APN September 2017
P. 1

Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
Vol 21. No. 9 September 2017 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 387 Cleveland 4163 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Fax (07) 3821 2637 Email ben@porknews.com.au
Talking over lunch were Ingunn Stensland and Megan Trezona, both of Linley Valley Pork, Karen Moore of PIWA, Jess Craig of Murdoch University and Lechelle van Breda of APL.
Cautious optimism
at 2017 WAPPA
industry day
A SPECIAL forum for delegates took place in Canberra on August 16 due to the ongoing issues with pig prices affecting our industry.
It was decided at the May Delegates’ Forum that hav- ing an interim forum before the next due in November would be a good idea to keep the industry and the industry body informed of what was going on in the market.
The August forum was abbreviated, allowing those present in most cases to travel during the one day and not have to overnight anywhere.
The meeting itself went for less than four hours, and my summary of the main outcomes of the dis- cussion are as follows:
• Ex-farm gate pig prices have not started to turn around yet, but some movements in the whole- sale markets are pointing towards at least stabilis- ing of whole carcass and some cut prices (includ- ing ribs and bellies). Some cuts remain problematic including trim, fatter mid- dles and necks.
Point of View
• There is still an un- explained disconnect be- tween the weak wholesale market, which impacted on our ex-farm gate pig prices and the strong in- dications we have from the majority of the retail sector where pork is by far the fastest growing meat. This may be due to clear differences between what’s happening in retail versus what’s happening in the foodservice or res- taurant sector.
• Pig prices to the con- sumer now seem to be coming down significant- ly, which will hopefully continue to drive volume sales growth.
• It seems that lower prices and higher stock levels of Australian pork are leading to higher volumes being used in competition with imports in the processing sector (which may have had an influence on the lower im- port numbers for June of this year).
Figure 1 backs up the comment about sow num- bers not having to this point increased very strongly, but there are in- dications that growth in sow numbers has started to accelerate and will contribute to stronger pig numbers coming through later this year.
The data in the chart is extracted from our Pig- Pass database and the vol- atility in the line is caused by some of the database clean-up procedures.
We believe the trend line gives a reasonable indica- tion of reality.
We’ll soon be starting the process of updat- ing our best estimates of where Australian pig production intentions are going by conducting our next production survey.
I encourage all produc- ers – not just those at the larger end of the industry – to participate fully and promptly.
Stockyard Industries 54 King Street,
Clifton QLD 4361
07 4697 3344
WEST Australian Pork Producers As- sociation president Dawson Bradford highlighted the need to find new markets in Asia that are prepared to pay a premium for WA pork in his report to WAPPA’s 2017 an- nual general meeting.
Meanwhile, he not- ed import protocols, which he believed should have been ad- dressed years ago, were keeping Austral- ian pork out of China, at least for now.
At the August 18 AGM, industry con- sultant Emalyn Lou- don was re-elected to WAPPA’s executive committee, along with producer Torben So- erensen of GD Pork at Pinjarra and Dean Romaniello of Craig Mostyn Group.
Their terms had ex- pired due to the efflux- ion of time.
Fellow committee members are Graeme Dent of Bimbadeen Farm at Cuballing and Dawson Bradford of Hillcroft Farms at Po- panyinning.
WAPPA’s AGM was part of a very successful 2017 industry day at the International On The Water Hotel at Ascot, attended by producers, industry stakeholders, sponsors and speakers.
Speakers included Roger Campbell of Pork CRC; Deb Kerr and Lechelle van Bre- da, both of Australian Pork Limited; Anne- Maree O’Callaghan of Strategy Matrix; Ruel Pagoto of Boehringer Ingelheim; Fadi Malek of Global Skilled Em- ployment Services; Ron Penn of Linley Valley Pork; Chris Brennan of MSD Ani- mal Health; Bruce Hunt of Zoetis; and Christopher Tyson of Bunge Australia.
Addressing the in- dustry day and in his report to the AGM, Mr Bradford pointed out that although prices in the west had come under pressure this year, WA producers had not been affected as much as their con- temporaries in eastern Australia.
☛ continued P18
Sow number movements
PigPass data – ignores less than eight-sow properties
Pork but no barrel in Canberra
from the experts at Stockyard Industries
• Building design
• Shed construction
• Ventilation design
• Feeding equipment
• Installation of equipment
• Regional
do exist in ex-farm gate pig prices with perhaps the Western Australians being least affected, and the Victorians the hardest hit by lower prices.
• Supply of pigs has clearly played a part in the price collapse but it’s not as simple as some im- agine. Pig slaughter num- bers increasing by about 3 percent year on year is both manageable growth and predicted but high- er carcass weights have meant the true increase in pork volume is just over 5 percent. Improved sow productivity seems to have played a greater role
than higher sow numbers in the supply dynamics (sow numbers increasing per annum at little more than 1 percent).
• There are a multitude of reasons behind the pre- sent larger carcass sizes in- cluding the capacity issues delaying pig processing which flowed southwards from the Swickers Kinga- roy fire last November, pigs growing to target weights faster than expected, some relaxation on larger car- casses from major retailers, some producers managing production to compensate for the normal smaller car- casses each December, the unusual number of short
Number of commercial sows
Linear (number of commercial sows)
Trend is sow numbers increasing over  ve years by 3000/annum – just over 1 percent.
Figure 1
weeks in this year’s cal- endar and buyers reducing purchased numbers as a result of wholesale demand softening.
• Carcass sizes do now seem to be returning to more normal levels, in- dicating the supply chain is catching up on the pro- cessing backlog.
• The pig production chain does not seem to have reacted to low prices with any sort of shift in production intentions – at least up until the last pro- duction survey conducted in June (where just un- der half of respondents indicated they still had the intention to increase their herd size).
• Higher expected pig pro- cessing numbers from the coming November accord- ing to the latest survey will create a challenge to turn around farm gate pig prices.
• While pre-cooked im- ports have created their own problems, their nega- tive price impacts may not have been as great as first thought; very high prices for domestic ribs and bel- lies led to their own re- duction in demand.
Aug 12 Oct 12 Dec 12 Feb 13 Apr 13 Jun 13 Aug 13 Oct 13 Dec 13 Feb 14 Apr 14 Jun 14 Aug 14 Oct 14 Dec 14 Feb 15 Apr 15 Jun 15 Aug 15 Oct 15 Dec 15 Feb 16 Apr 16 Jun 16 Aug 16 Oct 16 Dec 16 Feb 17 Apr 17 Jun 17 Aug 17
Commercial sow numbers (PigPass data)

   1   2   3   4   5