Pig farmers not helped by stronger demand

The average pig producer in Wales is failing to cover the cost of production even though new figures point to a sharp rise in demand for pork products.

Wales’ red meat levy body, Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), says the volume of pork sales in Wales rose by nearly 9% in 2010, to just under 17,000t. Expenditure by consumers increased nearly 6% to more than £77m.

But farmers were not seeing the benefits from the boost in sales because of large increases in input costs, John Richards, HCC’s industry information officer, said.

“Feed costs now account for over 75% of total pig production costs, as wheat and barley prices are significantly higher. In some cases, feed prices paid by pig farmers have more than doubled since June 2010,” he said. “This rise in commodity prices has resulted in the average pig producer failing to meet their cost of production.”

At the beginning of this year the average cost of production for British pig producers was 164p/kg deadweight, while the average deadweight pig price (DAPP) received by farmers was around 135p/kg.

But despite the high costs facing pig producers, results from the December 2010 Survey of Agriculture suggest optimism in this sector. The number of breeding pigs on Welsh farms rose by 16% to nearly 4,500, while the total number of pigs also rose by 22% to just under 27,000.


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