Friday, April 29, 2011

Butterball president, CEO Keith Shoemaker resigns

Butterball LLC President and CEO Keith Shoemaker has resigned from his position in the poultry company as of April 25, 2011.
Until a permanent successor is named, current members of the Butterball board will assume CEO responsibilities, according to the company. 
“Butterball thanks Shoemaker for his valuable service and for successfully guiding the company through last year’s change in ownership as well as his role in making the company what it is today,” said Walter Pelletier, president of Maxwell Farms LLC and board member of Butterball. The board has said that it does not anticipate major changes in any areas of production or employment during the transition.

Uganda bans poultry veterinary drugs that may cause cancer in humans

Uganda has banned five veterinary drugs used on poultry and other animals that may cause cancer in humans, according to the country's National Drug Authority.
The drugs, known as nitrofurans and used against bacteria and protozoal diseases in food-producing animals, have mutagenic/carcinogenic potential, according to the NDA. Overconsumption of food products made from animals vaccinated with the drugs may affect genes or cause cancer.
The five banned drugs are: Cospro F, Neoceryl, Fural Powder 30% w/w, Fuzol Water Dispersible Granules and Fuzol Suspension. The NDA has said that anyone with an inventory of the drugs should quarantine them and return them to the original suppliers.

China to limit use of corn in non-feed projects

Corn processing industries are expected to consume 50 million tons of corn in the current marketing year — roughly 29% of the country's total corn output in 2010, said the CNGOIC.
China is making plans to limit the use of corn and edible oils in non-animal-feed projects to secure the country's grain supplies, according to a report by China's top economic planner.
Corn is a particular focus, as ethanol, starch and sweeteners consume roughly one-third of China's corn output, leading to concerns about shortages for feed millers. Corn processing industries in China currently have an annual capacity of 70 million tons, according to Shang Qiangmin, director of the China National Grain and Oils Information Center. The industries are expected to consume 50 million tons of corn in the current marketing year — roughly 29% of the country's total corn output in 2010, said the CNGOIC.
Beijing has ordered banks to stop lending to corn purchasers and has canceled tax breaks for corn processors to limit their expansion, according to reports.

EU drafts legislation to allow processed animal protein in poultry, pig feed

Draft legislation amending the regulations for processed animal protein to allow it in animal feed has been published by the European Commission, according to the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association.
“The legislation will restrict the use of processed animal proteins to feed for omnivores and carnivores including pig, poultry and farmed fish," said Niels Leth Nielsen, EFPRA president. "The ban on feeding animal proteins to ruminants remains in place. Another important safeguard, the ban on intra-species recycling, also remains. The draft regulation requires that animal by-products destined for feed use are handled and processed separately to prevent any potential cross-contamination, ensuring that feed for cattle and other ruminants remains free of any processed animal protein."
The legislation will come before the member states for consideration later this year.

FDA will continue to monitor unapproved drugs in animal feed

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should continue to exercise regulatory discretion to maintain the continued availability of a number of unapproved animal drug products, said the National Grain and Feed Association in a statement to the FDA. 
The types of animal feed and pet food products currently regulated by the FDA that could fall within the category of “unapproved animal drugs” include products formulated from animal feed ingredients that help manage, from a dietary and nutritional standpoint, a specific disease or condition under a licensed veterinarian’s professional supervision, said the NGFA. These products are “generally recognized as safe” or have been authorized under food additive petitions, and have a long history of safe and effective use.
According to the NGFA, pertinent examples of such products include:
  • Diets that provide assistance in supporting the nutritional aspects of the care of animals with certain disease conditions or symptoms.
  • Diets that specifically support urinary tract health, as defined by FDA, and are sold through general retail.
  • Diets developed to reduce the formation and expulsion of hairballs in cats, which are sold through general retail.
  • Electrolyte products that play an important role in meeting the nutritional requirements of livestock and poultry in certain situations.
The FDA put out a request for comments soliciting suggestions for strategies to address the prevalence of animal drug products marketed within the U.S. without approval or other legal marketing status. The agency has said that it is concerned that the safety and effectiveness of some unapproved animal drugs being marketed have not been demonstrated properly, but also recognizes that the continued availability of a number of such products is important to meet the health needs of animals.
The FDA is looking for comments on approaches that utilize its existing regulatory framework for increasing the number of currently marketed animal drugs that have legal marketing status, as well as the use of enforcement discretion in limited situations, said the agency.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ukraine egg producer expects solid results for first half of 2011

Ukraine egg producer Avangard expects to report solid results for the first half of the 2011 fiscal year, according to a company report.
The company has said that they're trading in line with management forecasts, producing 1.39 billion shell eggs in the first quarter. The growth comes from a larger poultry flock, which reached 25.2 million birds as of the end of March. Avangard also processed 269 million eggs during the first quarter, seeing growth in demand both in the Ukrainian market and export markets during the period.

India to increase egg production in 2011-2012

Namakkal, India, egg consumption over the last five years has grown by 6% or 7% annually.
The egg industry in Namakkal, India, is planning to increase its production by 10% during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to the country's National Egg Coordination Committee.
Product demand, particularly among the urban populace, is the primary reason for the growth. According to NECC Chairman P. Selvaraj, area egg consumption over the last five years has grown by 6% or 7% annually. Namakkal is already the second-largest egg producer of more than 30 zones mapped out by the committee.
As of March 2011, the Namakkal Zone had 45.9 million laying hens, with Namakkal itself accounting for 80% of the birds. Area expansion includes adding 4 million hens to the flock, with 3.8 million (95% of the total expansion) residing in Namakkal.

US ready-to-cook poultry weight up 4% in March

Poultry certified wholesome during March 2011 totaled 3.86 billion pounds, up 4% from the amount certified in March 2010.
Poultry certified wholesome during March 2011 totaled 3.86 billion pounds, up 4% from the amount certified in March 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during March 2011 was 5.11 billion pounds, up 4% from 4.92 billion pounds in 2010. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.39 billion pounds, up 4% from March 2010. Mature chickens, at 72.9 million pounds, were up 5% from the previous year, while turkey inspections totaled 631 million pounds, up 3% from the same time in 2010. Ducks totaled 14.7 million pounds, up 8% from 2010.
Young chickens slaughtered during March 2011 averaged 5.75 pounds per bird, up 2% from March 2010. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.62 pounds per bird, up 3% from a year ago. Turkeys slaughtered during March 2011 averaged 29.8 pounds per bird, up 1% from March 2010.

USDA releases poultry, meat compliance guide for salmonella prevention

An FSIS study that suggests “small” and “very small” establishments are more likely to test positive for salmonella.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has posted a regulatory compliance guide focusing on FSIS best practices to help small poultry and meat producers and processors avoid salmonella and other pathogen contamination.
The document has been released in conjunction with an FSIS study that suggests “small” (between 10 and 500 employees) and “very small” (fewer than 10 employees or less than $2.5 million in annual sales) producers and processors are more likely to test positive for salmonella. According to the 2000–2008 study, all but one of the salmonella-positive samples taken were obtained from small or very small facilities.
The compliance guide provides directions and links to further information regarding processes, lethality requirements, stabilization and post-processing handling and sanitation.

