By Peter Crichton

With harvest approaching and plenty of rain, feed cereal yields are expected to be high, although quality may be variable.

The HGCA has recorded a record 2.1 million hectares wheat area in Great Britain this year, with feed barley at half this figure.

As a result, feed costs are forecast to remain static or drift further downwards and pig producers should be able to buy compound feeds at competitive rates for the remainder of the year or longer if they decide to “lock in” to a forward contract.

Sow rations are now on offer at under 100/t and good quality finisher feed in the 105 to 112 bracket.

According to the MLC, world meat consumption is predicted to rise in their 10 year forward forecast.

This shows pigmeat grabbing a 34% additional market share with the Far East and South America accounting for much of this.

However, the UK may prove to be uncompetitive in these regions where welfare standards and traceability have less of an impact at point of sale.

With UK “niche” markets also reported to be growing most pig producers should remain the black for the remainder of the year excluding past losses and interest charges racked up in the previous 24 months.

Many in East Anglia are still struggling to cope with high levels of PDNS and PMWS, which have pushed rearer and finisher mortality over 10% and continue to hit margins hard.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry