World meat industry news

All news / Genesus Global Market Report: Russia Global Market Report August 08th 2017

  • 15 Aug 2017, 12:14

The live pig price in Russia is 118 Roubles ($1.96) per kg. With only a small number of new farms coming on line at the moment and sanctions in place until at least January 2019 there is little to considerably impact on pig price.

Simon Grey General Manager Russia CIS and Europe.

There are new farms under construction and to be started next spring. However, these pigs will not hit the market until end 2018 and into 2019.

When Russia started its major investment into new pig farms 12 years ago, there was a lot of European influence in farm design and genetically. It was a lot lower cost to bring pigs in from Europe by truck rather than Canada by plane. With this European influence also came European influence on management, particularly from Denmark.

The cost of production is considerably higher in Europe than North America. One reason for this is North Americans focus on maximizing output from their farms. Maximizing the use of space and time will do more for maximizing output rather than focusing on individual sow performance.

Russia has nothing in common with Europe!

Assuming limiting factors in the number of farrowing spaces and time, then an excellent measure of sow farm efficiency is piglets weaned / crate/year.Let’s look at a farm under 2 different management regimes. This farm has 500 farrowing crates.
The 2 management regimes are;

  1. North American, weaning at 3 weeks of age and maximizing use of farrowing crates.
  2. Typical Danish style management, weaning at 4 weeks and leaving 10% of farrowing crates empty for use by Nurse Sows due to very large number born alive.

For option one, I have used a 14.7 born alive and for option two I have used 16.2 as this is reflective of good performance in North America and Denmark.

North American style management has clearly a massive advantage when it comes to pigs weaned per crate per year, despite higher born alive with Danish style management.

Of course, the American style system would have up to 15% more sows. I have yet to see a Russian farm where it is not possible to get many more sows in. A lot were built with pen gestation and to EU standards of space (2.25m2 per sow). In these circumstances, there is a lot of space for many more sows.

click here for more

Building new sow farms is expensive in Russia. Increasing productivity of existing sow farm throughput from existing farrowing crates is very low cost. If extra finisher is required then it can be easily built.Many Russian farms have 8 weeks of nursery and 16 to 18 weeks of finisher. This means 196 to 210 days of available time birth to slaughter. With pigs now capable of reaching 125 kg in 165 days most farms also have a lot of space for growing more pigs.

The mathematical advantage of American style management vs North European goes further.

Individual sow performance can be the same. Genesus sows have the ability to wean a good strong pig at 21 days means overall sow performance competes side by side with the Danes, but FARM PERFORMANCE can be up to 30% higher!

For Nursery and Finisher farms once again the North Americans beat the Europeans. In Europe, there are rules for space per pig. There is no scientific reasons (no proof of it being good for animal welfare) for these limits and also no economic reasoning (pigs do not grow faster). Currently, many European countries are increasing the space requirement for pigs in Nursery and Finisher. This will only disadvantage European farmers more as they will need to reduce production (sell less kg) from the same farms. This only puts up the cost!

Every country that has imposed very strong animal welfare rules in the past has lost 50% of its pig production! Regardless of what people say, only a very small minority will pay more money for pigs farmed in this way.Russia has no crazy animal welfare rules so can stock pigs for maximum biological efficiency. Kg /m2 is an excellent measure of biological efficiency in Nursery and Finisher. Over 500 kg per m2 (in Nursery and Finisher) per year is a real possibility.

Looking at many farms the average I see is about 380kg per m2. As for sow farms, there is, for the average farm, the chance to produce 30% more live-weight from the same farm! A key factor for high kg/m2 is very fast growing and evenly growing pigs!Sticking to a single genotype (Yorkshire X Landrace F1 Sows) X Duroc Terminal Boar) gives you this.

I visit many farms that have bought genetics from suppliers who do not agree with a simple 2-way cross F1 sow and who use multiple terminal sires most of which are synthetic. There can be 6 to 8 different genotype of a pig in a single finisher pen. How can this give consistency in growth and also in meat eating quality?

The majority of Russian companies are fully integrated and with their own meat brand. Consistency and quality are very important issues for a brand!