New editors for Egg Industry, Feed Management and Pig International

Roger Abbott has been named editor of Pig International.
WATT has announced editorial staffing changes for three of its agribusiness titles. These changes are part of a company-wide effort to strengthen our content in agribusiness and pet food markets.
Terrence O’Keefe has been named the editor of Egg Industry magazine. He brings over 20 years of experience in the poultry and publishing industries with him to his new assignment. Previously, O'Keefe served as editor of WATT PoultryUSA and Poultry Digest and has contributed articles to other WATT publications.
Before joining WATT as an editor, O’Keefe worked in the poultry industry in a wide range of jobs, everything from field service person to production scheduler to processing plant manager. He has worked for turkey and broiler companies in live production and processing, and worked with egg layers in graduate school. O'Keefe has master’s degrees in poultry science and business administration.
O’Keefe is headquartered out of his Concord, N.C., office and can be reached at
Roger Abbott has been named editor of Pig International. Abbott is an experienced journalist who has been reporting on the agricultural industry, particularly pigs, the environment and politics, for newspapers and magazines in southern Africa and Europe for the past 20 years.
While living in South Africa and Zimbabwe, Abbott worked for several national newspapers and the Durban-based Farmers Weekly. He moved to England as a foreign correspondent, specializing in agriculture and politics, for the Argus SA group of newspapers in 1980.
Terrence O’Keefe (left) has been named the editor of Egg Industry magazine. Ken Jennison (right) has been named editor of Feed Management.
Since then he has held senior editorial positions on several publications, including editor of Pig Farming for five years. He was news editor on its sister magazine, Farming News, for three years and also worked for the National Farmers Union in London, where he edited its monthly British Farmer magazine.
Abbott now lives in Suffolk and has been working as a freelance journalist since 2000. He can be reached at
Ken Jennison has been named editor of Feed Management. Jennison is an experienced journalist who joined WATT in 2005 and has served as managing content editor for WATT since 2008. In that role, he has worked on all of WATT’s agribusiness titles, having been involved in the magazines, websites, video editing and other reporting for Feed Management and other WATT titles.
Prior to coming to WATT, Jennison held various editing and communications positions in the manufacturing and technology industries and served as the assistant for special programs for the chancellor of Oklahoma. Jennison received his B.A. from New York University in Business Press Publishing and completed post-graduate work in writing at Columbia University.
Jennison is based in the WATT corporate office in Rockford, Ill. He can be reached at

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

India poultry industry suffering from low prices, high production costs

Indian farmers are currently losing about 65 paise (US$0.01) per egg produced and up to Rs 8–10 (US$0.18–$0.23) per kilogram per live bird.
A three-month trend of falling prices and rising production costs for poultry products is causing problems for India, as farmers lose about 65 paise (US$0.01) per egg produced and up to Rs 8–10 (US$0.18–$0.23) per kilogram per live bird.
Typically, about 180.3 million eggs are produced every day across the country, according to records. The selling price now is about 60 paise less than the cost of production of Rs 2.50 (US$0.06) per egg. “The poultry industry is losing about Rs 90 million (US$2.03 million) a day due to under recovery,” said Kohinoor Hatcheries’ Dr. Raghava Rao.
The cost of production of broilers is also up, to about Rs 58 (US$1.31) per kilogram live body weight, and farmers on average get prices of Rs 50 (US$1.13) per kilogram. About 7 million broilers are produced in the country, and the industry is currently losing about Rs 700,000 (US$15,770) per day from broilers. “Chicken prices have crashed to nearly half from Rs 84 (US$1.89) per kilogram of live bird on March 24 to Rs 43 (US$0.97) per kilogram on April 14,” said Rao, adding that the price fall in summer is cyclical but the fall is steep this year.
Increased feed costs, mainly of maize, are pushing up the cost of poultry production, according to the industry. Maize is now selling for about Rs 1,350 (US$30.41) per quintal (100 pounds) compared with Rs 700 (US$15.77) to 800 (US$18.02) per quintal two years ago. Another ingredient, soya, which was Rs 900 (US$20.28) per quintal, is now priced between Rs 2,400 (US$54.07) and Rs 2,600 (US$58.57) per quintal.
India's poultry industry needs 14 million metric tons of maize per year and is growing by 20% annually. The maize production in 2010–11 is estimated to be 20.23 million metric tons across the country. High domestic demand, reduced acreage due to drought, farmers shifting to cotton and a good export market are keeping the prices of maize high, said Dr. G. Ranjith of SR Hatcheries. India's Andhra Pradesh Poultry Federation is calling for the government to relax the 15% duty on maize imports while panning maize and soya exports to help reduce feed and production costs.

Cargill focuses on environment with energy, greenhouse gas, freshwater initiatives

On the heels of Earth Day, Cargill has renewed its commitment to conserve resources in four goal areas — energy efficiency, greenhouse gas intensity, renewable energy and freshwater efficiency.
Among other things, the company has built itself around the following ideas:
  • Alternative energy resources: More than 80 Cargill facilities generate power from more than 10 renewable resources such as sawdust, hulls from sunflower seeds and cocoa beans and sugar cane bagasse. These systems help limit the use of fossil fuels and reduce associated GHG emissions. At its beef and pork plants, for example, Cargill reclaims methane from its waste water lagoons and turns it into biogas to fuel its plant boilers. Biogas now displaces up to 30% of natural gas demand at 11 of Cargill's North American meat processing plants. This renewable energy represents almost 20% of these facilities' total energy consumption.
  • Behavior-based energy management: Cargill is implementing behavior-based energy savings programs, a system which engages employees in recognizing and eliminating energy inefficiencies. A Cargill corn processing plant in Turkey was recognized by the Turkish government for its energy management program that includes web-based management of power consumption.
  • Freshwater efficiency: Cargill is working to reduce freshwater consumption through behavioral, procedural and technical changes at its facilities. Cargill's malt plant in Spiritwood, N.D., is saving 264 million gallons of water a year through behavioral, procedural and technical changes to prevent overflows and improve awareness and education. In addition, over 24 months, Cargill's poultry facility in London, Ontario, Canada, reduced freshwater consumption by 28% by recycling the water used for cooling and rinsing. 
Cargill's environmental efforts also include supporting carbon trading markets, working in partnership with global NGOs and investing in alternative energy initiatives.

