Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bank Barclays proposes 80 percent stake in Doux

    Barclays, the main bank creditor of indebted French poultry group Doux, has proposed to swap a €140 million (US$169.73 million) loan for an 80 percent stake in the company, leaving Doux a 20 percent minority stakeholder in the business, according to reports. Barclays has said it wants to then sell off parts of its holding to potential partners.
    The leading competing bid to take over Doux has come from oilseed financial group Sofiproteol, and a court hearing is scheduled for July 27 to review proposed plans. Roughly 1,000 jobs are expected to be lost no matter who wins the bid. While Sofiproteol has put forward an offer to take over some of Doux's assets, it would not take over the company's debts, as it would be part of a sale process following a bankruptcy.
    The judge directing the hearing is set to adjourn its decision for further deliberation, and a verdict isn't likely until August at the earliest, according to reports.

US Senate discusses egg-laying hen welfare

    On July 27 a U.S. Senate committee discussed legislation to set national standards for the treatment of egg-laying hens, debating particularly how much space each hen should have in their coops, according to reports.
    The proposed legislation, promoted by Senator Dianne Feinstein, would increase the size of henhouses and require egg labeling so consumers know how hens were raised. "This is a practical, fair-minded deal that solves a real problem for the egg industry," said Feinstein. Her effort to create national standards is partly the result of an initiative passed by Californians in 2008 that require that hens be able to stretch their wings and turn around in their housing. At least five other states have enacted similar rules. The legislation also takes into account a compromise reached in 2011 between the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers.
    The bill gives farmers 18 years to increase the size of hen cages. The measure would also outlaw the practice of depriving hens of food and water to increase egg production, set minimum air quality standards for henhouses and require that egg cartons stipulate whether eggs come from hens that are caged, cage-free, free-range or housed in enriched cages. Currently, the majority of caged hens are provided with 67 square inches of space. If the legislation passes, the hens would be given 124 to 144 square inches of space.
    Groups representing beef and pork industries have come out against Feinstein's bill, and a companion bill in the House sponsored by Representative Kurt Schrader, saying that they might be the next target of federal legislation. An industry group called Egg Farmers of America is also opposed to the legislation, saying that it could drive small farmers out of business, increase consumer prices, affect other industries and lacks scientific justification.

US poultry certified wholesome down in June

    U.S. poultry certified wholesome during June (ready-to-cook weight) totaled 3.67 billion pounds, down 5 percent from the amount certified in June 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. The May revised certified total, at 3.86 billion pounds, was up 1 percent from May 2011 and represented an increase of 214,000 pounds from the preliminary pounds certified.
    The preliminary total live weight of all federally inspected poultry during June was 4.86 billion pounds, down 5 percent from 5.11 billion pounds in 2011. Young chickens inspected totaled 4.14 billion pounds, down 5 percent from June 2011 numbers. Mature chickens, at 75.9 million pounds, were down 4 percent from the same time in 2011. Turkey inspections totaled 634 million pounds, down 3 percent, and ducks totaled 13.3 million pounds, down 6 percent.
    Young chickens slaughtered during June averaged 5.86 pounds per bird, up 1 percent from June 2011. The average live weight of mature chickens was 5.73 pounds per bird, down 5 percent. Turkeys slaughtered during June averaged 30 pounds per bird, up 3 percent from June 2011, according to the USDA.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html.

US pork production down 4 percent in June

    U.S. pork production totaled 1.75 billion pounds in June, down 4 percent from 2011 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Hog slaughter totaled 8.55 million head, down 4 percent from June 2011. Of this number, 8.209 million were barrows and gilts, 243,000 were sows and 29,000 were boars. Iowa slaughtered the most hogs in June, with 2.287 million. North Carolina and Minnesota rounded out the top three, with 841,300 and 796,800 hogs slaughtered, respectively. The average live weight was up 1 pound, at 274 pounds, according to the USDA.

JSR Genetics delivers 885 breeding pigs to China

    JSR Genetics has shipped 885 high genetic merit breeding pigs to China to create a new nucleus herd at Hubei Jinxu JSR Breeding Limited, the joint venture between JSR and Chinese pig producers Hubei COFCo.
    The delivery includes JSR Genepacker 1 and 2 dam lines and JSR Geneconverter 500 and 700 sire lines. It will enable the nucleus herd to breed not only Genepacker 90 gilts — known for their consistent lifetime performance — but establish new markets by using the Geneconverter 700 boar to increase carcass yields. “We are delighted be establishing a nucleus herd here in the Hubei Province,” said Paul Anderson, JSR’s international sales director. “A strong presence here is very important to us. China is home to half the world’s pigs and pork consumption is still growing. JSR is certainly targeting China as a major growth area in the coming years. The Hubei province is centrally located with an excellent distribution network, so success here is crucial.”
    The animals are the latest major consignment of JSR pigs sent to China and follow a delivery in March 2011 of over 800 JSR Genepacker GGP gilts and JSR Geneconverter GGP boars to stock a new breeding nucleus farm with the Guangzhou Animal Husbandry Company, based in Guangzhou province.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Liberia gets US$1 million grant for poultry farming

    Liberia has received a US$1 million grant from Nigeria to begin a poultry farming project, according to Liberia's Minister of Agriculture Florence Chenoweth, that will produce consumable poultry products and bring an end to imports.
    “We want to bring to an end the importation of poultry products, specifically eggs, by the end of this year," said Chenoweth. “We’ll have at our site in Grand Cape Mount County over 70,000 day-old chicks. Some of these will be given to other farmers who have an interest in poultry farming.” The project, known as Obasanjo Farm after the Nigerian President Olusengun Obasanjo, is meant to help reduce the incidence of bird flu that comes from imported products and raise the quality of local production.
    The Liberia ministry is also working on a corn production program to produce local feed for the chickens. Chenoweth said the poultry farming project and its corn feeding program will create job opportunities for Liberians, especially young people who want to engage in poultry farming.

Chicken price to not exceed RD$46 in Dominican Republic

    On July 23, the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Deputies, representatives of the white meat industry and Pro Consumidor set a limit of RD$46 (US$1.18) per pound of chicken sold in stores in the Dominican Republic.
    According to a source, the agreed-upon system establishes the following prices:
    • Chicken producers will sell chicken at RD$28.50 (US$0.73) per pound
    • Distributors 1 (individuals or companies that sell live and buy it directly from the farms) will sell chicken at RD$31.50 (US$0.81) per pound
    • Distributors 2 (retailers) will sell chicken at RD$42.00 (US$1.07) per pound
    • Distributors 3 (which includes grocery stores) will sell chicken at RD$46.00 (US$1.18) per pound
    • Slaughterhouses will sell chicken at RD$50.50 (US$1.29) per pound
    • Supermarkets will sell chicken at RD$55.60 (US$1.42) per pound

UK poultry farmers call for 20 percent price increases

    UK poultry farmers are calling for supermarkets to raise the prices of eggs and poultry by as much as 20 percent, in order to offset the increase in chicken feed prices caused by the ongoing U.S. drought that has damaged corn and soybean crops, according to reports.
    The cost of producing a chicken has grown by up to 25 percent since the beginning of 2012, said Peter Bradnock, chief executive of the British Poultry Council. "We need to pass the price increase on," he said. Feed makes up roughly 60 percent the cost of producing chicken. "There are more people [in the poultry industry] making losses than making profits at the moment," said Bradnock.
    Feed increases are hurting farmers and making it difficult to profit, according to Duncan Priestner, chairman of the National Farmers' Union. “What the supermarkets are hoping is that the price of feed will come down again and that farmers will just have to grit their teeth and take this on the chin until prices come down,” said Priestner. “The problem is if these prices don’t come down then the supermarkets are going to have to react to that, otherwise farmers won’t be able to put the next stock of chickens in because they can’t afford it.”

