19 May 2000

Replacement cost rises are put on hold

PIG breeder PIC has shelved plans to increase the cost of replacement gilts to encourage producers to invest, despite the recent rise in finished prices.

Sales of stock are considerably down, although the company believes it has kept its market share.

According to Sue Corning, PICs technical sales manager, list prices will be frozen until July at about £130 a gilt. The company had pencilled in a £20-£30 rise. But restructuring within the business has taken a similar amount off the cost, she added.

Multipliers will be paid more. "We have to acknowledge that there are additional costs for them which have to be covered."

Early indications this spring suggest the number of gilts being placed on-farm was up by about 15% compared with recent months when many units were making heavy losses.