17 November 1995

USto become big exporter

US pig production is undergoing fundamental change, according to Dr Tom Elam, US-based economist for Elanco Animal Health.

He told the British Pig Association conference that corporate involvement is increasing, with 1000-sow units being set up in areas away from the traditional pig producing states.

Sited close to maize and soyabean producing areas, the new units have access to maize at £70/t and soyameal at £130.

"In the most efficient units now capable of producing 21 to 22 pigs a sow a year, deadweight costs of 65p to 70p a kg are achieved," said Dr Elam.

In response, co-operatives have been formed in the traditional pig producing States which have a cost advantage of 20% to 30% over remaining traditional family farms.

"Pork exports are expected to grow substantially by the end of the decade and trade barriers will be removed, strengthening the US position on pork trade,"he said.

He warned this provided overwhelming evidence that corporation and co-operation were the destiny of pork production and urged UK producers to adapt, improve and exploit markets globally.