RECALL: Land O'Lakes Purina Feed announces poultry feed recall

    Land O'Lakes Purina Feed LLC has initiated a voluntary recall of certain varieties of poultry feed products due to the lack of added vitamin D in these products.
    To date, there have been no reported animal illnesses involving the products being recalled. The absence of added vitamin D in these products occurred as a result of a formulation software conversion. "We are working diligently with retailers and distributors to notify customers about this issue and, as a precautionary measure, we urge customers to not feed their flocks these products," said Dave Hoogmoed, chief operating officer. "Instead, please return them to the point of purchase for a refund and replacement feed. We deeply regret the concern and inconvenience this is causing."
    The affected products were manufactured between May 23 and July 20, 2012, at the Milford, Ind., Nashville, Tenn., and St. Joseph, Mo., feed plants, and distributed nationwide under the Purina and DuMOR brand names. All products manufactured after July 20 include added vitamin D in their formulation.
    Customers should return remaining products to their local dealer or retailer to receive a refund. For more information on the product recall, contact your local dealer, retailer or customer service between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (CT), Monday through Friday, or from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CT) on Saturday and Sunday. For questions about Purina Honor Show Chow products, call 1-800-227-8941 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-227-8941 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. For questions about DuMOR products, call 1-888-719-8066, or visit www.purinamills.com/news/recall-information.aspx.

Philippine poultry production increases 7 percent in first quarter 2012

    January–March 2012 poultry production in the Philippines continued its upward trend, growing over 7 percent compared to the same period in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service's latest report.
    Chicken production increased 7.38 percent and duck production rose 1.82 percent; chicken and duck egg production increased by 6.92 percent and 1.18 percent, respectively. In calendar year 2011 chicken production totaled 1.41 million metric tons live weight, up 4.52 percent from 135 million metric tons in 2010. Growth was due to the expansion of commercial broiler farms and the higher number of broilers dressed, according to the USDA. Duck production was 33,153 metric tons, up 0.53 percent from 32,970 metric tons in 2010. Chicken egg production grew 6.92 percent in 2011 and duck egg production increased by 1.18 percent.
    The value of U.S. poultry meat exports to the Philippines totaled $70 million in 2011, an increase of over 39 percent when compared to 2010 ($50.3 million). The value of eggs and egg products exports totaled to $1.9 million in 2011, up almost 133 percent compared to 2011 numbers ($825,000).The growth rate for 2006–2011 was 389.8 percent for poultry meats and 230.9 percent for eggs and egg products. In volume, poultry meat exports grew 47.8 percent to reach 72,689 metric tons in 2011. Eggs and egg products exports totaled 612 metric tons, up 187.1 percent from 2010. The five-year growth rate (2006–2011) was 249 percent for poultry meats and 173.4 percent for eggs and egg products, according to USDA data.
    For more U.S. egg and poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html

Argentina corn growers request lift of export cap

    Argentina's corn producers are asking the government to lift the cap on exports, saying they can boost output by up to 60 percent to take advantage of rising foreign demand due to the U.S. drought.
    Growers could produce up to 31 million metric tons of corn in the 2012–2013 season if a 15 million-ton cap on exports is lifted, said the Argentine Association of Regional Consortia for Agricultural Experimentation. Production in the current 2011–2012 crop year is estimated at 19.3 million metric tons, according to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange. “This should be the corn year for Argentina,” said the association. “Should the government announce the entire lifting of corn export quotas, farmers would have enough confidence to increase their planting.”
    Argentina increased its quota in July from 10.5 million metric tons.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Cal-Maine Foods acquiring egg assets of Pilgrim's

    Egg producer and packer Cal-Maine Foods Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire the commercial egg operations of Pilgrim’s Corporation.
    The assets to be purchased by Cal-Maine Foods include two production complexes with capacity for approximately 1.4 million laying hens and adjacent land located near Pittsburg, Texas. “These production facilities will complement our existing operations in Texas and the additional capacity will enhance our ability to serve our customers in the Texas markets," said Dolph Baker, president and CEO of Cal-Maine Foods. "We welcome this opportunity for the continued growth of our business and the ability to provide greater value for our customers and shareholders.”
    The company expects to close the transaction in August.

British Pig Executive creates online feed crisis center

    The British Pig Executive has created an online feed crisis center in response to the increase in grain prices, which are having a dramatic impact on the cost of production for pig farmers, according to the organization.
    The site includes links that will help producers find ways to minimize the effects of high prices, as well as "do's" and "don'ts" for maintaining a profitable business. Among the tips are:
    • Don't be tempted to scrimp on feed quantity or quality.
    • Don't cut back on vaccination programs to save cost.
    • Do keep the culling rate up to maintain an efficient herd.
    • Do speak to your nutritionist to ensure optimal diet specifications and feeding strategies.
    Further information is also provided for those producers in need. 

China animal feed producers looking to sell back corn

    Several Chinese animal feed producers are negotiating with their suppliers to sell back U.S. corn cargoes for shipment in 2012–2013 in order to profit from record-high prices, according to reports.
    The producers originally bought the corn at prices below $6 per bushel, and current prices are well above that. "We are still talking about washing out the cargoes," said a trade source. "It is good for both sides." The worst U.S. drought in 56 years is hampering potential yields and causing prices to continue climbing.

Pig producers can improve feed conversion to cut costs

    Pig producers could save nearly £9 per pig by improving their finishers' feed efficiency by 0.54, according to Matthew Curtis, managing director of Yorkshire-based pig breeding company ACMC Ltd.
    The British Pig Executive's Pig Yearbook 2012 shows that while the feed conversion for ‘average’ feeding herds is 2.82, the top 10 percent manage 2.28. “If the figure for the average herds is 2.82, then this means there are many herds below that figure, so there is still plenty of scope for improvement,” said Curtis.
    He said that with feed at the £261.83 per metric ton figure quoted in the Yearbook, if a 500-sow herd, producing 22 pigs per sow per year, improved from average to the top 10 percent it would save nearly £99,000 annually in feed costs. In reality, the savings could be much higher as the price of feed has risen substantially — and is likely to continue to rise.
    Apart from paying attention to management, housing and nutrition, Curtis said a direct route to improving feed conversion is to use high-quality semen from, ideally, a nominated artificial insemination boar. Not only should these be selected on their estimated breeding value, but they should also be chosen from boars which have a history of selection for feed efficiency — not just growth.
    Curtis said that while he acknowledges that pig producers are underpaid for their end product and the industry is working to increase returns, improving feed conversion is something which farmers can actually do themselves.

International Feed Industry Federation concerned by rising feed costs

    The International Feed Industry Federation has voiced an urgent concern that the rise in feed and food costs will continue unabated for the foreseeable future in large part due to the diversion of feed and food grains and oilseeds into biofuels, resulting in critical pressure on feed manufacturers worldwide and higher prices for consumers.
    “The dramatic drought in the U.S. has highlighted once again the rising prices of feed and food and it is clear that the production of biofuels is in direct competition with food supplies by using land and water that would otherwise be used to grow crops for human or animal consumption,” said Alexandra de Athayde, federation executive director. “If no virgin food or feed crops were used to produce fuel, we believe prices would come down again. Current policies aimed at subsidizing the production of grains and oilseeds based biofuels harm the consumer and threaten the sustainability of the feed and food chain globally.
    “The global challenge we face is to feed 9 billion people by 2050 and to do so sustainably," said de Athayde. "IFIF calls upon governments to reconsider subsidizing grains-based biofuels in order to ensure we can use all of our feed and food production for human and animal consumption so that we meet current and future demands of 60 percent more food by 2050.” 