Alltech YouTube contest challenges industry for new agriculture technologies and ideas

Alltech is launching the first YouTube Farming Film Festival, which tasks people with making a video focusing on an idea or technology that helps farmers meet the challenges in their career, in connection with the Alltech 27th Annual International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium,
Participants in the Farming Film Festival may enter by uploading their video to YouTube and emailing the link to Winners will be chosen by a panel of science and agriculture journalists based on creativity, quality of video, story interest and number of views and will be awarded up to $2,000 cash.
The deadline for submission is May 13.
“Emerging new media such as YouTube and other social media outlets have been game changers for many in the agriculture industry,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Sharing these game-changing stories with others ignites a new wave of hope and innovation, and that’s what we hope to do with the Farming Film Festival.”
For the official rules and how to participate, visit

Agriculture organizations support bill to end California ethanol subsidies

A California Assembly bill, AB 523, has been introduced that would end state ethanol subsidies; organizations such as the California Poultry Federation and Western United Dairymen have given their support.
Twenty-two agricultural and business organizations have said they support the end of California subsidies for the production of corn-based ethanol.
A California Assembly bill, AB 523, has been introduced that would end the subsidies; organizations such as the California Poultry Federation and Western United Dairymen have given their support.
In a statement to the assembly, the agricultural groups asked legislators to consider the following:
  • Increased demand and competition for corn resulting from growth in corn-based ethanol production has driven up the price of corn to over $7 per bushel, more than doubling in price from just last year;
  • Higher corn prices directly impact California families through higher food prices. Corn is a basic ingredient in thousands of food items and rising prices affects families of all income levels, particularly low income households;
  • Rapidly rising corn prices are having a highly detrimental effect on undeveloped and developing countries and exacerbating world hunger; and
  • California poultry, dairy and cattle producers, heavily impacted by the cost of feed, are being decimated by the run-up in corn prices. These businesses have seen multi-million dollar increases in weekly feed costs over the previous year and costs are continuing to rise. Collectively, these industries provide more than 500,000 California jobs and face financial ruin. 

Aviagen turkey company breaks ground on Iowa hatchery

Valley of the Moon Commercial Poults, Aviagen's new company serving the turkey industry, officially broke ground on its new 87,000-square-foot, 50-million-egg hatchery, being built in Osceola, Iowa, on April 12.
When completed later this year, the facility will be the largest turkey incubation and hatching facility in the world, according to Aviagen. “Aviagen is proud to start this new company in Iowa," said Jihad Douglas, president of Aviagen Turkeys. "A key factor in choosing this location was the state’s commitment to agriculture. Osceola is great community in the heart of the grain belt and centrally located for our customer base.”
Jason Williams will be the hatchery operations manager for the new site. Williams has over seventeen years of breeder and hatchery management experience. He will oversee the construction phase of the hatchery and will manage the facility once construction is complete.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tajikistan to export 2 million eggs to Iran

Tajikistan will export 1 to 2 million eggs to Iran to help the country deal with a poultry crisis, according to Sijouddin Isroilov, Tajikistan’s deputy minister of agriculture.
Iran’s poultry population has been decimated by disease and is in need of poultry products, said Isroilov, and the large egg export will not hurt Tajikistan’s domestic market. “Poultry farms in [Tajikistan's] Sughd province have coped with providing the population of the region with the eggs and now intend to sell their product in other regions, including Dushanbe,” he said. Prices for eggs in Iran are also more than double the price in Dushanbe, said the minister.

European Union calls for revised food labeling of poultry, meat products

Environmental Committee draft legislation, voted on at the second reading by the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, aims to modernize, simplify and clarify food labeling within the EU.
Food labels for poultry and meat should include the “date of first freezing," "country of provenance" and where an animal was born, reared and slaughtered, according to European Union Environment Committee members of Parliament. In addition, meat from slaughter without stunning should be labeled as such and meat consisting of combined meat parts should be labeled "formed meat." 
Committee-amended draft legislation, voted on at the second reading by the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, aims to modernize, simplify and clarify food labeling within the EU, according to committee members. It would change existing rules on information that is compulsory on all labels, such as name, list of ingredients, “best before” or “use by” dates and specific conditions of use, and would add a requirement to list key nutritional information. 
The committee approved its proposals, giving a strong mandate to achieve a second-reading agreement with Council ahead of Parliament’s plenary vote in July. Once the legislation is adopted, food businesses will have three years to adapt to the rules. They will have two more years after that to apply the rules on the nutritional declaration.

European broiler egg exporter receives second Queen's Award for Enterprise

HiBreeds International Ltd., an exporter of broiler hatching eggs from the UK and continental Europe, has received its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the UK’s most prestigious awards for business performance, recognizing and rewarding outstanding achievement. HiBreeds received the award for continuing success in international trade, following the company’s previous Queen’s Award success in 2003.
“We’re delighted to receive a second Queen’s Award after working hard to adapt to the changes in the economy and demand for food over recent years," said Laura Chandler, director of HiBreeds.

US feed industry supports FDA regulation of veterinary medical food

The American Feed Industry Association has encouraged the Food and Drug Administration to continue regulating veterinary medical food as “foods,” in comments submitted to the FDA.
According to AFIA members, veterinary animal foods are formulated from recognized — either as a food additive or generally recognized as safe — animal feed ingredients to help manage a specific disease or condition under a veterinarian’s supervision. “These products have a long history of safe use and do not present any known animal health concerns,” said AFIA Vice President Richard Sellers. “For these reasons, AFIA believes that it is most appropriate for the FDA to continue to regulate veterinary medical foods as 'foods'."
AFIA has proposed a national meeting, co-hosted by the FDA and a university affiliated with the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, to review how to best regulate veterinary medical foods. It has also urged the FDA to issue guidance with regard to its general enforcement policy on unapproved products. Public announcements of the agency’s position, rather than individual enforcements actions, would lead to a more level playing field and ensure that all stakeholders understand the FDA’s thinking and intentions, according to the statement.

US meat science association conference to focus on food safety risks

The American Meat Science Association  Reciprocal Meat Conference  will focus on marketing ideas, food safety risks, supply chains on agenda
"Developing Marketable Ideas" will be presented by Dr. Craig Bacon of Tyson Foods. Bacon will focus on discovery of new ideas, the processes to evaluate them and how to turn the ideas into successful products. Rosalind Zils, of Cargill, will speak on the topic of "Defining Food Safety Risks," looking into food safety risks as they relate to supplier systems.
"Enhancing Food Safety Throughout the Supply Chain" will be given by Dr. Kevin Nanke of Lopez Foods. Nanke will explore how to assure a safe food supply chain through interaction across disciplines in the entire chain.
AMSA's Reciprocal Meat Conference will take place Jume 19-22, at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Russian meat producer to expand with $685 million poultry complex

Russian meat producer Cherkizovo has announced its expansion with a $685 million poultry complex, in Yelets in the central Russian Lipetsk region.
The complex will have broiler sites with 10 million poultry places, parent stock and reproduction flock sites for 900,000 heads and slaughtering and processing facilities, according to the company. It will also include facilities to produce 512,000 metric tons of poultry feed per year and to store up to 50,000 metric tons of frozen products.
The complex is expected to be built in 2013 and to reach full capacity by 2015. Of the total investment, 80% were provided by Gazprombank, a former banking unit of Russian energy giant Gazprom, as a 10-year loan, said Cherkizovo.

