By Peter Crichton

PRICES have at last started to move ahead of break even levels.

But for most producers, this benefit may be overwhelmed by more emerging problems facing the UK pig industry.

One of the most pressing in the run-up to the end of the year follows recent reports that the Malton Bacon factory is to dramatically downsize the scale of its UK slaughtering operation.

Trade sources are stating that the Malton weekly kill may be cut to between 15,000 and 20,000 head in the New Year, and the closure of the Middlesborough plant has been brought forwards to mid December.

This compares with over 65,000 head being put through the Malton plant two years ago.

And any reduction in slaughtering capacity will have a negative effect on prices at a time when the Christmas and New Year “short weeks” are looming.

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

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