US corn buyers looking to Brazil as US prices rise

    U.S. corn buyers are looking to Brazil for supplies as domestic prices continue to rise and supplies remain low due to the ongoing drought, according to reports by the Financial Times. The livestock, poultry and ethanol industries have been particularly challenged, as 88 percent of the U.S. corn crop sits in drought-hit regions.
    “This is not something that happens — a boatload of corn coming in for use in U.S. feeding operations," said Erick Erickson, director of global strategies at the U.S. Grains Council. "This is an unusual thing.” According to port records, 2008 was the last year foreign bulk corn arrived on the U.S. mainland, and it was in the form of seeds. Traders say meat companies along the U.S. east coast can purchase Brazilian corn at a $12-per-metric-ton discount to U.S. corn. Chicago corn futures reached a record $8.24½ per bushel on July 20, or $324 per metric ton.
    While the U.S. is still expected to supply 40 percent of the corn traded on the world market, Brazil has been enjoying a bumper crop and is competitively pricing its goods. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Brazil will export 14 million metric tons of its record 70 million metric ton harvest. “The U.S. produces almost six times more corn than Brazil, but the U.S. has already used up a lot of its land and if Brazil can offer a good price…and we can improve our logistical problems, I think we can become a big exporter, including to the U.S.,” said Alysson Paolinelli, head of Brazil's national association of corn producers.

Philippines lifts Australia poultry ban

    The Philippine government has lifted its ban against poultry products imported from Melbourne, Australia, after determining that the risk of avian influenza is "negligible," according to reports.
    With the lifting of the ban, which was put in place after low pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5 was discovered on a duck farm, comes the resuming of import permits, said Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala. Disinfection of infected premises was completed on March 6, according to the official report from Australia's Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry, and no further reports of bird flu have been detected.
    The Philippines is one of the few countries in Asia that remains free of bird flu.

US egg production down slightly in June

    U.S. egg production totaled 7.5 billion during June, down slightly from 2011, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
    Production included 6.47 billion table eggs, and 1.03 billion hatching eggs, of which 965 million were broiler-type and 68 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during June averaged 337 million, up slightly from 2011. June egg production per 100 layers was 2,227 eggs, down slightly from June 2011, according to the USDA. All layers in the U.S. on July 1 totaled 335 million, down slightly from 2011 totals. The 335 million layers consisted of 281 million layers producing table- or market-type eggs, 51.6 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs and 2.81 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on July 1 averaged 73.9 eggs per 100 layers, down 1 percent from July 1, 2011.
    Egg-type chicks hatched during June totaled 39.4 million, up 1 percent from June 2011. Eggs in incubators totaled 34.2 million on July 1, down 1 percent from 2011 numbers. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 119,000 during June, down 61 percent from June 2011.
    Broiler-type chicks hatched during June totaled 756 million, down 1 percent from June 2011. Eggs in incubators totaled 612 million on July 1, down 1 percent from 2011, according to the USDA. Leading breeders placed 6.8 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during June, down 6 percent from June 2011.
    For more egg and poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html

Thursday, July 26, 2012

US poultry, egg industries support Mexico efforts against bird flu

    The U.S. poultry and egg industries have expressed their support for Mexican poultry producers as Mexico continues to deal with its H7N3 avian influenza outbreak, and pledges their support to help the producers any way necessary.
    The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and Mexico’s Unión Nacional de Avicultores have established a working group on avian influenza to identify issues and projects on which the two industries can coordinate to help Mexico deal with this outbreak. This working group is supported by various U.S. organizations, including the American Egg Board, the National Chicken Council, the National Turkey Federation, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, United Egg Producers, and the USAPEEC International Poultry Development Program, as well as the International Egg Commission and the International Poultry Council.
    There are also internationally recognized standards established by the World Organization for Animal Health that identify strategies and protocols for controlling and eliminating the disease. These procedures include containment, management of poultry movement, zoning and compartmentalization, humane stamping out, and vaccination when appropriate. The strategies, when fully and properly implemented, will provide an effective path for handling this crisis. With depopulation of affected flocks as the primary focus, Mexico is incorporating the World Organization for Animal Health strategies and the U.S. industry stands ready to help Mexico in its efforts.

China Food Company sells animal feed business

    China Food Company, a Chinese manufacturer of cooking dipping sauces, has sold its animal feed business to Korean-owned Wisehand Planning for US$16 million, according to reports.
    In the breakdown of the sale, the business will be sold for $8.75 million, a new feed factory will be sold for $5.5 million and the land on which the factor is being built will be sold for $1.75 million. "The board is pleased with the progress of the disposal of the feed business at a reasonable price despite the depressed stock markets," said John Mclean, chairman of China Food. "As a result of the disposal, the company will be able to focus on its core condiments business and the proceeds of the disposal will be used for working capital and restructuring the group's lending facilities." The transaction is expected to be completed by July 30.

Poultry, livestock coalition urges Congress to reform Renewable Fuels Standard

    In response to a new economic study on the impact of corn ethanol production on food prices and commodity price volatility, a coalition of poultry and livestock groups is urging the U.S. Congress to reform the federal Renewable Fuels Standard, which mandates the amount of ethanol that must be produced annually.
    Conducted by Thomas Elam, Ph.D., president of FarmEcon LLC, an Indiana agricultural and food industry consulting firm, the study found that federal ethanol policy has increased and destabilized corn, soybean and wheat prices to the detriment of food and fuel producers and consumers. “The increases we’ve seen in commodity prices are strongly associated with the RFS mandate,” said Elam. “At the same time, we haven’t seen the promised benefits on oil imports or gasoline prices."
    In urging reform of the Renewable Fuels Standard, the coalition cited the Elam study’s conclusion that the mandate should be revised to allow automatic adjustments to reduce incentives for ethanol production when corn stocks are forecast to reach critically low levels.
    The study was funded by the American Meat Institute, California Dairy Inc., the Milk Producers Cooperative, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Turkey Federation. 

Sow feed efficiency drives economics on operations

    Economics on sow operations are driven by feed efficiency, especially during times of high-priced inputs, according to Dan McManus, DVM, swine nutrition specialist for Land O'Lakes Purina Feed LLC.
    As input costs continue to rise, small changes in ration formulations and management can have financial impacts. Sow feed efficiency — and the economic potential of operations — can be enhanced by paying attention to feed particle size, ration waste and herd replacement rates.
    “Particle size of feeds in the diet plays a role in feed efficiency,” said McManus. “Like the finishing pig, reduced particle size allows the sow to utilize energy more efficiently in gestation and lactation.” Researchers at Kansas State University found that reducing corn particle size can improve feed intake and weaning weights.
    Wasted feed directly impacts feed efficiency because it adds cost to pounds gained. “Avoid overfeeding of animals and watch for areas where feed is wasted in the gestation and farrowing barns,” McManus recommends.
    In warm months, ration waste can be reduced by adjusting the diet for decreased consumption. According to McManus, in the summer ration changes may be needed to offset body weight losses in lactation that increase the wean-to-service interval. Nutrient-dense diets can provide higher nutrient levels to sows when warm temperatures may reduce consumption. “Consider adopting feed technologies that help maintain consumption,” said McManus. “Feed additives can help sows to handle heat stress without losing consumption.”
    Focusing on overall sow herd health and longevity can also help increase outputs without adding to the feed bill. “Herds with a lower annual herd replacement rate have better feed efficiency because they need a smaller supply of replacement gilts in the pipeline,” said McManus. “Fewer gilts will result in a lower gilt developer feed bill."