Eliminating H5N1 avian influenza predicted to take more than 10 years

Currently, H5N1 is an established issue in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam; at its peak in 2006, H5N1 was reported in 60 countries.
Eliminating the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus from poultry in the six countries where it remains endemic will take ten or more years, according to a new Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report.
Currently, the virus is an established issue in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Vietnam; at its peak in 2006, H5N1 was reported in 60 countries. The report makes specific recommendations for each country regarding measures that should be taken over the next five years to move them towards virus elimination, and calls for a commitment to eradication efforts both by governments where the disease remains endemic and by international donors.
According to the report, three factors are contributing to H5N1's existence in the five affected countries:
  • The structure of their national poultry sectors. Endemically infected countries usually feature complex production and market chains, with poultry reared and sold under conditions that afford little protection from influenza viruses, and weak producer and service provider associations for supporting farmers.
  • The quality of public and private veterinary and animal production services, which are not always able to detect and respond to infections — or identify and correct underlying structural problems in production and marketing systems.
  • The level of commitment to dealing with H5N1. "The fear of H5N1 does not necessarily translate into concrete plans for virus control and elimination," said the report. 
The report's country-specific plans for eradication focus on outbreak control and response, gathering and analyzing information and disease prevention and risk reduction. "Each activity has clear objectives to enable measurement of progress and to ensure that countries remain focused on the goal of virus elimination," said FAO chief veterinary officer Juan Lubroth. "And it should also be noted that all the activities proposed develop capacity for handling other emerging and re-emerging diseases."

Danish pig farmers unite to lower animal feed costs

A new feed commodities trading company established in Denmark, BNP Supply A/S, has been established to reduce the farm input costs of its pig farmer members by buying commodities directly and on a large scale, according to executives.
For example, it estimates that the industry will need shipments of up to 40,000 metric tons of soybean meal per month, which it can import for itself from South America. The new company claims to have the backing of about 200 large pig producers, who account for around 15% of Danish annual pig supplies.
BNP Supply was started by combining the operations of three existing purchasing companies: Agro Partnere, Agro Nord and B2B Bonus. Its chairman is Danish pig farmer Jørgen H. Rasmussen, who also chairs Agro Partnere. A key factor in its establishment has a perceived reduction of competition in the farm supply market in Denmark after several agribusiness mergers and acquisitions over the past two to three years.

China increasing soybean imports due to record pig production

China may boost international soybean purchases 33% to 66.9 million metric tons by 2014, a 16.6 million-ton increase.
China may boost international soybean purchases 33% to 66.9 million metric tons by 2014, a 16.6 million-ton increase, due to doubled meat consumption — particularly pork — established over the last two decades.
Almost half the world’s pig meat comes from China, which has 689 million pigs and will be responsible for all of 2011's increase in global supply, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “U.S. farm trade with China may double in the next five years,” said Michael Swanson, the senior agricultural economist in Minneapolis for Wells Fargo & Co. A significant part of this trade will include soybeans.
China is expected to import 57 million metric tons of soybeans in the 12 months to October 2011, more than twice the amount five years ago and 60% of the global total, according to the USDA. As domestic agricultural output failed to keep pace with demand in 2010, China’s imports jumped 34% to $17.52 billion. Pork accounts for about 75% of Chinese meat demand. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Russia considering $426 million African swine fever program

Russia is considering a program to fight African swine fever that could cost up to 12 billion rubles (US$426 million) over seven years, said Nikolai Vlasov, deputy chief of food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.
The program would include laboratories and incentives to encourage farmers to switch from pig breeding to other livestock. The money would come from federal spending, according to Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Alexei Alekseenko.
The virus is mostly in Russia’s Southern and North-Caucasus federal districts. About 17,000 pigs have died or been slaughtered due to the disease so far in 2011, and 60,000 died in 2010.

Thailand may suspend egg exports, freeze domestic prices

Thailand is considering a temporary ban on chicken egg exports coinciding with a freeze on domestic egg prices to help stabilize the market, according to government officials.
The ban, which could last up to six months if implemented, is a response to a recent drop in production and rising feed prices that have combined to significantly increase retail prices of eggs in the domestic market. Production has declined by 3 million eggs a day as a result of heavy floods that hit chicken farms in the southern part of Thailand, exacerbated by hot weather in other areas that caused poultry disease outbreaks resulting in layers' deaths, according to reports.
Thailand exports around 20 to 30 million eggs a month, according to the Hen-Egg Farmers, Traders and Exporters Association. Domestic consumption of eggs averages 25 million a day

Egypt poultry imports down 60% in March

Egypt experienced a 60% decline in the import of frozen poultry, from 10,000 tons to 4,000 tons, during the month of March, according to Egyptian importers.
A 30% rise in shipping costs, increased security risks in the Middle East, increased bank fees and the increased value of the U.S. dollar, on top of global increases in prices, have all contributed to the issue, said Khalid Fathallah, vice chairman of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. 
Other meat imports declined in March to 6,000 tons compared to a normal monthly average of up to 20,000 tons (a 70% decline), according to Ahmed Sakr, an Egyptian importer. Global price hikes have affected the local market, bringing the price of one kilogram of Brazilian meat to around LE30 (US$5.03), as compared to LE23 (US$3.86) in late 2010.

State-inspected poultry, meat can cross US state lines, says USDA

A final rule, implemented by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, gives select establishments the option to ship poultry and meat products, bearing an official USDA mark of inspection, across state lines.
final rule has been announced that will broaden the market for smaller state-inspected plants, giving select establishments the option to ship poultry and meat products, bearing an official U.S. Department of Agriculture mark of inspection, across state lines.
The rule, implemented by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, establishes a voluntary cooperative interstate shipment program. "We're excited to announce this new rule that offers smaller plants the opportunity to expand their market and sell their products to new customers," said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. "Allowing these state-inspected establishments to ship their products across state lines has the potential to expand rural development and jobs, increase local tax bases, strengthen rural communities and ensure that food is safe for consumers."
In participating states, state-inspected establishments selected to take part in the program will be required to comply with all federal standards under the Poultry Products Inspection Act and the Federal Meat Inspection Act. These establishments will receive inspection services from state inspection personnel that have been trained in the requirements of the FMIA and PPIA.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

