I belong to a lot of international pig information sites. One that I use quite a bit (and have even written articles for) is www.pig333.com. This site is headquartered in Spain and lets me see the European perspective (with an emphasis towards the Spanish view) of issues impacting pork production around the world.
This week they posted an update on world pig prices with a currency converter so I could compare all prices in US dollars per cwt. As you look at the prices, keep in mind that US producers generally have the lowest feed costs per unit of gain. In addition the relative weakness of the US Dollar versus other currencies makes our products extremely competitive in export markets.
As you look at the prices, keep in mind that many European countries have different carcass standard yields than US plants. While our base yield for the CME is 75%, many European plants have 80% yields since they often weigh carcasses with head on and with trotters (feet). Prices paid last week as reported by www.pig33.com were:
Belgium – $78.90/cwt live
Netherlands – $75.59/cwt live
Denmark – $86.86/cwt carcass 60%
Germany – $99.55/cwt carcass 56%
Italy – $97.96/cwt 350-390 lb live
Spain – $87.87/cwt live
China – $93.71/cwt live
Vietnam – $122.02/cwt live
Philippines – $133.03/cwt live
IA-SMN – $125.56/cwt carcass
Ontario – $108.09/cwt carcass
One of the more interesting price comparisons is between Denmark and Germany. If you’ve been following the changes in Europe, increasingly pigs are being farrowed in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark and grown to slaughter in Germany (sounds like Iowa to me).
I don’t know about feed costs, but the income side of the equation currently explains the driving force for this. Whether I compare the price received in Denmark vs Germany in Euro’s, Danish Krone or US Dollars the income per pig is much higher if they are slaughtered in Germany versus Denmark.