Pakistan poultry sector needs biosecurity investment to expand

    Pakistan's poultry sector, which has become the second-largest industry (after textile) in the country, could expand further with the proper investment, according to Vice Chancellor of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Professor Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha.
    The industry has a local investment of Rs 300 billion (US$3.16 billion) and has been growing at a rate of 8 percent to 10 percent, well above the 3.5 percent of agriculture or 4 percent of livestock. If biosecurity measure were invested in, said Pasha, the industry could expand further still. According to typical biosecurity standards, farm-to-farm distance should be at least one kilometer and vans engaged for picking up flocks should be under a prescribed protocol. There are currently no such regulations in existence in Pakistan, according to Pasha, who has called for the setting up of combine laboratories to ensure the quality of food and feed of livestock. He said the government should make a combine system to gauge the quality of food and animal feed as well as meat.

Vietnam poultry slaughterhouses receive committee support

    Vietnam's Ha Noi People's Committee will financially support poultry and cattle slaughterhouses that are located in parts of the capital city specifically set aside for these businesses, according to reports.
    The committee said it will support 50 percent of expenses for the slaughter of poultry or cattle in the first year, 40 percent in the second year and 30 percent in the third year. Encouraging slaughterhouses to relocate to areas zoned for these businesses is expected to help wind down Ha Noi's small-scale slaughterhouses and ensure better control over outbreaks of diseases such as bird flu. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FEFANA, European Probiotics Association partner to promote probiotics

    The EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures, FEFANA, and the European Probiotics Association have established a cooperation agreement to collaborate for the promotion of probiotics for animal nutrition. The two associations have joined forces with the aim to generate, develop and share their know-how and information on probiotics with feed chain stakeholders.
    The joint group will work on a series of communication activities on topics already identified and related to subjects perceived as important and/or innovative for probiotics. A website is under construction to become a reference and an information source to those interested to follow-up developments related to probiotics. The joint group will operate within the FEFANA structure and make sure that their activities fit to the specialty feed ingredients industry overall objectives. Gérard Bertin, European Probiotics Association secretary general, will take care of the management of this joint group, with support and involvement of the FEFANA staff.

Brazil poultry exports up, revenue down in 2012

    Brazilian exports of chicken meat totaled 1.987 million tons between January and June, 3.07 percent higher than the cumulative total (1.928 million tons) in the same period of 2011, according to a survey conducted by the Brazilian Poultry Union, UBABEF. With this result, the export projections of UBABEF for all of 2012 sit at over 4 million tons, but the generated revenue is at US$3.819 billion, 4.51 percent lower than 2011’s US$3.999 billion.
    In the monthly comparison, there was a decline in exports. In volume, 307,100 tons shipped in June, 7.28 percent lower compared to the same period in 2011. The reduction in revenue was more pronounced, with a 21.25 percent decrease to US$551.8 million in the first sixth months of 2012. "Some countries imported large volumes in May — the same month Brazilian exports reached a historical record with 374,000 tons," said Francisco Turra, the executive president of UBABEF. "These purchases have influenced the outcome of June, since small stocks formed on the passage of months." Despite the sharp drop in monthly revenue, Turra said that thanks to the exchange rate, growth was 1.6 percent in export revenue. For 2012 overall, this result is even greater, with an increase of 9.4 percent.
    According to UBABEF data, Brazil produced 50.04 million broilers in 2011. In terms of egg production, the country produced 632,813 heads of hens of white eggs and 295,421 heads of hens of brown eggs.

'Megatrends' authors to speak at World Nutrition Forum 2012

    International best-selling author, John Naisbitt, and the director of the Naisbitt China Institute in Tianjin, Doris Naisbitt, have been announced as guest speakers at the 5th World Nutrition Forum in Singapore.
    John Naisbitt's first book Megatrends (1982) was on the New York Times bestseller list for two years, topping the list at #1. Megatrends was published in 57 countries and has sold more than 9 million copies. His international bestsellers sold more than 14 million copies. Widely acknowledged as the world's leading futurist, John Naisbitt's current focus is on China, which he has been studying and visiting for more than 40 years, first in 1967. A former professor at Nanjing University, he is currently professor at Nankai University, Yunnan University, Yunnan Normal University and Tianjin University of Finance and Economics.
    Doris Naisbitt, an observer of global social, economic and political trends, is the director of the Naisbitt China Institute in Tianjin, China and co-author of the bestseller Megatrends China: Eight Pillars of a New Society. She holds professorships at Nankai and Yunnan University, and at Yunnan Normal Universities in China and Skolkovo Open University. In her biweekly column in "China Youth Daily," China’s second largest newspaper, she addresses China’s young generation. The column is also published in "Youth Digest," the largest Youth magazine in China.
    The congress will be attended by more than 700 industry representatives and opinion leaders from all over the world, opening the floor to discussions on and around “NutriEconomics: Balancing Global Nutrition & Productivity.”

US poultry exports up from 2011, set records

    U.S. poultry meat exports for the first five months of 2012 increased by 13 percent from the same span in 2011, reaching 1.66 million metric tons, while export value for the period climbed 24 percent to $2.22 billion, according to trade data released recently by the Foreign Agricultural Service. In addition, for the second consecutive month, quantity and value of poultry meat exports set year-on-year records.
    Poultry exports for May reached 336,387 metric tons valued at $460 million, up 5 percent and 13 percent, respectively, from May 2011. Export value for the month was the highest ever. May exports of broiler meat (excluding chicken paws) totaled 271,883 metric tons, up 6 percent from May 2011. Export value reached $353.8 million, up 17 percent year over year.
    For January through May, cumulative exports of broiler meat (excluding paws) rose by 13 percent to 1.33 million metric tons, while value reached $1.68 billion, up 28 percent from the same period in 2011, both setting year-on-year records.
    Broiler meat shipments to Mexico for the period grew by 18 percent over 2011 to 217,062 metric tons, while exports to Russia increased by 138 percent to 111,333 metric tons. Exports to Cuba hit 64,367 metric tons, up 267 percent year on year, while shipments to Canada were 63,712 metric tons, up 19 percent, according to Foreign Agricultural Service data.
    Exports to other important markets included Angola, 62,445 metric tons, up 30 percent; Taiwan, 60,581 metric tons, up 17 percent; Hong Kong, 59,279 metric tons, down 34 percent; Iraq, 53,558 metric tons, down 11 percent; Kazakhstan, 43,504 metric tons, up almost eight-fold year on year; and China, 34,108 metric tons, up 64 percent.
    Exports of U.S. chicken paws in May were 32,319 metric tons valued at $44.2 million, up 9 percent and 2 percent compared to May 2011 numbers. Cumulative paw exports for the first five months reached 163,518 metric tons, up 20 percent year on year. Export value set a year-on-year record at $219.8 million, up 9 percent. Of total paw shipments, 81 percent were shipped to Hong Kong and 17 percent were shipped to mainland China.
    Total January–May broiler exports (including paws) this year set year-on-year records in both volume and value, with an export quantity of 1.5 million tons valued at $1.9 billion, up 14 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Of the total, 43 percent was shipped to the top five markets — Mexico, Hong Kong, Russia, Cuba and Canada.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html