US Corn, soybean forecast for 2011

Current consumption of US corn and soybeans is a great deal higher than industry analysts expected, according to Tim Brusnahan, vice president of Brock and Associates, speaking at the recent WATT Online Animal Forum: Feeding the Globe. The production of ethanol, together with several other factors, appears to be at the heart of current fluctuations in the feed ingredients market and as a result, in the livestock markets as well.
Planting intentions for 2011
Referencing the recently released USDA report on 2011 planting intentions, Brusnahan noted that of the eight major crops there was an overall increase of 8.6 million acres planted versus last year. Corn plantings came in at 92.2 million acres versus a pre-trade estimate of 91.8 million acres. On the soybean side, acreage expected came in slightly less than the pre-trade market had planned on, and wheat as a whole came in slightly higher, with the exception of durum wheat which came in slightly lower.
USDA grain stocks report
The recent USDA grain stocks report was also cause for a good deal of concern in the industry. As of March 1 the amount of corn remaining in the US from last year’s harvest is 6.52 billion bushels. This is 1.2 billion bushels behind last year and below pre-trade estimates of 6.69 billion bushels. In addition, soybeans are at 1.248 billion bushels, which is 22 million bushels less than last year and below pre-trade estimates of 1.3 billion bushels. Consumption of corn was at an all-time high this past quarter and soybean consumption was near an all-time high.
Corn futures prices are currently around $7.00 in the nearby contract, which is representative of the 2010 crop year. This is far above the $5.50 to $6.00 level which is a more typical value for the stock. As a result, based on the current market conditions, Brusnahan’s firm is predicting that crop prices for corn will continue to be volatile for another year and a half.
Corn usage
Brusnahan noted that the current stock to usage ratio for corn is at five percent as a result of ethanol production and feed consumption. A five percent usage ratio is, when one looks back as far as 1926, close to one of its lowest points. This low usage ratio is causing worldwide concern. Brusnahan noted that getting back to a usage rate above the 20 percent range is highly unlikely. He said he believed that a ratio in the 10 percent range was far more possible if farmers can get in a really good crop this year.
Ethanol industry
Corn quality for the production of ethanol was very strong in the second half of 2010, which resulted in a close correlation between corn and ethanol prices. Profitability for ethanol producers has been very good in the last six months and the ethanol industry is running at almost 100 percent capacity.
Exports have also become an important part of the ethanol equation. Demand from the EU has been strong. Demand from Brazil has been particularly strong because sugar prices there have become too high. In addition, demand for DDGS is increasing. Some DDGS is being exported, though the majority of it is being consumed in the US. It should be noted that there was a brief spike in demand for DDGS from China in mid-2010, but that has currently tapered off. In addition, US pork producers are beginning to use DDGS because of the high price of corn.
Global supply and demand
Brusnahan noted that while the supply of corn worldwide has tightened, we are in no way running out. Globally, we have a 15 percent stock to usage ratio. He did point out that since the US is the primary producer of corn, if US production declines it will have a global impact. He also noted that while China’s imports and exports have been inactive the last few years, their corn supplies are low. He said if the US were to have a particularly good corn crop it would not be a surprise to see China import some of it.
World soybean demand has been relatively stable, when taken as a whole. Soybean exports have been running steady, with the majority going to China.
Supplies of wheat look fairly good. US supplies are “fairly adequate,” and globally there will most likely be some improvement, as it is unlikely that the US, Canada, Europe and Russia will all have a bad crop year at the same time.
The livestock industry has had a difficult challenge over the last four years in the US, and many markets have adjusted as a result of the higher cost of feed, Brusnahan observed. Right now pork and beef seem to be doing the best, and the poultry and dairy industries seem to be having a more difficult time. There are 9.2 million dairy cows in the US, and a large percentage of those facilities are totally dependent on buying feed for milk production, particularly in western states where producers are unable to offset feed costs by growing the crops themselves.
Pricewise, cattle and swine production have been doing the best. The egg industry has been volatile for a number of reasons. Pork supplies are, for the most part, stable. Per capita meat consumption has also been fairly stable. After experiencing a drop in consumption, the poultry industry is beginning to see more consumption, largely because of higher prices for pork and beef.
Pork exports have been “phenomenal,” Brusnahan said and this is fueling the current high prices for pork. Exports to China and Japan have been a huge benefit for US pork producers as pork is a major meat protein for China, and China consumes approximately half of all pork produced in the world. This is also helping drive the demand for US soybeans as a feed source for pork.
Right now beef inventory is low, but beef margins have been relatively good. This has helped dairy producers; as they cull their herds they are able to return a favorable cash flow to their operations as they replace their dairy cows with fresh heifers. However, Brusnahan noted that cattle and cow calf producers nationwide have been facing a difficult decision in whether to use existing acreage for crops or for pasture, given the high price of corn. This could be in part what is fueling high beef prices.
While the broiler market has recovered, it is not highly profitable, and most returns in January and February were negative. Going forward there should be improvement in March’s numbers for most US poultry companies. Within the global arena the US is a large consumer of broilers, so this has helped stabilize the overall sector. Russia has recently begun importing fewer US broilers, and while this does not appear to be having a significant impact at this point, it is definitely an area of concern for US producers.
Corn and soybean March 1 stocks numbers were lower than industry analysts expected. The first statistical data point for 2011 corn supplies was dramatically bullish, which means that not enough acres were planted. Since July, 2010 there is no evidence to date of supply rationing, and corn and soybean prices will now likely stay strong into late June/early July.

Iowa corn planting delayed by weather

Only 2% of Iowa's 2011 corn acreage has been planted through April 17, compared with 16% at this time a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
A U.S. statewide survey shows that only 2% of Iowa's 2011 corn acreage has been planted through April 17, compared with 16% at this time a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Iowa, the top corn-producing state in the U.S., trails the national average, which showed 7% of the corn in the ground through April 17. Illinois, which ranks second among corn producing states, has 9% of its corn planted, while Missouri has 26% planted. "We like to get as much of our crop planted in April so corn can be ready to harvest by late September and less vulnerable to fall frosts," said Sean Harmon, a farmer in central Iowa. "I like to be in the field with the planter around April 12, but that isn't happening this year."
Farmers have been unable to plant their crop due to rain and soil temperatures, which are still too cool for planting, according to Harry Hillaker, state climatologist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
The wettest week since November and temperatures as much as 10 degrees F below normal reversed an initial warming of the spring soil. Overall soil temperatures remain below the 50-degree F threshold needed for corn plant germination.
The markets are watching corn planting progress more closely than usual because domestic corn stocks are at a 15-year low, with export and ethanol demand still going strong, according to experts. Any significant weather problems with the crop this spring and summer could raise corn prices even higher, which could lead to higher meat prices and affect ethanol plants and livestock producers. "Tight grain stocks are demanding that everything go well this year with crop production," said Arlan Suderman, market analyst for Wallaces Farmer.

GRAPAS International 2011 Conference cancelled, trade show continuing

The GRAPAS Conference, scheduled to take place May 5, 2011, in Cologne, Germany, has been cancelled, but the GRAPAS trade show, Victam 2011, FIAAP International and all related conferences and events will still take place as scheduled, according to event coordinators.
In addition, the deadline for registration at the animal feed conferences taking place during Victam 2011, Aquafeed Horizons and the FIAAP Conference, has been extended to April 25.
After this date, registration will be accepted on-site on a space-available basis only; discounts for groups, exhibitors and returning delegates will not apply.

US agriculture organizations call for more competitive rail environment

The National Grain and Feed Association and 11 other U.S. agricultural trade organizations have released a statement urging the federal Surface Transportation Board to improve its regulatory structure to foster a more competitive rail environment.

The National Grain and Feed Association and 11 other U.S. agricultural trade organizations have released a statement urging the federal Surface Transportation Board to improve its regulatory structure to foster a more competitive rail environment.
The STB is currently conducting a proceeding to explore the current state of rail competition and potential policy initiatives to promote additional rail-to-rail competition.
Enhancing both regulatory access to the agency and problem-solving in rail markets between carriers and their customers could spur growth in both U.S. agriculture and the rail sector, which in turn would support an “improved overall U.S. economy and provide for more vibrant job growth in many sectors served by rail,” said the organizations. In their joint statement, the organizations focused on issues such as rates and switching charges, business practices imposed by carriers, contractual barriers to competition and improvements to the agency’s arbitration procedures to foster improved dispute resolution between railroads and shippers. 
Other national agricultural producer and agribusiness associations joining the NGFA in the statement included the Agricultural Retailers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Oilseed Processors Association, Renewable Fuels Association, The Fertilizer Institute and USA Rice Federation.
The NGFA plans to testify at a June 22 public hearing scheduled by the STB as part of its rail competition proceeding.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

US poultry exports up 15% in February

U.S. broiler (including paws) exports in January-February since 1990. (Source: USDA/FAS GATS database)
February exports of U.S. poultry meat increased by more than 15% in quantity and nearly 18% in value over the same month in 2010, according to trade data released by the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Export quantity of all poultry meat in February reached 290,261 metric tons with a value of $338.7 million. Cumulative January-February poultry export quantity rose by 11% to 554,769 metric tons, while value increased by 13% to $648.5 million over combined totals for the two months in 2010. U.S. turkey exports set a record for both quantity and value in February (24,123 metric tons valued at $41.5 million, up 37% and 35%, respectively) and the export value of U.S. chicken paws (26,045 metric tons valued at $39.6 million; up 30% and 25% from 2010) was also a record for February.
For broiler meat (excluding chicken paws), February shipments totaled 233,112 metric tons valued at $245.5 million, up 12% and 14% over February 2010 despite declines in exports to several markets, including Vietnam, China, Cuba, Angola and Congo. U.S. exporters increased shipments to numerous other markets, including Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, South Korea and Iraq, which helped to drive the overall increase.
The export value of U.S. chicken paws in February was the highest ever recorded. Of total paw exports, 90% (23,492 metric tons) were shipped to Hong Kong, an increase of 56%, while 8% landed in mainland China, down 32% from February 2010.
Both quantity and value were records for February, thanks to increased shipments to Mexico, China and Taiwan. Exports to Mexico — the top U.S. turkey market — climbed to 13,672 metric tons valued at $26.1 million, up 44% and 40% from 2010 numbers. Shipments to China, the second leading market, reached 3,711 metric tons at $3.8 million, up 134% and 143%, respectively. Exports to other important export markets such as Taiwan, Canada, Bahamas and Jamaica also increased significantly.
Table eggs
For table eggs, exports for February 2011 were 3.82 million dozen, valued at $3.211 million, down 10% and 7% from 2010 numbers. The decrease is mainly attributable to decreased shipments to Canada, the U.A.E. and Israel. Increased shipments to other export markets such as Hong Kong, Mexico and the EU-27 helped boost the total.
Egg products
For U.S. processed egg products, February exports were 3,014 metric tons at $7.763 million, down 15% and 25% from February 2010, attributable to declines in shipments to several key markets, including the EU. Exports to Japan, the top export market for U.S. egg products, increased 76% to $3.865 million, accounting for 46% of U.S. total export value of egg product for the month.

Pig Care program teaches veterinary students about swine health

Iowa State University veterinary students participate in Individual Pig Care. Students learned how to identify pigs at the onset of sickness, plus gained experience in communicating treatment and protocol information most effectively to people working on farms.
Veterinary students from Iowa State University participated in the Individual Pig Care training/certification program, which focused on the identification of sick pigs and communication skills.
The March 26 event, sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, taught students how flexing to behavioral tendencies and experience levels can enhance communication. They then used these skills to communicate their observations on husbandry practices to caregivers. "We had the opportunity to take what we learned in the classroom and apply it in a pig production setting, doing health assessments and incorporating communication skills based on various personality types to ensure that protocols are followed," said Chase Stahl, third-year veterinary student at Iowa State and president of the school's AASV student chapter.
Another part of the Individual Pig Care training/certification program allowed students to walk through the pig barn and learn how to identify pigs at different stages of sickness and then report their observations in a role-play exercise. "We learned a lot about how to find sick pigs at the onset of disease and then were able to do one of the hardest things, practice communicating those observations to others in the operation," said Stahl. "With the role-play exercise, we were able to facilitate our observations using different communication styles and get feedback from experienced veterinarians. It was a great learning experience."
Faculty of Iowa State and Pfizer Animal Health veterinarians assisted students with sick pig identification, conducted communication practice sessions and provided feedback on the students' observations after each session

High pressure processing for poultry offers increased food safety

High pressure processing uses elevated pressure levels as a kill step for pathogens and other spoilage organisms, resulting in sustainability through longer shelf life and less food waste. (Photo courtesy: Avure Technologies)
Concern for better food safety and the use of fewer preservatives in poultry and other meat, both ready to eat and raw, is a challenge some companies are meeting with high pressure processing. The process uses elevated pressure levels as a kill step for pathogens and other spoilage organisms, resulting in sustainability through longer shelf life and less food waste.
The use of up to 87,000 pounds of pressure per square inch eliminates the need for the certain preservatives, which also answers to current consumer demands.
HPP is experiencing huge growth, especially as consumer habits are trending toward fresh and healthy while maintaining convenience, said Glenn Hewson, vice president of global marketing for Avure Technologies Inc., a company that offers custom high pressure processing systems.
The company assists meat processors in moving to HPP systems, from product development through market launch.
Tyson, Perdue Farms and Cargill are a few of the companies using this type of processing. Cargill's Fressure fresh ground beef patties, for example, use no preservatives or high heat and have a "double-the-industry-average shelf life," according to the company.

Dubai lifts poultry import ban on Gulf, Arab countries

Dubai's Ministry of Environment and Water has lifted a ban on the import of live birds and poultry products from the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab region.
The ministry had imposed the ban earlier as part of its surveillance on an avian flu pandemic that communicated through the import of bird products.
Though the ban has been lifted, several security measures remain in place. “The exporting country should be free of bird flu at least 12 months before the date of shipment, with certificates and documents from government agencies to prove that the products are free from virus or contamination,” said spokesperson at the MoEW. “The shipment of live birds should carry the veterinary health certificate from competent authorities of the exporting country to ensure that they are not affected with any type of infectious disease. “The importer should also produce a certificate issued by an accredited laboratory within a period not exceeding 21 days of the export.”
Should such conditions not be met, the imported consignment will be rejected and returned to the country of origin or will be confiscated and destroyed in the UAE in accordance with the quarantine procedures, according to the ministry.

