Go Figure – Fewer Hogs Means Less Export

Jim Long's Pork Commentary

Pork Commentary, January 6th, 2020
Jim Long, President-CEO, Genesus Inc.

Last Friday, lean hog futures decreased in some months the limit.  The market story was primarily due to U.S. pork exports the week of Christmas, decreasing about 10,000 tonnes from the previous few weeks.  God help the stupidity of so many futures traders, in 2017 and 2018, exports declined 10,000 tonnes during Christmas week. It’s not a market correction it’s a reality of logistics. 

Historically, the week of New Year is also lower than the first full week of the new year export numbers released. One other factor, both the week of Christmas and New Year have fewer hogs slaughtered.

  • Christmas week was 2,029,000;
  • New Year week 2,293,000. 
  • Prior weeks were in the 2.8 million range.
  • Almost 1.3 combined fewer hogs in the last two weeks. 

Go Figure- there were fewer exports; there was less to export.

It’s like saying there is less ASF in China now. Of course there is, half the pigs are dead, there are less to die.

January is now here, the holidays are over.  Now the fun will begin. Tyson and JBS are on the brink of being Ractopamine free and able to export to China. Combined 180,000 slaughter hogs per day with new market potential. These are smart companies, the only reason they would have had going to Ractopamine free is access to China market. No other country in the world that matters in U.S. pork exports cares about Ractopamine.

What to watch in the next few weeks is hog slaughter numbers relative to carcass weights. We would expect a rapid decline in slaughter weights if U.S. Packers continue at a pace of 2.8 million head per week. If hog marketing’s decline, weights will not decline as rapidly but total weekly pork tonnage will decline pushing hog prices higher.

We expect over the coming weeks Gross Packer Margins to decrease.  According to DTN Agdayta, they peaked near $70 a head in November and have since fallen under $50. As hog numbers decline so will Gross Packer Margins.  We only have to go back to last summer when they were below $20 per head. 

In the commodity business, it appears everyone gets a chance to ride on the wheelbarrow.

Genetic Company Gossip

We are in the Swine Genetic business it’s our life and passion.  Here’s where we see the business in 2020:


CEO Karim Bitar resigned as CEO after eight years. He left to go to a human medical company. After exhaustive search Genus appointed CFO Stephen Wilson as CEO. PIC is the largest swine genetic company in the world. They claim in their annual report to genetically influence 150 million pigs per year and have 24% of the genetic industry. Not sure which number is correct, the world had about 1.2-1.3 billion hogs per year in 2018. 150 million is about 12%.

According to the Genus annual report, PIC also dealt with “higher customer credits arising from a few contract farm locations.” This was probably due to non-estrus issues in North America.

PIC also touted the Danish “Mollevang-inflicted PIC 800 Duroc line.” Our translation – we got Danish genetics to improve, our own genetic team wasn’t keeping up.

As a public company, Genus-PIC publishes its financials.

Genus Statutory profit before tax. – British Pound
2015 £ 57.8 m
2016 £ 68.9 m
2017 £ 40.7 m
2018  £ 7.8 m
2019  £ 9.9 m


The combination of two co-ops, one in Norway and the other in the Netherlands, also had their CEO leave last year. Martin Bijl-CEO left in August to join Royal Barenbrug Group, an international grass, and forage seed company. Two people, the CTO and CFO are leading Topigs-Norsvin until they find someone to become CEO.

We find it interesting that both the CEO of Genus-PIC and Topigs-Norsvin left the swine industry. One to medical devices the other to grass seed. Obviously Pigs were not their passion.


We quote from PIC Annual Report:

 “The porcine market also saw significant changes in FY 19. The break-up of one of PIC’s main global competitors, Dan Avi into three companies has reshaped the European market.

Dan Avi continues to operate as a smaller rebranded company called Danbred. 
A new competitor, Danish Genetics, has been created by former Dan Avi nucleus breeders and multipliers.
Lastly, Mollevang Genetics partnered with PIC, starting from July 2016.”

To sum it up, once one company, now three. Deluded Genetics and resources is the reality.


  • CEO has not resigned. The current CEO has been in swine business all his life, no intention to sell grass seed. 
  • Genesus now works in 17 languages, production in 10 countries and has quadrupled sales in the last ten years. 
  • Plan to keep every customer and add new ones, one at a time. Whether it be USA, Canada, China, Nigeria, India, Mexico, France, Spain, and Russia – on and on. 
  • Every day get up and make better pigs and then get them sold. 
  • We are all pig guys.

More from Genus- PIC Annual Report:

“We are also the only listed porcine and bovine genetics company globally giving us strategic access to finance. Our competitors are largely private companies and farmer owned cooperatives.”  – quoted from PIC Annual Report

Market Share (according to PIC annual report)

Competitor 112%
Competitor 29% 
Competitor 33%
Competitor 43%
Competitor 53%
Internal progress12%

Who knows if the above percentages are correct. These are estimates at best. The only thing for sure is the swine genetic business has consolidated over the last ten years and will continue too. 

Only genetic companies with the will, people, capital, technology, and customers will be left standing in 2030.

General Motors was once the biggest- nothing is forever!

New Genesus Nucleus/Multiplier in Ukraine

On the 21st of December 2019, the first official supply contract of Genesus breeding stock to Ukraine was finalized with a delivery of 749 York gilts, 7 York boars and 6 Landrace boars to the isolation farm of “Agrarna Kompaniya 2004” located in the Chervoniy Kut village of Khmelnytskyi region. 

Agrarna Kompaniya 2004

Pigs all came from Genesus Genetic Nucleus in the UK, Bridge House Farm, located in Northamptonshire in the UK. After 21 day of quarantine in the UK, pigs were moved to the farm located in Bohdanivka village of Khmelnitskiy region where the first Ukrainian official Genesus multiplication unit will be opened. 

The unit will produce pure Genesus York gilts and boars, as well as F1 gilts. At least 50% of the gilts will be used by “Agrarna Kompaniya 2004” as they plan an expansion of their own swine business (currently the customer has 4000 Danish sows that will be replaced by Genesus breeding stock).

The customer has different agricultural businesses (50,000 hectares* of farming land under long term lease, orchards with fruit storages and processing facilities, feed mill, swine units, dairy cattle farms, etc.) as well as a construction business. 

*One hectare is approximately equal to 2.5 acres.

Until 4 years ago Genesus had no real presence in Europe or the countries of the ex-soviet Union. This new nucleus in Ukraine is a very exciting continuation of the rapid growth we are seeing. So far, Genesus has established nucleus herds in UK, Ireland, Germany, and Spain. In 2019 we exported pigs to Poland, Bulgaria, Africa, Belarus, and Armenia. These are all new markets for Genesus.

The European genetics business has been dominated by European genetic companies based in Denmark and Holland. The European market trend for many years weighted toward ultralean pork, which tends to be dry and tasteless. Breeders have focused on born alive per litter as a major genetic trait.

Canadian genetic company, Genesus, pays particular attention to producing tasty pork. Better taste and juiciness leads to consumers wanting to eat more pork more often. We believe taste and flavor are the ultimate enhancers of demand. Genesus’ breeding focus is a productive and robust sow that is easy to manage with a lower cost of production.

“Production cost in Canada is 25% to 30% lower than in Europe. The combination of easy to manage, lower cost and tasty meat has been the backbone of Genesus’ rapid growth in Europe”. 

Simon Grey, General Manager Russia, CIS and Europe.

For further information on the supply of Genesus breeding stock in Ukraine contact:

Yevgen Shatokhin
+380 (50) 444 2633 or