PIC implements imputation of selection candidates

    PIC has announced the development and implemented imputation of 60K SNP genotypes for pig nucleus selection candidates.
    This technology is driven by the combination of 60K SNP genotypes of parents with the individual candidate’s genotypes for 300-400 markers. The result is high accuracy for estimated pig breeding values for each pig within a litter at a very early age, according to the company. Previously, 60K genotypes of the parents were only able to give an average genomic EBV to the litter. This advancement in swine breeding was made possible through an active research partnership with the University of New England in Australia. Scientists from the university and Genus developed the methodology and software necessary to implement imputation into PIC’s genomic selection platform.
    “This has been a two-and-a-half-year project that began with funding research with UNE,” said Dr. Matthew Cleveland, Genus Quantitative Research Scientist. “A key element to the successful implementation of the imputation process was PIC’s extensive genomic database of over 20,000 animals genotyped on the 60K chip test — the largest genomic database in the industry — that allowed us to ‘train’ the software. PIC then developed the proprietary test for the candidates, verified the imputation result, developed the software system for automated production of breeding values and finally invested in a substantial upgrade in computing power to routinely handle over 1 billion genotypes.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Denmark pet food company achieves 50 percent market share in Russia

    Danish company Aller Petfood has gained over 50 percent market share in Russia, and has plans to purchase IØ-Fund's shares in the company to become the sole owner.
    Currently, IØ-Fund is responsible for 30 percent of the investments in Aller Petfood's Russia branch. The company consists of a dry food factory as well as a wet food factory, and was started as a greenfield project. “Building a factory as a greenfield project in Russia is certainly not straightforward," said CEO Henriette Bylling. "It took longer than expected to achieve a complete and fully functioning factory. However, once completed, the start-up difficulties were easily forgotten."
    Aller Petfood achieved ISO 22000 certification for its wet food factory in May, one of 15 companies in Russia to hold the distinction, and the first pet food company in Europe to do so with its Denmark factory.
    Aller Petfood Russia sells its products to companies in the Russian private label market, as well as several other distributors in the retail and specialty trades.

US egg exports to Mexico expected to rise

    Mexico has been one of the largest markets for U.S. egg exports for a number of years, and a recent outbreak of avian influenza in the largest shell-egg-producing state in that country could increase the demand for imported eggs, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its latest report.
    To the extent this occurs, it may impact U.S. shell egg exports in the second half of 2012. However, said the USDA, it is uncertain whether higher exports to Mexico will be in addition to normal overall exports or if the shipments will come at the expense of lower shipments to other countries.
    Total egg exports (shell eggs and egg products) were 24.7 million dozen in May, down 6 percent from 2011 numbers. Much of the decrease was due to much smaller shipments to Japan and South Korea. Exports to Japan in May totaled 2.8 million dozen, down 55 percent from the same time in 2011. Exports to Korea declined 69 percent to only 401,000 dozen. Egg exports to Korea had expanded in 2011 and May 2012's exports were more in line with what was exported to Korea in May 2010. These declines were partially offset by strong increases in shipments to Hong Kong and Israel.
    Over the first five months of 2012, shell egg and egg product exports totaled 112 million dozen, 5 percent lower than the same period in 2011, according to the USDA. Shipments have expanded to Canada, Hong Kong and a number of EU countries, but these gains were offset by large declines to Japan (down 23 percent) and Korea (down 85 percent).
    For more egg information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata/html.

Corn hits record high of $8.166 per bushel

      Corn farmers say they have no idea how many bushels they'll be harvesting in the fall, due to the current drought.
    Corn for September delivery rose nearly 3 percent, to a record high of $8.166 per bushel, on July 19 as the Midwest drought continues to affect crop prices. The weather has contributed to 50 percent increases in corn prices in the last five weeks, according to reports.
    Corn for December delivery, the most active contract, hit $7.990 per bushel on July 19, just short of the record $7.998 reached in June 2011. "We went into this year having planted more acres than we had planted in many years, expecting to raise a bumper crops," said Pam Johnson, an Iowa corn farmer. "The planting conditions were great, and our corn came out picket-fence perfect. But now we have no idea how many bushels we'll be able to harvest this fall."
    Analysts said that while forecasts for continued dry weather are expected to sustain the increases, corn prices could be vulnerable to any move by the government to lower the amount of corn-based ethanol blenders are required to mix with gasoline. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that a revision of the ethanol mandate won't happen. "The only thing that can stop this rally is if they pull the mandate," said grains analyst Mark Kinoff, president of Ceres Hedge. "In two weeks, if corn prices are $2 higher, they might change their tune."
    A weather report from the Drought Monitor shows the drought is expanding. Half of the Midwest is currently in severe to exceptional drought, up from one-third of the region in the second week of July. Ball State University meteorology professor David Call said that barring a major weather pattern change in August, this summer is likely to be the hottest and driest since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s. “Like the 1930s droughts, this year’s drought is unusual because it is affecting such a large portion of the country, and it is accompanied by record-setting heat,” said Call.

Dominican Republic chicken prices may rise further on US drought

    Prices for poultry meat in the Dominican Republic could rise as much as RD$4.00 (US$0.04) per pound in the coming weeks as a result of the drought in the U.S., according to the country's Agriculture Ministry advisor Manuel Tejera. The prediction comes in spite of a recent "Day without Chicken," a boycott organized to protest the prices of poultry.
    Tejera said local stockpiles of corn and soybeans are nearly depleted, and farmers will have to buy more at 40 percent higher prices in August and September than what they bought previously due to damaged U.S. crops. As a result, chicken farms will adjust their prices to sell between RD$33.00 (US$0.84) and RD$34.00 (US$0.87) per pound, instead of the current RD$29.00 (US$0.74) per pound.

Philippines bans Mexico poultry imports due to bird flu

    The Philippines agriculture department has banned the import of poultry products and by-products from Mexico due to the recent outbreak of H7N3 avian influenza in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
    Memorandum Order No. 14, dated July 3, shows the ban covers inbound shipments of domestic and wild birds, as well as poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Mexico. Following a report of the outbreak, Philippines Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala ordered the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance for the importation of poultry and related products from Mexico. Alcala also tasked the department’s veterinary quarantine officers or inspectors in all major ports nationwide to block and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products from the Central American country.
    There have been no cases of avian flu in the Philippines so far.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pork most popular meat served out of UK homes

    Pork is the most popular meat served out of the home, and nine out of 10 people would like to know the style of cooking and type of cut when choosing pork dishes, according to "Eating Out — Pork and Sausages," the latest report from the British Pig Executive.
    While pork and pork products remain popular the research clearly identifies that more can be done to increase its use in the foodservice sector. This is particularly relevant at a time when caterers are on the lookout for value-for-money solutions — an area where pig meat excels, according to the British Pig Exchange. “We know that diners enjoy eating pork and sausages out of home," said British Pig Exchange foodservice trade manager Tony Goodger. “Pork choices can also be encouraged by promoting the leanness of the cut, carvery options and, crucially, from where it has been sourced: from local or Quality Assured supply chains, such as Red Tractor.”
    A copy of the report can be found here.