China duck breeder increases net income by 73% in 2010

China duck breeder Anhui Taiyang Poultry Co. Inc. has reported a 73% increase in net income ($4.3 million) for 2010 when compared to 2009 numbers ($2.5 million).
The company's revenue increased 44% from 2009's $28.9 million to 2010's $41.7 million. "Our revenue increase was primarily driven by the increase in our breeding unit revenue by 63% to $12.6 million and revenue in our feed unit to $13.9 million as compared to approximately $51,000 in 2009," said Wu Qiyou, CEO and chairman of the board of directors. "During the third and fourth quarters of 2010, the pricing of ducklings hit a historically high price of...approximately $1.18 per duckling. As a result, we found it more financially beneficial to explore options to sell our ducklings as opposed to raising the ducks to be used for the food unit of our business. Thereby, revenue in our food business was reduced while increasing the revenue generated through our breeding unit."
Anhui Taiyang's adjusted net income (non-GAAP) reached $7.1 million for 2010, adding $2.1 million in one-time stock-based compensation and a limit of $705,000 in professional service expenses related to becoming a publically traded company in November 2010.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ukraine poultry producer's volume up 2% for first quarter 2011

Ukraine-based MHP S.A.'s volume of chicken meat sales to third parties increased by 2% during the first quarter of 2011 compared to 2010, reaching 84,300 metric tons, according to the company's report.
The average chicken meat price through the first quarter of 2011 increased by 4%, to UAH 12.83 (US$1.61) per kilogram of adjusted weight when compared to the same time in 2010. Poultry production costs in the first three months of 2011 rose slightly in UAH terms compared to 2010 due to the increase in grain and utility prices, which were partially compensated by the lower cost of hatching eggs.

UK pig producers focusing on biosecurity and herd health

Pig producers in the East Midlands of the UK are formulating plans to improve herd health across the region. At three meetings in March, producers in the area gave their views, anonymously if they wished, on the direction the new East Midlands Pig Health scheme should take.
The open discussions resulted in some good ideas on what producers would like EMPH to achieve as a long-term program.
Producers have agreed, initially, to focus on health management and biosecurity training with the following benefits already on offer to members:
  • Training to improve biosecurity practices;
  • Sharing information and experience with other members – producers can opt in to show information on an online map and see who else is a member; and
  • Health management – the BPEX Pig Health Scheme will be available free of charge to members of EMPH on registration, providing an invaluable source of information when planning health improvement and management.
BPHS has specialist pig vets checking carcases for a range of important pig health conditions in specialist abattoirs throughout Britain. The report sent back to producers gives them a picture of their overall herd health, including sub-clinical disease which is not always easy to spot on farm. Training will also be available to help producers interpret the BPHS results.

UK forecasts poultry production to rise 1.86% by 2015

By 2015, United Kingdom poultry production should reach 1.6 million metric tons, up 1.86% from 2011 through 2015, according to a recent Research and Markets report.
In 2011, poultry production is forecast to rise by 0.36%, to 1.57 million metric tons. Rising feed prices are largely responsible for the modest expansion, according to the report. In addition, the EU Broiler Welfare Directive, which sets maximum levels for the stocking of broiler chickens, was implemented in the UK at the end of 2010. Operators stocking over 39kg/m2 have had to decide whether to increase the size of their facilities to reduce density or to trim the size of their flocks.

US turkeys hatched, placed in February up from 2010

U.S. turkey poults hatched during February 2011 totaled 23.1 million, up 8% from February 2010, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
Compared to the previous month, February poults hatched were down 4% from January's 24 million. The 22.3 million net poults placed during February were up 6% from the number placed during the same month in 2010, but down 1% from the January 2011 total of 22.6 million.

USDA studying yeast extract as alternative to antibiotics for poultry

A dietary yeast extract could be a viable alternative to antibiotics for poultry producers, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service study.
Microbiologist Gerry Huff with the ARS in Fayetteville, Ark., and her colleagues have been studying the effects of yeast extract as an immune stimulant and alternative to antibiotics in conventional turkeys, and initial studies suggest that the extract has good potential as a non-antibiotic alternative for decreasing pathogens in organic turkey production. Non-pharmaceutical remedies and preventatives are particularly needed for organic poultry production, according to Huff, who works in the ARS Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit in Fayetteville.
In order to produce a larger, financially viable study after the initial tests, researchers are currently using 800 Japanese quail to test the extract's efficacy against salmonella and campylobacter.

Monday, April 18, 2011

2011 Global Pig Forum focus on sustainable development, industry's future

The 2011 Global Pig Forum, focusing on sustainable development and the industry's future, will take a look at pig issues from macroscopic, corporate and technical perspectives, according to event organizers.
The forum will feature several speakers presenting on such topics as "Perspectives of China pig industry development in the next five years," "Recent trends in global pig diseases and control strategies" and "Future arrangements on feed safety and quality."
The event, which will take place on May 16 and 17 at the Qingdao Fuxin Hotel in Qingdao, China, will be hosted by the China Animal Agriculture Association. The forum's registration form can be downloaded from

India to regulate poultry antibiotics use

India's National Center for Disease Control's National Policy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance has put a cap on how much antibiotics can be put into poultry products, the first time such regulation has been provided, according to officials.
The new policy has named common antibiotics like tetracycline, oxytetracycline, trimethoprim and oxolinic acid, and clearly mentioned that their use "shall not exceed the prescribed tolerance limit." In addition, the use of over 20 antibiotics or pharmacologically active substances has been prohibited in poultry products. "Antibiotics are used by farmers to prevent infection in poultry," said Professor Randeep Guleria from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. "However, until now there was no limitation. We don't want such meat to enter the food chain and lead to the emergence of antibiotic resistance in humans who eat it. That's why we have fixed limits."

US pork exports reach $434.4 million in February, up 15% from 2010

Exports of U.S. pork in February reached 172,022 metric tons valued at $434.4 million, a 15% increase in value and 8% in volume compared to February 2010 totals.
Exports of U.S. pork in February reached 172,022 metric tons valued at $434.4 million, a 15% increase in value and 8% in volume compared to February 2010 totals, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation
These numbers beat even the strong January 2011 numbers; the total for the first two months of 2011 currently sits at 337,160 metric tons valued at $831.3 million, increases of 11% in volume and 17% in value over the same period in 2010. Mexico, Japan, the Hong Kong/China region, South Korea and Canada remain the top five export markets.
In Japan, the leading value market for U.S. pork, exports were up 19% in volume and 17% in value for the first two months of 2011 to 74,498 metric tons valued at $280.3 million. In addition, Japanese import data show the U.S. market share increased to 45.5% of all imported pork — up from 43.2% in 2010. “The trend in Japan, as it is in a number of other Asian countries, is toward increasing reliance on imported foods to meet domestic needs,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “It is critical for the U.S. to maintain a strong presence in markets like Japan, where consumers are willing to pay for high-quality products. This year, 22 nations are exporting pork to Japan in competition for this valuable export market.”
In Mexico — the top export market in volume — a 5% decline in export volume and 3% slip in value from 2010 levels can be attributed to higher U.S. pork prices, according to the USMEF. Even with those numbers, however, exports to Mexico for the January–February period stand 71% higher in volume (94,883 metric tons) and 95% higher in value ($168 million) than the global record year of 2008.
The growth leader for U.S. pork exports in February was South Korea, which purchased a record 19,532 metric tons valued at $49.2 million as that nation continues to deal with product shortages driven by a major outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Monthly export totals to Korea jumped 154% in volume and 227% in value versus February 2010. For the first two months of 2011, South Korea has purchased 32,715 metric tons of U.S. pork valued at $81.3 million — increases of 143% and 198%, respectively.
Other key pork export markets include:
  • Hong Kong/China: down slightly (4% in volume and 9.4% in value) for February, but still up 19% in value ($81.5 million) and 22% in volume (56,429 metric tons) for January–February versus 2010.
  • Canada: level compared to 2010, with two-month totals at 26,746 metric tons valued at $89.7 million.
  • Central and South America: 11,128 metric tons (12% increase) valued at $28.4 million (26% increase) for the January–February 2011 period.
  • Russia: 278% increase in export volume and 406% jump in value to 8,009 metric tons valued at $21 million for the two-month start of 2011. 

