The weakening euro and rising input costs are presenting major challenges for UK pig producers.

Although pig prices have risen by 4-5p/kg over the past two months, the pig industry still needs to address the challenges of the euro and input costs to increase competitiveness, said Mick Sloyan, chief executive of BPEX.

Speaking at the Pig and Poultry Fair 2012, Mr Sloyan stressed that with a weakening euro and wheat prices in excess of £170/t and soya at £300/t significant pressure would be put on any price increase.

“The weakening euro is a major challenge for us and something we need to take care of. Over the past four weeks, although the euro has dropped, there is still a 12p/kg price differential. Twelve pence is still manageable in terms of a premium, but unless the EU markets start to climb, growth in the UK will be constrained,” he said.

Mr Sloyan added: “There are clear signs, however, the UK pig industry is making progress and we have seen some investment that’s helping improve productivity. For example, in 2011 we slaughtered the highest number of pigs since 2002,” he said.

More from the Pig and Poultry Fair 2012

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