US drought to temper pig breeding inventories

    Reduced prospects for U.S. corn production in the 2012–2013 harvest year due to the current drought, with accompanying expectations for higher corn prices, are likely to temper additions to the breeding pig inventory for the remainder of 2012 and into the first half of 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Total farrowings in 2012 will likely be slightly lower than in 2011. Higher litter rates and average dressed weights — 2012 dressed weights are expected to average about a pound more than in 2011 — are predicted to more than offset lower farrowings, yielding a 2012 commercial pork production of 23.3 billion pounds, almost 2.4 percent higher than 2011 numbers, according to the USDA. In 2013, expectations for slightly higher farrowings and litter rates, together with only a small increase in estimated average dressed weights (given higher expected feed costs) are expected to result in commercial pork production of 23.7 billion pounds, about 1.6 percent more than 2012 numbers.
    U.S. pork exports in May were 448 million pounds, 9.6 percent greater than exports in 2011. While shipments to the top three largest foreign destinations for U.S. pork were mediocre-to-fair in May — Japan (-19 percent), Mexico (+1.3 percent) and Canada (16 percent) — exports to Russia were more than double the volume of May 2011 exports (37.8 million pounds, +103 percent). While data indicate that Russia’s total pork imports through May are off slightly compared with 2011 numbers, U.S. pork appears to be benefiting from trade disputes with Brazil, and also from lower European exports to Russia.
    In May, U.S. exports to China of almost 60 million pounds were more than 150 percent higher than in May 2011. Although current Chinese demand for U.S. pork is lower than in the second half of 2011, second-quarter shipments to China have stabilized at a level that significantly bolsters the “bottom line” of total U.S. pork export volumes.

US turkey production expected up in second half 2012

    U.S. turkey meat production in the second half of 2012 is expected to be higher than in 2011 (up 3 percent), at 3 billion pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report.
    Over the first five months of 2012, net poult placements totaled 121.3 million, up 4.8 percent from the same period in 2011. Turkey meat production is expected to remain above 2011 numbers through the rest of 2012 but is expected to decline slightly in 2013.
    With higher turkey production so far in 2012, stocks of whole birds have risen to well over their year-earlier levels. The growth in whole bird stocks, however, has not impacted prices yet. National prices for whole hen turkeys averaged $1.07 per pound in the second quarter of 2012, up just over 7 cents per pound from 2011 numbers. Whole turkey prices are expected to remain above year-earlier levels through the remainder of 2012, according to the USDA.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html

Sow longevity vital to pig producer profitability

    Sow longevity should be the focus for pig producers who aim for maximum profitability, according to Mark Wilson, Ph.D., swine reproductive physiologist at Zinpro Corporation. The goal should be at least four litters per sow, said Wilson — it takes at least three successful parities for a replacement gilt to pay for herself, at which point a producer has covered most or all of the fixed costs for bringing the gilt into the herd.
    While cost/benefit analyses show that a goal for gilt introductions should be around 35 percent to keep a swine herd’s parity distribution and returns optimized, current herd replacement rates are approximately 50 percent to 65 percent per year. “Unfortunately, early culling of gilts and young sows sets up a cascade effect within the herd,” said Wilson. Gilt retention rates within a herd can be improved up to 50 percent by implementing changes such as providing larger pen space per pig, utilizing better flooring and feeding a balanced diet. Addressing nutritional needs decreases feed costs, which account for 70 percent of a replacement gilt's cost, according to Wilson.
    Lameness is also a factor that needs to be focused on. “Young sows are often culled due to feet and leg problems which hamper reproductive performance and profitability,” said Wilson. “Herd records show lameness accounts for up to 15 percent of total culls through the first parity.” Lameness and its stress on sows also influence reproduction through longer wean-to-estrus intervals, more non-productive sow days, smaller litter size and fewer pigs weaned. Maintaining a proper weight will reduce lameness and the resulting stress, which will raise retention and increase sow longevity.

Sick pigs may benefit from soybean meal in feed

    Adding soybean meal to pig feed may offer advantages compared to synthetic amino acids when dealing with disease, according to research conducted by the University of Illinois and funded by the Illinois soybean checkoff.
    The study was designed to investigate industry observations that pigs eating soybean meal instead of crystalline amino acids responded better when sick. Young pigs with the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus received different amounts of soybean meal in their feed, and their growth and health were monitored as they recovered. In the first week after contracting the virus, pigs with high soybean meal diets had better feed efficiency and less fever than pigs with low soybean meal diets, according to the researchers.
    “Just days after getting sick, young pigs receiving 10 percent more soybean meal in their diets, a level above the standard industry range, gained weight better than pigs on the low soybean meal diets,” said Ryan Dilger, an assistant professor at the University of Illinois. “Those eating more soybean meal had lower temperatures during the first week of sickness, as well.”
    Future research could allow them to quantify results for on-farm settings, said Jim Pettigrew, a University of Illinois professor. “We also would like to understand the influence of soybean meal on pigs’ immune systems to confidently make recommendations for rations for pigs at higher risk for disease.”

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ghana poultry association receives US$179,000 to boost industry

    The Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers will receive GH 350,000 (US$179,391) to boost the operations of its members and to vitalize the industry, according to reports.
    The money will come from Liberty Commodities Limited, an international trading group and will be used to help support the association's broiler project, under which farmers will be supplied with breeding equipment and day-old chicks, and will be exposed to feeding techniques that will make their birds ready for market in six weeks. Ghana's poultry sector can play an important role in the nation's socio-economic development if given the proper aid, said Kwandwo Asante, national president. The country currently imports roughly 200,000 metric tons of poultry products per year.

US poultry industry supports final EPA water rule

    The U.S. poultry industry has said it is satisfied in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's final action on a 2011 proposed rule that would have required Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations to provide detailed location information and farm demographics for virtually every family farm engaged in the production of commercial poultry and egg products in the U.S., as part of an effort to ensure each operation was implementing practices that protect water quality. Each operation would have had to submit information to the agency regardless of whether or not they discharge to a water of the U.S.
    In announcing the final action, the EPA pointed out that although collecting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations information is important, the agency believes an efficient approach that does not duplicate efforts is the appropriate next step. The EPA will collect information for each operation using existing sources, including state National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System programs and other programs at the federal, state and local level.
    The poultry industry said it is pleased that the EPA recognized the burden the proposed rule would place on the industry. Furthermore, the poultry industry appreciates that the agency heard the concerns voiced by industry during the comment period and accepted the recommendation to collect this information from existing sources.

US turkey eggs, poults up in June

    U.S. turkey eggs in incubators on July 1 totaled 30.6 million, up 5 percent from July 1, 2011 numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Eggs in incubators were up 1 percent from the June 1 total of 30.4 million eggs.
    Turkey poults hatched during June totaled 25.1 million, up 5 percent from June 2011. Poults hatched were down 2 percent from the May 2012 total of 25.5 million poults. The 24.7 million net poults placed during June were up 4 percent from the number placed during the same month in 2011, while net placements were down 1 percent from the May 2012 total of 25.1 million, according to the USDA.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html

Europe wheat crop threatened by rains

    Overly wet conditions in western Europe are threatening the quality of the area's wheat crops, according to analysts, who say that the threat of mycotoxins has increased with the bad weather.
    The weather is also disrupting harvesting, particularly in the west coast of France, where early harvests usually provide the first exports of the season. Only 3 percent of the soft wheat crop was estimated to have been cut by July 9, up from 1 percent the previous week but down from 47 percent in 2011.
    In Germany, the EU's second-largest wheat producer, crops still have a chance to recover before the harvest. "It is too early to press the alarm button on Germany's wheat crop because a period of sunshine would push wheat to ripeness," said one analyst. "Most wheat is still green, so it is not yet suffering damage in my view. But we will have a slightly later harvest start than hoped as the weather has been so cool and cloudy."

