Croatian Pig Farming Industry Threatened With Collapse?

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak writes on the 18th of September, 2020, the market disruption in Germany caused by the outbreak of African swine fever and the disorder of the agricultural market is more than likely to cause more damage to Croatian pig farming than it would if this disease had appeared here.

The damage that may occur to the Croatian pig farming industry this time is estimated at over 100 million euros. Due to the alarming situation on the market, the Croatian Association of Pork Producers is seeking the urgent involvement of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, and is also ready to offer solutions that could mitigate the consequences of this new situation, said Kresimir Kuterovac, president of the Croatian Association of Pork Producers.

The members of the Association are the largest producers of piglets, fatteners of Croatian piglets and producers of genetic material in Croatia, which annually produce about 700,000 pigs and keep 30,000 sows.

”Today, 70 percent of Croatia’s pork needs are covered by imports from other EU countries. We want better market organisation to encourage the development of Croatian pig farming and reduce the import deficit, reduce the dependence of the meat industry on imports of raw materials, and to further valorize domestic quality (born-bred-slaughtered, following the example of developed EU countries). In Croatian stores, we must ensure the representation of Croatian products by implementing the EU regulation on market organisation, and it should be noted that Croatia is the only EU country that applies this regulation in practice in part, which allows the domestic market to be protected as much as possible from unfair import competition,” they stated from the Croatian Association of Pork Producers.

The Croatian Association of Pork Producers stated that last week the worst possible scenario for Croatian pig farming happened, as the African swine fever disease appeared in Germany, which caused proverbial earthquakes on the German market. This caused the price of certain pork cuts to fall by as much as 20 cents or 13 percent in just one week. As Germany doesn’t have the possibility of placing its produce on the markets of China and Asian countries an export ban was introduced for a certain period, and huge quantities of pork from Germany will find its sales channel here in Croatia. The price won’t be important and retail chains will either stop buying meat from Croatian producers or there will be a horrendous drop in prices, which will further destroy domestic production and bring Croatian pork producers to the brink of financial profitability.

”We estimate that the prices in Croatia under the pressure of imported meat to fall to 7.5 kuna per kilogram of live weight, which will increase the loss per fattened animal to 100 kuna. This will result in a weekly loss of 1.3 million kuna on a total of 13,000 pigs produced per week. Since Croatian pig farmers aren’t to blame for this situation, and the result could be worse than the appearance of African swine fever in Croatia, the Association is seeking the urgent involvement of the Croatian Government,” said Kresimir Kuterovac.

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