US poultry industry calls for cut in ethanol mandate

The U.S. poultry industry has asked Congress to lower the amount of ethanol required to be added to motor gasoline as a way of decreasing the demand for corn, which has driven the commodity's prices from $2 per bushel in 2006 to more than $8.00 per bushel currently.
Corn is the primary component of chicken feed, which accounts for 55% of the wholesale cost of whole, ready-to-cook chickens, and 40% of the U.S. corn crop is being diverted into federally mandated ethanol usage. “The National Chicken Council recommends a plan be implemented that would reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard when the stocks-to-use ratio for corn drops to low levels, as the situation is now,” said industry executive Michael Welch at a hearing held by the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee.
Less than 700 million bushels of corn are expected to be left at the end of the 2011 crop year, said Welch. “There is no cushion, no extra bushels in inventory to carry the needs of the users of corn through the next crop year in the event of a shortfall in this fall’s corn harvest,” said Welch. “To assume an adequate number of acres will be planted to corn this year and the next few years and to further assume favorable weather conditions for crops this year and the next few years are not assumptions the U.S. chicken industry is prepared to make, nor should prudent U.S. government policymakers be willing to make.”
The industry has said that it would like to see the mandate reduced to allow non-ethanol users greater access to corn.

Malta pig production expanding, competing in global market

A new finishing house on a Maltese farm.
Malta's pig industry has become more efficient and productive since joining the European Union in 2003, due largely to genetic expansion, according to the island's producers.
The rise in productivity is allowing Malta to do more with less —  the island’s breeding herd is being reduced from the 6,000–7,000 sows it has had since 2005 to just over 4,700 sows in 2011, while maintaining production of slaughter pigs at around 85,000–95,000 per year.
To facilitate growth, the Pig Breeders’ Co-operative Society, which represents the 170 pig producers on Malta and nearby Gozo, is setting up a new nucleus breeding unit on the site of the agriculture ministry’s research and development farm using genetics from British pig-breeding company ACMC Ltd. as part of its genetics program. Until now, the co-op has had to rely largely on importation of F1 hybrids and GPs together with AI to supply its members with genetics. The new nucleus will enable them to breed their own AC1 replacement gilts.
The island has also begun selling surplus live pigs, both weaners and growers, to Sicily for further fattening and use for Parma ham.

Friday, April 15, 2011

China to start importing Brazilian pig meat

China has opened its market to exports of Brazilian pig meat, approving three as-yet unnamed Brazilian pork processors, according to the president of the Brazilian pig meat producers and exporters association, Pedro de Camargo Neto.
“This represents the start of the opening of the Chinese market to Brazilian pig meat," said de Camargo Neto. "We will carry on working to gain recognition for the remainder of our pork processors.” More approvals are expected as the market expands.

Washington state House approves poultry battery cage phase-out

The Washington state House of Representatives has approved a piece of legislation that will phase out the use of battery cage housing in commercial egg-laying chicken operations, Senate Bill 5487.
The legislation will instead mandate use of an approved American Humane Association housing system, requiring more space and the use of what is known as the enriched colony model. Enriched colony housing allows hens to exhibit natural behaviors such as spreading their wings and turning around, as well as offering elements such as nests, perches and scratching areas."We salute the legislators in Washington state for their proactive work," said Tim Amlaw, vice president of American Humane Certified animal welfare program. "Extensive research shows that the welfare program they have approved for commercial egg-laying chicken operations will most certainly significantly improve animal welfare."
The House vote follows previous approval in the state Senate, where the legislation will now return for concurrence before moving to the desk of Governor Chris Gregoire for final approval.

Ethanol futures fall in US on surge of oil prices

Ethanol futures fell the most in four weeks amid concerns that higher energy prices will curb economic growth, according to analysts.
The International Energy Agency and the International Monetary Fund said oil prices that have surged 25% in the past year will hurt the global economy. “The market’s got overextended,” said Mike Blackford, an analyst at INTL FCStone Group. “It’s enough to cause a bit of a washout this week. Demand is hand-to-mouth. People are only buying as needed.”
Denatured ethanol for May delivery dropped $0.07 (2.6%) to $2.66 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade, the largest decline since March 15 and the lowest price since March 31. Prices have risen 12% this year. In cash market trading, ethanol in the U.S. Gulf dropped $0.05 (1.8%) to $2.735 a gallon and in Chicago lost $0.035 (1.3%) to $2.66. Ethanol in New York fell $0.02 (0.7%) to $2.75 a gallon and on the West Coast decreased $0.035 (1.2%) to $2.805.

US wheat prices, demand up as corn prices continue to rise

On April 12, corn futures traded above CBOT wheat prices for the first time in 15 years — an event that analysts said could encourage even more wheat use in feed rations.
Wheat prices have increased by 4.5% in the last three months as demand for the grain's use in animal feed has strengthened and stockpiles have decreased in the wake of rising corn prices, according to the Chicago Board of Trade.
On April 12, corn futures traded above CBOT wheat prices for the first time in 15 years — an event that analysts said could encourage even more wheat use in feed rations. Wheat prices have risen 13% and corn 16% since March 31, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that corn stockpiles were at a four-year low. “The whole grain market is related through animal feed because producers tend to switch from corn to wheat,” said Jonathan Bouchet of Paris-based OTCex Group. “Right now wheat is supported by the corn story.” According to the USDA, feed will account for 18% of global wheat use in the marketing year through May 31, compared with 59% of corn consumption.

Cargill India to enter animal feed business

Cargill India is planning to enter the animal feed industry, an area where the feed requirements for poultry and cattle are expected to increase, according to analysts.
“We have a presence in the northern region as far as cattle and poultry feed are concerned," said Cargill India Chairman Siraj Chaudhry. "For aqua feed, we are dominant in the south. Seeing the growth in demand, we are looking at expansion in these regions.”
Currently, the Indian animal feed industry is broadly categorized into poultry, cattle and aqua feed. It supplies 10% of cattle and aqua feed and 50% of poultry feed in India, according to a Rabobank report. The bulk of the remaining feed is being produced by the unorganized sector, comprised of home and custom mixers. The total production of compound feed for all livestock stands at 17 million metric tons.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mexico, Singapore halt poultry imports from Missouri over avian flu concerns

Mexico and Singapore have halted poultry product imports from Polk County, Missouri, after a case of avian flu was reported, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Inspection Service.
Mexico stopped imports of raw poultry and poultry meat products derived from birds slaughtered on or after March 4, and Singapore stopped shipments of fresh or frozen poultry meat from birds in Polk County on or after March 30. There was a low-pathogenic influenza confirmed on a flock of turkeys on a single farm in Polk County, said Lyndsay Cole, a USDA spokeswoman. Further testing showed that the birds no longer have the flu strain.