Nutro granted first AFIA pet food manufacturing certificates

    Eurofins Scientific Inc., an independent third-party auditor, has issued the first three Pet Food Manufacturing Facility Certification Program certificates to pet food manufacturer Nutro Co.
    The voluntary facility certification program, created by the American Feed Industry Association and third-party food safety experts, is designed specifically for companies manufacturing pet food or pet food ingredients. Along with the Pet Food Ingredient Facility Certification Program, it builds on AFIA’s domestic Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, which was launched in 2004 for the feed industry. The new programs are designed to monitor the process controls specifically related to pet food manufacturing and to meet requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Nutro Kansas City, Mo.; Victorville, Calif.; and Lebanon, Tenn; facilities were the first to be granted Pet Food Manufacturing Facility Certification Program certificates.
    AFIA is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognition of these programs and said it wants the FDA to use these programs in its risk assessment of the industry for inspection priorities. “AFIA sees these programs as a model for the entire pet food industry,” said Joel G. Newman, AFIA’s president and CEO. “The third-party audit follows principles laid out in both the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices as well as the basic principles of HACCP.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

International Egg Commission joins Food and Agriculture Organization for sustainability

    The International Egg Commission has joined the new United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization-led partnership to improve how the environmental impacts of the livestock industry are measured and assessed.
    As the global consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs continues to rise, increasing attention must be paid to the livestock sector's environmental performance — such as the efficiency with which it uses scarce natural resources, its impact on water resources and how it contributes to climate change. “We see this partnership as the beginning of a 'journey' to identify ways to mitigate the impact of poultry on the environment," said Dr. Vincent Guyonnet, International Egg Commission scientific advisor, who has a seat on the project steering committee representing the egg and poultry sector. "We look forward to identifying management practices and feeding practices that have a positive impact on the environment. The partnership will provide us with a tool to identify the best concrete, practical practices which we can recommend to poultry producers to ensure further the sustainability of meat and egg production.”
    Other members of the Food and Agriculture Organization partnership include the governments of France, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand; The European Feed Manufacturers' Federation; the European Vegetable Oil and Proteinmeal Industry; the International Dairy Federation; the International Meat Secretariat; the International Poultry Council; the International Federation for Animal Health; and the World Wildlife Fund.

US broiler production to drop on grain prices, slow economy

    U.S. broiler meat production for the first five months of 2012 was 15.4 billion pounds, down 1 percent from the same period in 2011, as a result of a smaller number of birds being slaughtered, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture report.
    This drop was offset partially by higher average weights at slaughter. Over the January–May period, average broiler weights at slaughter were 5.83 pounds, 0.7 percent higher than in the same period in 2011.
    With adverse weather conditions in many areas of the country impacting corn production, rising grain prices and the sluggish economy are expected to result in a less rapid recovery in broiler production in the second half of 2012 and only slight growth in 2013, according ot the USDA. The production estimate for fourth-quarter 2012 has been reduced by 50 million pounds. The estimate for 2013 broiler meat production has been reduced by 400 million pounds to 37.1 billion pounds, up only 0.6 percent from 2012. Most of the reduction is expected to come from reduced numbers of broilers being raised, as average weights are expected to be close to those in 2012.
    During May, the number of birds in the broiler breeder flock was estimated at 52.9 million, down 5.3 percent from 2011 numbers. On a year-over-year basis, the size of the broiler breeder flock has been lower than the previous year since February 2011. With this reduction in the number of broiler breeder hens, the number of eggs placed in incubators and chicks hatched are expected to continue to be lower than in 2011, potentially reducing the amount of birds available for slaughter.
    Broiler meat production is expected to be down 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared with 2011 numbers, with almost all of the reduction coming from lower bird slaughter, according to the USDA. These production decreases are generally expected to have a positive impact on wholesale broiler parts prices. For the remainder of 2012, cold storage holdings of broiler products are expected to gradually increase. While broiler meat production on a year-over-year basis is expected to be slightly lower in the second half of 2012, the decline is expected to be partially offset by lower exports and a sluggish domestic economy. Broiler stocks are expected to slowly rise, ending the year at 650 million pounds.
    For more poultry information and statistics, see www.wattagnet.com/marketdata.html

Damaged US corn crop could become livestock feed

    Farmers with drought-damaged corn in the U.S. might be able to turn it into animal feed to get back some of its value, which would also help livestock owners supplement low forage supplies, according to Keith Johnson, a forage specialist at Purdue University Extension.
    The damaged corn could be harvested as either whole-plant silage or green chop. “Feeding value of drought-stressed corn is influenced by several factors, but in general is higher than expected,” said Johnson. “Most studies indicate feed value of drought-stressed corn to be 80–100 percent that of normal silage.” Purdue University studies showed little or no difference in feedlot gain or milk production when beef and dairy cattle were fed normal or stressed corn silage, said Johnson, but as a rule drought-stressed corn will have slightly more fiber, less energy and 1 percent to 2 percent more protein than normal silage.
    Moisture content of the crop is important when trying to get the most money out of it, said Johnson. “Ideally, the crop should contain 60–70 percent moisture at harvest,” he said. “For upright silos, to avoid seepage, growers should harvest at 60–65 percent, whereas for bunker silos, harvesting at 65–70 percent moisture will result in better packing and storage qualities.” He said producers tend to harvest the damaged crop too soon, meaning silage has too much moisture, which can result in poor fermentation and lower feed value.
    Nitrate is also a concern, and Johnson said livestock producers need to make sure they have their feed tested for it as nitrate levels can be higher in drought-damaged corn. While the potential for nitrate toxicity after fermentation is reduced, Johnson said it’s still a good idea to have the feed analyzed. Johnson said that herbicides and insecticides applied to the corn crop have feeding restrictions, and growers should watch labels and be in touch with chemical suppliers to make sure the crop is harvested and fed safely.

Pig feed price increases cause challenges for UK producers

    The price of feed wheat, the most important component of pig feed in the UK, has risen by over £20 per metric ton since the beginning of June, presenting challenges for pig producers as their production costs rise, according to a report by the British Pig Executive.
    At the start of June, UK wheat futures for July delivery came in at £171 per metric ton. By June 15, they were at £175 per metric ton, and by July 6 they stood at £204.25 per metric ton. These increases partly reflect the late harvest due to adverse weather conditions, which affects prices in the short term, according to the report. Of more significance, said the British Pig Executive, are the effects on prices in the long term. At the start of June, UK wheat futures for November delivery stood at £154.75 per metric ton. By July 6, however, that number had risen to £180.50 per metric ton.
    Current estimates put UK pig production costs at nearly 173p per kilogram, a record number according to the report. Feed costs make up 109p per kilogram, just over 60 percent of that total. These numbers are expected to continue rising, said the British Pig Executive, with production costs remaining as high as 166p per kilogram post-harvest and unlikely to drop below 160p per kilogram in the foreseeable future.
    The current average price paid for UK pigs is around 150p per kilogram, which means farmers are losing an average of 23p per kilogram — £18 per pig. Producers have been in a loss-making position since October 2010, according to the report, bringing cumulative losses to nearly £200 million.
    If the industry continues this way, producers may be forced to leave the industry. The only way to offset increased production prices is to increase pig prices, which will put more pressure on the processing industry, according to the report. Availability of imports could decrease as feed prices rise in other parts of the EU.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Australia poultry producer Inghams to sell business

    Bob Ingham, the sole shareholder of Australia poultry producer Inghams Enterprises Pty Ltd., has decided to sell the business.
    "My decision marks the next phase for the successful ongoing development of the company and is one that I, as sole shareholder, have considered for a number of years,” said Ingham. Investec Bank (Australia) Limited has been appointed to manage the process of identifying a buyer for Inghams from a range of potential bidders. The Investec-managed process is expected to take several months. The day-to-day operations of Inghams will continue under the direction of CEO Kevin McBain and his team.

