LACK OF confidence in the viability of the pig sector has hit investment, says a wide-ranging survey into research and development by industry leaders

Researchers for the British Pig Executive, the Meat and Livestock Commission and the National Pig Association received 50% of responses from pig producers with the balance from allied trades.

Over 60% of the producers polled quoted production costs of between 91-110p/kg deadweight.

According to the MLC, the five year average deadweight index pig price is 97.8p and the GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price currently stands at 100.3p.

This lack of profitability underlines producer‘s reluctance to reinvest. 

More farmers are forecast to leave the UK industry in the absence of long-term financial security, unless pig prices remain at viable levels in the year ahead.

The EU and worldwide pigmeat market and the value of the pound will be the two main factors to affect the future profitability of the UK pig industry as a whole.

Other barriers to future investment included rising bureaucracy, younger family members no longer interested in agriculture, more profitable alternative uses for available capital and planning obstacles for the development of new pig units.

The underlying effect of disease and the lack of long-term pig contracts are also eroding confidence in the future, especially among producers nearing retirement age.

Banks and other lenders were generally supportive, but the organisers also commented on the poor 1.2% response from abattoirs and processors.