year through to June.
Better pig prices are of course a welcome change, but they won’t necessarily lead to an increase in production intentions if they are still not resulting in pig farmer profit- ability.
The ongoing high grain prices are putting a lid on profitability for the time be- ing, but prices are still mov- ing up and will hopefully soon result in some positive bottom lines.
The big unknown in our Pro- duction Survey is the impact of increased sow slaughters, potentially indicating a num- ber of pig farming exits by those who have said enough is enough.
Anecdotally, until the past couple of months, despite the very difficult industry condi- tions, the number of pig farms shutting up shop has been sur- prisingly low.
This has changed in more recent times, with significant breeding herd reductions and total farm destocks rumoured to have taken place.
The increased sow slaughter numbers from the second half of last year would seem to back this up, and this is put- ting further downside on the expected moderating slaugh- ter numbers.
So, what does this mean for
Point of View
pig farming in 2019?
I’ve laid out a couple of pre-
dictions below, and I do so with the best of intentions but emphasise that my guesses are no better than anyone else’s, so seek your own advice for your business decisions.
Pig prices
We need to remember that last year, in every month up until October, monthly pig slaughters were roughly at or higher than the corresponding month one year previous.
In other words, despite our recognised overproduction problem since early 2017, up until October 2018 we hadn’t done anything significant about it.
It is extremely heartening that in this environment, our farmgate pig prices have al- ready increased so much.
It is clearly not yet due to any reduction in pig numbers (at least up until October), so it must be more due to the demand side of the equation, which has been extremely positive.
If we lay the expected mod- eration in pig numbers over this situation, the only conclu- sion can be that conditions will likely continue to support ongoing pig price increases for coming months.
For the longer term, one thing to keep in mind is the industry presently has a lot of idle capacity, which can theo- retically be put into produc- tion relatively quickly once financial conditions improve. Grain prices
I’m definitely not an ex- pert in this area but simple
economics 101 would dictate that when grain supply is low (which it is at present due to the eastern states’ drought), prices will be high.
There are limited opportuni- ties to increase supply – defi- nitely none in the short term.
There is a summer sorghum crop in Queensland that can put a ceiling on grain prices if it continues to get the rain required for a reasonable har- vest, which is a risk.
The big supply volumes will need to come from an east- ern states winter crop harvest, which isn’t due to happen until the end of this year.
This will likely be the first opportunity for a significant decrease in wheat and bar- ley prices, but it isn’t guaran- teed until the crop is secured through the right growing conditions.
Continued drought is a dis- aster scenario that will main- tain the very high grain prices we’ve seen in 2018.
At Australian Pork Lim- ited, we’ll be keen to keep engaging with producers of all scales in the early months of 2019 through a series of producer meetings to discuss among other things, the indus- try trading conditions.
We’ll be in touch, likely through your state organisa- tions to let you know when and where this will be hap- pening.
In the meantime, for those taking a bit of a break through the summer holiday season, please enjoy and we look for- ward to a good catch-up later.
Stockyard Industries 54 King Street,
Clifton QLD 4361
BOEHRINGER Ingelheim Animal Health Australia was fortunate to hold the first- ever Australian Boehringer Ingelheim Swine Academy program in Brisbane from November 27-30, 2018, with 16 producers, four veterinar- ians, and from the US the head of the BISA program Dr Arturo Oropeza partici- pating.
The program was facilitated by Dr Jim Lowe, an American veterinarian, producer and swine consultant, who shared his knowledge of the industry and brought new ideas to the table for Australian pig pro- ducers and veterinarians.
The inaugural world-class production economics course spanned three and a half days, providing participants with new ways of thinking and economic skills related to the swine industry.
The program aimed to de- liver insights on how the study of economics and disease in herd populations can provide pig producers and veterinar- ians with strategies and tools for improving productivity and profitability.
Feedback from participants has been extremely positive, with participants leaving the course with knowledge and tools to re-evaluate current
production systems to im- prove efficiencies.
Boehringer Ingelheim is proud to be able to bring world-class training programs to Australia, to support pig producers in managing pro- duction challenges and build a basis for future growth and innovation.
For more information on knowledge and tools to re- evaluate current production systems to improve efficien- cies, please contact your lo- cal Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Territory Manager.
Research grant to help pigs
AUSTRALASIAN Pork Re- search Institute Limited, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland, SunPork Solutions and Ri- valea Australia have secured an Australian Research Council Linkage grant to support a $900,000 research project to improve pig wel- fare by modulating stress resilience.
ARC funding for the three- year project ‘Early stress ex- periences and stress resilience in pigs’ was $450,000 with an additional $449,393 cash from other partners, of which $100,000 was from APRIL.
APRIL CEO and Chief Sci- entist John Pluske said the ARC grant was very signifi-
cant, with improving pig wel- fare a hot button issue in the Australasian pork industry.
“It marks the first instance of APRIL, on behalf of its members, successfully lev- eraging external funding for a major research project of industry-wide relevance,” Prof Pluske said.
“APRIL’s vision is for col-
laborative pork industry re- search, focused on industry- led priorities, leading to timely generation and adoption of outcomes able to ensure sus- tainability and profitability of Australasian pork producers.
“This project, backed by international collaboration, will have a global impact on
☛ continued P2
for all your farm consumables!
Looking at a happy new 2019?
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