In 2011, British pig producers lost 12p for every kg of pigmeat produced, figures from BPEX show.

A report by InterPig – the international project examining the relative costs of pig production in 15 countries, mostly in the EU, shows that average cost of production in the EU in 2011 was 12% higher than 2010 at £1.48/kg carcass weight.

Farmers in Denmark, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands had production costs of less than £1.40/kg, while GB production costs were higher at £1.53/kg, a rise of 7% on the previous year.

Across all EU countries, there was an average loss of 15p/kg; the loss in GB was slightly lower at 12p for every kg of pigmeat produced.

“Feed accounted for around 60% of total costs. In Great Britain, feed costs averaged 95.6p/kg compared with 85.4p/kg in 2010 and 75.7p/kg in 2009,” said BPEX.

British producers paid on average 5% more for feed than the EU average of 91.3p/kg, and although the number of pigs weaned per sow increased by 3% to 22.56, Great Britain was still one of the poorer performing EU countries. This was a major cause for higher production costs.

“The main reason was the low number of pigs born alive per litter, which at 11.39 was well below the EU average of 12.50,” said BPEX.

GB feeding herd performance was much closer to the EU average, in terms of mortality, feed conversion and weight gain, however lower slaughter weights also inflated production costs.

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