Industry report offers optimistic future for livestock, poultry feed

    Joel G. Newman, president and CEO, American Feed Industry Association, released the study Future Patterns of U.S. Feed Grains, Biofuels, and Livestock and Poultry Feeding today at the Federation of Animal Science Societies Joint Annual Meeting in Phoenix. The study was presented in tandem with Robert Wisner, retired University Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Iowa State University. Wisner was principal investigator for the study.
    According to the report, the authors “reviewed recent trends in the U.S. and the global bioenergy, grain, feed, and livestock industries. The report focuses on the impact of development of the U.S. bioenergy industry on grain and feed availability for the livestock sector as well as industry profitability, production, efficiency, demand, and the future of the feed livestock sector.”
    Some of the observations made by the report include:
    • In the next three to seven years, supplies of corn should be adequate, if U.S. corn yields return to their longer-term upward trend.
    • Uncertainties that need to be monitored by the feed-livestock sector beyond 2020 are 1) China’s demand for corn; and 2) the possibility of a second-stage growth in corn processing for biofuel.
    • The primary way that the poultry and livestock sectors will adjust to biofuels expansion and international competition will be by finding and using more efficient cost-reducing production methods.
    • Pork will most likely continue its growth if U.S. corn yields are close to normal for the next three to seven years.
    • If ethanol demand slows and U.S. corn yields increase, the dairy industry should be able to return to long-term expansion as well as to increases in efficiency and productivity.
    • An increase in beef cow numbers and beef production can be expected if feed supplies are available at a reasonable cost. However, other factors will likely put pressure on the industry to increase production and feed conversion efficiencies.
    • The production of lower oil and de-oiled DDGS will require research on how to use these products most efficiently.
    Additional areas covered in the report include Food-Population Issues and Possible Climate Change Issues, among others.
    The Institute for Feed Education and Research provided a grant on behalf of the American Feed Industry Association to the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics in order to conduct this review. 

India broiler production to reach record in 2012

    India's broiler meat production is expected to gain 450,000 metric tons over 2011 numbers to reach a record 3.2 million metric tons in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, carrying on a trend that has seen production rise 30 percent in the last four years. Production also increased 10 percent from 2010 to 2011, to 2.9 million metric tons.
    India's broiler production is revised upwards to a record figure based on a robust domestic demand fuelled by an expanding middle class and changing tastes and preferences together with the emergence of vertically integrated poultry producers that support increasing production,” said the USDA. Domestic consumption was 2.8 metric tons in 2011 and is likely to reach 3.1 metric tons in 2012, according to reports.
    Egg production has also increased, to 26.66 million eggs per day in 2010–2011 from just 9.8 million eggs per day in 2000–2001, according to the National Egg Coordination Committee. Table-egg demand is expected to continue growing at a rate of 5 percent to 7 percent.

Global food prices to remain high over next decade

    While international agricultural commodity markets appear to have entered calmer conditions after record peaks in 2011, food commodity prices are anticipated to remain on a higher plateau over the next decade, underpinned by firm demand but a slowing growth in global production, according to the latest OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2012-2021.
    The joint Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development-Food and Agriculture Organization report suggests that in addition to population growth, higher per-capita incomes, urban migration and changing diets in developing countries, as well as rising requirements for biofuel feedstocks, are underpinning demand pressures. At the same time, agricultural output by developed, exporting countries has been slow to respond to higher prices in the last decade. Higher demand will be met increasingly by supplies that come to market at higher cost. With farmland area expected to expand only slightly in the coming decade, additional production will need to come from increased productivity, including by reducing productivity gaps in developing countries, said the report.
    The outlook anticipates that agricultural output growth will slow to an average of 1.7 percent annually over the next 10 years, down from a trend rate of over 2 percent annually in recent decades. Higher input costs, increasing resource constraints, growing environmental pressures and the impacts of climate change will all serve to dampen supply response. Much of the projected growth will come from developing countries, which will increasingly dominate in the production of most agricultural commodities, and also take on a more important role in commodity trade.
    The Outlook notes that 25 percent of all agricultural land is highly degraded. Critical water scarcity in agriculture is a fact for many countries. Several fish stocks are over-exploited or at risk. There is a growing consensus that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and climatic patterns are changing in many parts of the world.
    Beyond its call for complementary policies to address productivity and sustainability, the report recognizes that the private sector will play the lead role in agriculture going forward. Governments should encourage better agronomic practices, create the right commercial, technical and regulatory environment and strengthen agricultural innovation systems, with attention to the specific needs of smallholders.
    Creating the right enabling environment also means ensuring that the business climate is conducive to domestic and foreign investments, so governments should limit trade restrictions as well as those domestic support schemes that distort incentives for production and investment in agriculture. There is a need to develop national investment schemes and increased development assistance to agriculture for R&D, innovation adoption and infrastructure development, said the report.
    Developing countries should promote agricultural infrastructure investment in rural areas to improve storage, transportation and irrigation systems, as well as electrification, information and communication systems. Investment in human capital is equally important and depends on more public spending on health care, education and training.

Indonesia broiler sellers may strike over prices

    West Java, Indonesia's 5,000 broiler chicken sellers in 38 markets in Bandung are threatening to strike over an increase in prices, saying that unless the government does something, they will stop selling the meat.
    The price of broiler chicken meat has increased from Rp 26,000 (US$2.70) per kilogram to Rp 32,000 (US$3.38) per kilogram. According to sellers, an ideal price would be Rp 24,000 (US$2.54) to Rp 26,000 per kilogram. The price increase is irrational, and conditions are making it hard to sell the meat, said Yoyo Sutarya, head of the Bandung Chicken Seller Union. "Our purchasing power decreases and this has greatly affected our business," he said.
    Increases have been going on since early June, according to West Java Industry and Trade Agency head Ferry Sofwan Arif, even though there is no shortage of stock. He said that the agency took a survey in five markets in Bandung and found that there was a 15 percent increase on broiler chicken meat. “We should assess the price increase by also taking into consideration the prices of other components, such as chicken food and production costs,” said Arif.
    West Java sellers are calling for poultry breeders to not raise butchery or transportation costs, as it might increase the selling price of chicken meat further.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Doux takes drivers to court as they threaten strike

    French poultry group Doux, currently in the midst of considering several takeover bids, went to court on July 12 to stop its drivers from striking over unpaid bills, according to reports. The drivers have said they will stop work if around 8,000 bills aren't paid by July 13.
    Doux, which in June received enough money to continue day-to-day operations, is still in negotiations to find the capital to pay off debts to its breeders, which take precedence over the company's other debts. Doux said it is asking the drivers not to add a crisis to a crisis. "The administrators would like to remind the drivers as to the consequences which would unfold from a day of stoppage in terms of loss of turnover in an already critical period," said Doux. "This day would have no possible advantage for the transporters."