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Dutch Agricultural Council in Spain’s capital Madrid reported that the regulations for Spanish pig farming had been re- vised. The new royal decree RD 306/2020 sets further reach- ing requirements for animal health on farms, animal welfare and reduction of environmental impact. The screws are being tightened, especially in the environmental field. The govern- ment wants to prevent too much nitrate from entering the groundwater, and emissions of ammonia and greenhouse gases must be reduced. Spanish legislation also determines the business operations. The system of all in, all out is mandatory. A farm must have been empty, and subsequent barn filling may take no more than two weeks. An exemption is required for continuous fattening. Rules also apply to the distance between pig farms, which must be at least 1 km. Larger distances apply for breeding farms.


Environmental rules have been stricter in Spain since last year. They do not want to have too much nitrate in the groundwater.


Benny ten Thije, from trading company Select Porc. This ap- plies to any product specification. In the integration structure, a small team decides on changes. In the Dutch structure, it is not possible to arrange some- thing quickly, because every farmer has an opinion. The Spaniards also have a young and extremely driven sales team. Where the pig price fell by € 0.03/kg in mid-June in Germany and the Netherlands, it rose € 0.003 to € 1.553/kg live weight in Spain. That small price increase, but also the price level, says something about their sales, Ten Thije says.


Unlimited possibilities for swine in Spain In recent years, many pig farms have been built in Spain, par- ticularly in the Aragón region, where there is still environ- mental room to grow. Stimulated by meat company Pini, 9.34 million pigs were slaughtered in Aragón in the first 11 months of 2020, 25.7% more than in the same period in 2019. The Catalonia region leads the way, with 21.41 million pigs slaughtered in the same period. In Catalonia, however, the winning streak is over. That is where the pig sector is reaching its environmental limits. Spain seems like the promised land for anyone who has a lot of pigs and wants many more. It is true that local Spanish admin- istrators in regions with a lot of unemployment welcome new slaughterhouses. That is evident from the response of mayor Manuel Rando on the Heraldo news website when it was an- nounced that the German company Tönnies Fleisch aims to in- vest € 75 million in the municipality of Calamocha. According to Rando, Tönnies had picked a good place to invest, especially because Spain is doing well in meat exports.


Regulations revised for Spanish pig farming Yet, it is not liberty hall in Spain. Less than a year ago, the


8 ▶ PIG PROGRESS | Volume 37, No. 7, 2021


Spain will eventually start producing piglets Spain imported 1.29 million piglets from the Netherlands in 2020. It is likely that Spain will eventually start producing pig- lets itself; however, they can only do that if there is room for the finishers and sales for the meat. In Spain there is therefore always room for their own piglets and no money is lost be- cause of oversupply. The sales possibilities of the meat are pointing toward them producing their own pigs. Daniel Quílez, of Spanish farmers’ organisation UAGA, has been reading that pig farming in the Netherlands is under pressure because of an ageing farming population and stricter environmental regulations. He signalled almost two years ago that Spain can probably gain market share by making use of the gap that is widening in the Netherlands. He also prefers to get rid of the dependence on the more than 1 million imported piglets, which come mainly from the Netherlands.


Pork destined for export All the pork that Spain has been producing in recent years has to be exported. If demand from China remains good, that is not a big problem. That will change if demand from China drops, as has been the case since the beginning of June – then there is price pressure. That will also be the case if China eventually succeeds in increasing domestic pork production and structurally imports less. Spain is now the main supplier for China. The volume of meat that Spain sells in China would then need to be offered elsewhere, again resulting in price pressure. This is a scenario that concerns René Veldman, Rabobank’s pig farming sector manager. After all, the Spanish cost price is more favourable than the average cost price in Dutch pig farming. At an average feed price, the cost price of Spanish integrations is € 1.05/kg of live weight. Few Dutch companies can produce a pig for that money. If the pig price falls, Dutch pig companies are therefore more likely to be in the red than Spanish ones.


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