Australian Pork Newspaper
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Phone: 07 4697 3344 • Fax 07 4697 3532
Vol 22. No. 11 November 2018 Australian Pork Newspaper PO Box 387 Cleveland 4163 Phone (07) 3286 1833 Fax (07) 3821 2637 Email
Illegal pork semen importers face court
One step forward, two steps back
TWO persons involved in the pork production indus- try faced court recently in Western Australia on charges relating to deliberate illegal imports of pig semen over a number of years.
The two persons, along with WA pork production company GD Pork Pty Ltd, have been charged with aggravated illegal importation offences under the Biosecurity Act and Quaran- tine Act.
The case was first uncovered in January 2017 and has been the subject of an ongoing in- vestigation by the Department of Agriculture and Water Re- sources.
There are no food safety or ongoing biosecurity concerns associated with this case.
The biosecurity risks have been effectively managed and there is no impact on the safety of Australian pork or our ani- mal health.
Illegal imports of pig genetics can carry significant risks.
This includes porcine reproduc- tive and respiratory syndrome and foot and mouth disease.
It has been estimated FMD could cost Australia about $50 billion over a decade if it was to arrive here.
These imports can also in- crease the risk of African swine fever arriving in Australia.
This disease has no known cure and is another major threat to our $5.3 billion pork in- dustry.
There are specific conditions for the import of animal genetic material.
Breaches of these conditions will not be tolerated.
Currently the maximum pen- alty for an ‘illegal importation to obtain a commercial advan- tage’ is 10 years jail and/or 2000 penalty units ($420,000).
For a corporation, the maxi- mum penalty is 10,000 penalty units ($2.1 million).
If you witness suspicious be- haviour or come across any goods you believe have been illegally imported, you can contact the Biosecurity Red- line anonymously on 1800 803 006.
IT has been heartening that pig prices have been mov- ing upward over the past several weeks but still have a long way to go to get to a level where our farmers can start to again make some profit.
We’re seeing consistent but moderate lifts in prices for the key indicator weights week by week, which indi- cates the balance of supply and demand is improving.
Until prices push above producer costs of produc- tion, I can’t see that the improvements will have any impact on the supply situation, meaning fewer pigs available for slaughter should continue to pressure prices higher.
The other side of this coin is whether the higher pig prices will – in being passed through the supply chain – cause some low-priced busi- ness to fall away, providing a demand buffer.
The price rise is positive from the point of view that overall pig numbers have not yet come down a lot, thus ongoing demand strength would seem to be still very positive.
This is backed up by the recent calculations that show our per capita fresh pork consumption has now hit 12kg/annum, a record and well above the projections in our Strategic Plan put to- gether in 2014, which were under 10kg.
Demand and consumption continue to be the good stories for our industry, and while volume consumption isn’t a great indicator of demand, value of consumption at retail is likewise a good story.
Anecdotally, we’re hear- ing the number of producers completely leaving the in- dustry is still limited but for those affected in this way, very painful.
Any reductions we are or will have in week to week slaughter numbers seems to be coming from these lim- ited numbers of exits as well
Point of View
as many producers who have reduced their farms’ produc- tion, through limiting mat- ings as an example.
Positively, we are hearing some processors are starting to plan for the numbers of pigs they’re looking for get- ting harder to procure, which can only be good for future pig price trends.
The narrative in the indus- try has, however, definitely shifted away from pig pric- es and more towards grain prices.
Skyrocketing grain prices, particularly in the east of the country have added up to $0.50/kg to pig farmer costs of production, meaning the price increases we are looking for need to be even higher than earlier desired.
The ongoing dry condi- tions in the eastern Austral- ian states are leading to a grain deficit there, forcing some shipments of grain from South and Western Australia – either by ship or by rail.
This is expensive but at least provides some buffer to local price pressure for grain in the east.
Unfortunately, the impor- tation of grain from other countries is not going to be a short-term solution.
Biosecurity rules make the importation of grain extremely difficult in Aus-
GD Pork managing director Torben Soerensen. Photo: APN May 2016
global market price.
As an example, I’ve heard
commentators talking about our wheat prices being up to $A200 higher per tonne than those quoted on the Chi- cago Board of Trade (futures prices as a global indicator).
So, what are we able to do about it?
Not a lot.
The high grain prices are not only a problem for the pork industry but also the feedlot and poultry indus- tries, and any alternative grains or feed sources are being snapped up, also at higher than normal prices due to demand.
We are working with a number of other affected in- dustries to look into develop- ing some biosecure routes for the safe import of grain for feed processing, but this is an expensive and lengthy task, not guaranteed of suc- cess and as mentioned, not a short-term solution.
We have a grains industry expert coming to the Del- egates’ Forum in November in Melbourne to talk about present grain trading dy- namics, regional balances and future projections.
I’m sure there’ll be lots of questions from the floor.
APL members are remind- ed of the Delegates’ Forum occurring on November 14 and 15 at the Melbourne Marriott Hotel where they are welcome to attend at their own cost.
I hope to meet a few of you there.
Affluent effluent possible for piggeries
ABOUT 16 percent of the manure effluent of the Aus- tralian pig herd is now direct- ed to biogas systems, equat- ing to 29 percent of the herd
housed in conventional sheds at piggeries larger than 500- sow farrow-to-finish, which is the cut-off for feasibility of these systems.
Before Pork CRC’s Bioen- ergy Support Program com- menced in 2012, manure from only about 2 percent of the national herd was directed to biogas systems.
According to Alan Skerman, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Dr Stephen Tait, University of Queensland (now at Univer- sity of Southern Queensland), the BSP’s positive impact on biogas adoption has been sub- stantial.
Pork producers with biogas systems now benefit from re- duced odour, save on energy costs, sell excess biogas-de- rived electricity to the supply grid and sell Australian Car- bon Credit Units and renewable energy certificates.
Capital expenditure payback
☛ continued P9
Alan Skerman, Shao Dong Yap, Rob Wilson and Stephan Tait all tackled how to turn piggery waste into potentially profitable bioenergy under the Pork CRC’s successful Bioenergy Support Program.
when grain build grain
• Nipple drinkers
• Drinking bowls
• Water connection units • Medicators
• Full stainless steel rises 600mm and 900mm on all water cups
Stockyard Industries 54 King Street,
Clifton QLD 4361
07 4697 3344
tralia, which means
we get a deficit of
here, we quickly
a premium in our
prices over and above the

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