Soaring feed costs are sparking growing concern among pig producers, who are losing an average of £18 a pig, according to a report by BPEX.
“Provisional AHDB estimates for the total cost of pig production in July were around 173p/kg,” it said. “This is much higher than the current pig price, leading to producers losing an estimated £18 a pig. Given that feed prices have continued to rise since the start of the month, the true position is probably worse still.”
Wheat prices had gained almost £40/t over the past month, and with drought affecting the US and wet weather impacting on the British harvest, the outlook offered little comfort. “This is coupled with high protein prices, with CBOT soya meal futures for up over $90 (£57) in the past month.”
Pig producers had been losing money for the past 22 months, resulting in cumulative losses of almost £200m, said the report. “Increasing pig prices would put great pressure on a processing sector where margins are already tight. There is a real risk that the UK pig industry will contract at a time when there will also be lower supplies available for import.”