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Rigour + professionalism + faith + confidence = Tsunami of excellence

Guillem Burset foresees a very profitable 2019, but not for all the actors in the Spanish pig sector.

Monday 4 March 2019 (3 months 23 days ago)
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February ends with a total accumulated rise of more than €0.09/kg LW, equivalent to more than €0.12/kg carcass weight. This rise contrasts clearly with the €0,04/kg carcass weight that Germany (traditionally the reference market in Europe) has gained in the same time period. Since October, the German price was the same again and again (in an unprecedented price immobility) until February 6th, when it grew by €0,04/kg carcass weight, and the price hasn't changed since then.

February ends with a quite remarkable price of €1.133/kg LW, that is really above the cost price. Although having reached an average carcass weight that is an all-time record (almost 89.50 kg), the price remained above €1.00... The delayed pigs due to the Christmas holidays have been quickly absorbed, and during all February there has been a short supply with respect to the desire of the abattoirs to slaughter.

February ends with good news that comes from several places: the European meat stocks aren't plentiful (the fear of commercial issues due to ASF plays an important role); China clearly regains interest for European pork and settles numerous orders; the commercial flows are still alive and kicking in all directions in spite of some animal health issues...

The title of this article has an easy explanation if we just look back. Indeed, in 1989, the Spanish market slaughtered some 29 million heads, with negligible export figures (only 2,000 tonnes). In 2019 we'll slaughter more than 50 million heads and export more than 50% of the pork produced. Is it a coincidence? Definitely NOT. What has happened and is still happening is the result of a great rigour and professionalism of all the members in the pig production sector, as well as the expression of the great confidence of the leading actors.

We have become a subject of study in the most prestigious agricultural universities of the world (that are determined to figure out which can be the hidden factor behind this continuous display of excellence in pig production). We have also become the object of desire of the most important European operators, that have announced and carried out great investments in Spain.

We are convinced that 2019 will become a milestone in our sector in Spain. We have never seen the start up of an abattoir with a slaughtering capacity of more than 15% of the Spanish total. We have never had such a large herd. We have never exported so much...

From the multiple concomitant factors that coincide in the current market situation in Spain, we deduce:

  • In 2019 the producers' balance sheets will be brilliant
  • In 2019 the abattoirs' balance sheets will be poor (or very poor)

Paraphrasing a distinguished and renowned lawyer: “I'll leave it there...”

We will end with a quotation from Jesse Owens, Olympic champion in 1936: “We all have dreams, but to make them come true you need a great amount of determination, dedication, self-discipline and sacrifice.”

Guillem Burset

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