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Prices and profitability up again in April for pig farming

Slaughtering and curing, on the other hand, experience a more difficult time

20, May 2023

Positive Crefis profitability index also in April for the Italian pig breeding sector. The closed cycle recorded a variation of +3.8% at the cyclical level and +19.3% compared to the same month last year. The situation remains favorable for farmers enjoying steep price increases for slaughter pigs and slowing feed costs. Indeed, in April, the market shows an average monthly price of heavy pigs for slaughter in the protected circuit of 2.227 euro/kg, i.e. 1.6% more than in the previous month and +31% compared to the same month in the Last year.
Analyzing the situation for the various production phases, again in the period under examination, for the weaning activity there was an increase in the Crefis profitability index equal to +2.3% on a cyclical basis and +15.1% on an tendential. This is due to the price level reached by 7 kg piglets listed in April at 70.430 euros/head, which implied a variation of +0.4% compared to March and +17.7% compared to last year. A good trend in profitability in April was also recorded for the growth phase which, from the compensation between the higher outlay for the supply of 7 kg piglets and the increase in the prices of breeding pigs, resulted in a positive change of 6.7% (even the trend comparison remains favourable: +34.5%). Indeed, 30 kg garments reached a value of 4.571 euro/kg in April, up 4.7% month on month and 39.2% year on year. Finally, the profitability index of the fattening phase also increased, which in April recorded +2.2% on a monthly basis and +9.3% on an annual basis.

As far as the slaughtering sector is concerned, in April there was a 1.5% drop in the prices of fresh legs of the heavy type destined for the protected circuit, which dropped to 6.115 euro/kg; however, the year-on-year comparison remains positive (+16%). Even fresh thighs destined for non-typical productions show an unfavorable trend in prices which in April dropped by 2.2% to a value of 5.150 euro/kg. Also in this case the trend variation remains positive (+12.4%). The price situation for Padua cut loin is good which, again in April, has a price of 4.850 euro/kg (+4.9% the economic figure); for Bologna cut loin, on the other hand, the price dropped by 1.7% compared to the previous month, stopping at 4.300 euro/kg. The trend changes remain positive for both products: +2.1% and +2.7%, respectively. On the profitability front, the drop in the prices of the main cuts of meat and the increase in the cost of heavy slaughter pigs further worsened the situation of the sector, which shows, in April, a Crefis profitability index down by 1.9 % at the economic level and 14.4% at the trend level.

Again in April, the curing sector saw the prices of cured hams destined for the PDO circuit remain stable, while those of hams destined for the non-protected circuit increased, thus reaching new record levels. More precisely, the price of Parma Ham aged 12 months in April stabilized at 10.700 euro/kg, still remaining above the prices of the same period of 2022 (+7.9%). On the other hand, a favorable situation for the price of non-typical cured ham which in the month under examination reached 8.250 euro/kg (+4.6% the cyclical change and +22.6% the trend figure). As regards the profitability of the month of April, there is a worsening of the situation relating to the PDO product while that of the non-protected product improves. In particular, for Parma Ham aged 12 months, the Crefis profitability index decreased month-on-month by 1.6%, driven by the increase in the prices of fresh legs at the beginning of the seasoning and by stable output values. On the contrary, the heavy type of ham destined for the non-protected circuit, thanks to the rising prices which offset the costs, saw an increase in profitability in April both at a cyclical level (+3.1%) and at a trend level (+0 .6%). Thanks to this recovery, current levels are back to slightly higher levels than last year. The profitability differential between PDO Parma Ham and the generic product has therefore decreased, while largely remaining in favor of the typical product: +22.2% for heavy hams and +31.8% for light hams.

What is Crefis
Crefis - Economic research center on sustainable supply chains of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart directed by Professor Gabriele Canali - carries out monitoring and analysis of pig supply chains, thanks to the support provided by the Agriculture Department of the Lombardy Region, Unionca

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