APN June 2017
P. 1

Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
Vol 21. No. 6 June 2017 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 387 Cleveland 4163 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Fax (07) 3821 2637 Email ben@porknews.com.au
Strong crowd at the Adelaide Oval pitching in
The Steelers were in full flight preparing a tantalising range of value-added butch- ery products.
MAY 18 saw the Aus- tralian Pork Limited Delegates’ Forum held at the Adelaide Oval in South Australia, the day after the APL Board meeting.
Considering the pre- sent state of the industry, it’s not a surprise that pig prices were the main point of discussion and the conversations were enthusiastic.
The quality of those conversations at the Delegates’ Forum was enhanced by having the perspectives of a couple of those involved in the secondary processing and wholesaling side of the industry.
Ted Campbell from B E Campbell was invited to be on the agenda and give his views on what has been going on in the pig meat trade.
One of our newer del- egates, elected last year, was Darren Wilson from Wilpak Wholesale Meats who was present to give a different perspective from those closer to the pro- duction end.
Since the Delegates’ Forum, Peter Haydon (APL general manager Marketing) and I have also travelled to South Australia (Tanunda) and Victoria (Shepparton) to speak with pig produc- ers about what is going on in the pig meat trade.
Our ability to see situ- ations developing in the future that threaten the pig price scenarios de- pends on understanding what is going on now.
While I have written a lot in this column about the reasoning behind pig prices dropping by up to $1/kg carcass weight equivalent in only a few months, we continue to hone our understanding of the contributing fac- tors.
In summary, I believe
Point of View
there are three things we can point to as causes of this pricing crisis, none of which on their own would have had the same impact.
We now have the Aus- tralian Bureau of Statis- tics figures to the end of March for pig slaughters.
March was a big month, with 472,000 pigs slaughtered, about 8.5 percent higher than the previous March, and 11.5 percent higher in terms of pork produced.
In year on year terms, the increase is now close to 4 percent for slaugh- ters and 5.2 percent for pork produced.
March is really the first month where the numbers have jumped significantly enough for it to be clearly out of kilter with our normal production cycle.
So what’s caused this increase?
Higher sow numbers are part of the reason but they have grown year on year only between 3 and 4 percent and some of the newer sows are not in full production yet.
It seems that some parts of the country have had very good condi- tions for pig production and this has helped far- rowing rates and even born alive results.
Carcasses were 2kg heavier this March than
March 2016, and the reason for the heavier carcasses has more to do with the next impact. Capacity and trade issues
It seems clear now that the Swickers Kingaroy fire last November con- tinues to cause issues for the whole of the east- ern seaboard trade in pig carcasses and cuts, de- spite an incredible effort by those responsible to minimise the impact of the fire on their business.
Chilling speed and ca- pacity, boning capacity and demand for export as opposed to domesti- cally accredited slaugh- ter have all been issues.
For those farms that normally send their pigs to the Kingaroy facility, these factors have meant hold-ups in pig delivery, resulting in larger car- casses.
These capacity issues have also been exacer- bated by the particular way the public holidays worked this year (mainly in Queensland), creating many short weeks in a row.
Other changed trad- ing arrangements in the south of the country have also contributed to an unstable trade envi- ronment.
Pre-cooked imports
Pig prices over the past 18 months or so have at times for some produc-
ers approached $4/kg for prime product.
Wholesalers buy- ing pigs at these prices clearly had to try to lift the prices of their prod- ucts to be able to make a profit under their high cost conditions, and this led to historically pretty high prices for ribs and bellies in particular.
Rib prices became so high that some- one asked the question about whether sterilised imported cooked ribs originating out of the US or Europe could be competitive and provide more attractive profits.
As we all know, this is now happening and it is painful for our industry.
Ted Campbell present- ed calculations at the Delegates’ Forum that showed the impact of cheap imports on prices for domestic shoulders, bellies and ribs, whereby the price per kilogram of a carcass at wholesale level could be affected by up to $1/kg.
This is clearly a new area of competition from imports different to the traditional bacon and hambusiness.
I thank the delegates for their strong engage- ment at the recent forum.
We took a lot of ideas and actions away from the meeting, which we are now focused on im- plementing.
One of these is to bring forward slightly the next Production Survey and requests will be sent to all members in the next couple of weeks asking them to complete the forms and submit back to APL.
Our ability to give you the best possible infor- mation depends on your information contribu- tions to us, so please help by sending your forms back.
Australian Steelers too sharp for the Kiwis
THE Australian Steel- ers have turned the Kiwi Sharp Blacks into minced meat at the in- augural Trans-Tasman Express Series butch- ers competition recently held in Wellington, New Zealand.
The competition is a faster, slicker, express ver- sion of the World Butch- ers’ Challenge and pit- ted the two teams of six against each other in a two-hour test of skill, in- novation and presentation.
Aussie team captain Adam Stratton of Tender Gourmet Butchery said the victory was sweet – par- ticularly as they beat the current champions and
hometown heroes, the Ki- wis.
“This Australian Steel- ers team has come together with a focus on value-add- ed product that helped us secure the win,” he said.
“While the Kiwis are always strong, I was con- fident coming into this competition that we were going to do Australia and butchery proud.
“These guys worked hard to create value-add- ed products that would be best-sellers in any butch- er’s shop and showcased the meat beautifully.”
Head judge Todd Heller said both teams were ex- tremely professional and innovative, but it was the
Steelers’ “absolutely inspir- ing” final display that gave them the cutting edge.
“We are just so thrilled to be able to take out this competition, particularly as we prepare for next year’s World Butchers’ Challenge in Ireland,” Mr Strattonsaid.
“I congratulate my fel- low team members and urge them to enjoy the victory.
“To the Kiwis, you’re always tough competi- tion and we have such a friendly but feisty rivalry and we hope that contin- ues into the future.
“Thank you for hosting this competition.”
Team sponsor Austral- ian Pork Limited con- gratulated the Steelers on their win.
General manager of Marketing Peter Haydon said, “Our world-class butchers showcased their broad range of skills and impressed the judges.”
“Congratulations Adam, Colin, Tom, Nick, Gareth and Luke on this great achievement!
“We are proud of our Aussie Steelers, powered by pork!”
The victorious Australian Steelers team.
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