Genesus Global Market Report: France, October 2020


On September 10, the African swine fever virus was detected for the first time in Germany on a wild boar found dead near the border with Poland, in Brandenburg. European markets, especially those in northern Europe linked to the German market, were rocked, while the German market lost 20 cents per kg (around $ 0.236).

In France, despite a period of uncertainty, the price of pork remained fairly stable in September thanks to good demand.

Comparison of pork prices 2019 vs 2020 (€ / kg of carcass)





1 523

+ 30,17%


1 178

1 484

+ 25,98%


1 253

1 555

+ 24,10%


1 405

1 491

+ 6,12%


1 457

1 362



1 521

1 346



1 549

1 306



1 604

1 319



1 696

1 379


9 months on average

1 429 €

1 424 €


However, with the German situation not improving (pigs are saved, weights heavier, slowing down of work in factories due to COVID-19 problems) it will be necessary to remain attentive to this development, which will end up impacting other European markets including France.

Source : Breton Pork Market

What makes a good producer?

Some pork producers are recognized by their colleagues or by various industry players as “good producers”, but what does that mean exactly?

First of all, for someone outside of the pork industry, it can certainly mean that they are competent producers who know how to provide all the care necessary for the welfare of their animals. I agree with this definition, but it’s not just that.

Very often, when we try to understand and ask people in the French industry to know what they mean by “good producer”, we are most often told: “This is someone who has a large number. pigs weaned per sow ‘ or “It is someone who receives a high lean meat premium” (In France, carcasses are paid by weight and by lean yield) or “He’s someone who has a very good FCR” when it’s not all at the same time. Again, I only partially agree with these definitions.

From my point of view, a “good producer” is an experienced professional, attentive to the needs of his animals, and who can make good profits from his activity as a pig farmer.

Examples to illustrate

Is it better to wean 13 piglets or 14 piglets per litter?

(If we assume that the producer has 40 farrowing boxes available per batch of sows)

Producer A

45 sows are served and the farrowing rate is 89 percent

40 sows give birth and then wean 13 piglets without additional milk (only with breast milk).

We receive a batch of 520 weaned piglets.

Producer B

45 sows are fed and the farrowing rate is 83 percent (lower fertility and sow fights during gestation)

37 sows give birth and wean 14 piglets with added milk to supplement the lack of breast milk.

We receive a batch of 518 weaned piglets

Similar results, except for producer B, the production cost was higher. Producer A has a better production cost and yet wean one less piglet per litter than producer B.

To extend the logic, we could have talked about the weaning weight (which is very important for future performance in nursery and finisher) which will probably be heavier with producer A.

Is it better to get 10 or 15 cents premium for lean meat per kg of carcass?

Again, the answer isn’t necessarily what you think it is, it depends on the growth rate.

Producer A

The growth rate is good and the finishing pigs weigh around 124 kg live weight at 181 days, with 10 cents per kg of lean meat.

With a market price of € 1.30 per kg, the producer will receive:
(124 kg x 76.5 percent *) x (€ 1.30 + € 0.10) = € 132.80 per person

* carcass yield

Producer B

His finishing pigs weigh 115 kg live weight at 181 days (average in France) and receive 15 cents per kg of lean meat.

With a market price of € 1.30 per kg, the producer will receive:

(115 kg x 76.5% percent) x (€ 1.30 + € 0.15) = € 127.57 per head

* carcass yield

In this case, producer A earns about € 5 more per pig than producer B, even though his lean meat premium is lower.

Is it better to have a feed conversion rate (FCR) of 2.4 from 8 to 115 kg than 2.5?

Producer A

The FCR from 8 to 115 kg is 2.5 and the average price of the feed is 235 € per tonne, the cost of the feed will be: 107 kg x 2.5 x 0.235 = 62.86 € per pork

Producer B

The FCR from 8 to 115 kg is 2.4 and the average price of the feed is 250 € per tonne, the cost of the feed will be: 107 kg x 2.4 x 0.250 = 64.20 € per pork

In the end, the FCR is not the most important factor, the most important is the cost of the gain, which is better in this case for producer A even if his FCR is a little higher than Producer B.


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