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The doubts remain: Karpov or Plato?

Which of the two views is more appropriate for understanding the ins and outs of the global pig market?

Tuesday 3 July 2018 (2 months 20 days ago)
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June ends, and the Spanish price has reached its 2018 record: €1.23/kg LW. In June, the price has risen by 0.036€ in four market sessions. Other years, in this same time of year, more has been obtained in just one session.

Germany ends June with the same price as when June started (with the aggravation of a + €0.03 increase attempt that was quickly corrected the following week with a - €0.03 drop), and the rest of the European markets are still asleep with stable prices.

According to Mercolleida, now, the German price, in comparison with the Spanish price (with an equivalent quality) is €0.11 cheaper. It is difficult to compete in the different international markets with this initial handicap.

The average weight of the carcasses in 2018 is, stubbornly and systematically, 3 kilos above the weight in 2017. The slaughterings in the first quarter of 2018 have been 3.80% higher than in the same period in 2017, but if we compare them with those of 2013, then we see that they have grown by 14.60%! (in comparison, in Germany they have dropped by 1% in the last 5 years).

It has not been possible to transfer the last 7 rises (less that €0.08 in total) in the live animals' price to pork. This is the great problem. On the one hand, there is the logic of increasing the price (less and lighter pigs, more consumption in summer in the Iberian peninsula), but on the other hand the immobility of the pork prices is a great burden.

Each cent of euro that the abattoir concedes has a complete and negative impact on its margin. Each cent of euro that that the farmer does not obtain is a cent of euro less when the drops starts. Everything is at stake: the market sessions are tough, and all seems to tell that they will remain like this for the moment.

The meat stocks are very high, and everybody knows that in autumn the prices will be lower. We must fight to sell the frozen pork, and that does not help the prices of fresh pork.

The eighth world chess champion, Anatoly Karpov, had a global understanding of the game based on harmony and long-term strategy; Plato had his own and idealized view of the facts of life. Which of these two conceptions seems the most appropriate one to you for trying to understand the ins and outs of the global pig market?

We leave the answer to the reader's consideration. In the next comment we shall make a note of our recommendation after having had talked about it with Anatoly Karpov himself, that is spending his holidays in Platja d’Aro (Girona).

To conclude, an assertion from the Spanish collection of proverbs: “Whoever goes after something will end up getting it”, and the title of a book by Augusto Assia (a Spanish journalist expert in WW II) “When an anvil, an anvil and when a hammer, a hammer” (alluding to the position of the UK in WW II).

Guillem Burset

<p>Guillem Burset</p>

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