Pig producer margins slide into red as costs rise

Most pig producers were losing money in the first three months of 2015, according to new figures.

Latest AHDB data shows the average pig price dipped below the average cost of production for the first time since early 2013.

Costs rose 4p/kg to 146.4p/kg in quarter one of this year, while the EU-spec all pigs price dropped another 11p/kg to 139.8p/kg.

This put the average net margin as a loss of 6.6p/kg or £5.30 a head.

See also: Retail squeeze keeps Cranswick pork sales tight

A Bpex report said the higher costs were largely down to a modest rise in feed prices. But costs were still 6p/kg lower than a year earlier and low for recent years.

“This has helped limit the impact of falling pig prices on producer margins, for now at least,” the levy board said.

Pig prices remain low but steady.

In the week to 23 May, the EU-spec standard pigs price dropped 0.33p/kg to 131.11p/kg. The measure is just under 33p/kg lower on the year.

Supplies are still running high in the UK, though prices have shifted less than 2p/kg since the start of March.

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