Pig producers hopeful of end to export ban

Pig producers are hopeful that pigmeat exports may resume in early September, subject to approval by the European Union’s Food Chain Committee.

The committee, which is scheduled to meet on 23 August, may recommend that exports can resume from FMD-free regions.

However, it is understood that it could take up to a fortnight to put in place an export licensing system, allowing shipments to resume from 3 September.

The loss of the export market has hit cull sow prices hard, slashing sow values by 40% to just 40p/kg deadweight.

However, even if shipments can resume early next month, the trade will have to adjust to a backlog of about 20,000 cull sows and unsold gilts, adding to downward pressure on the market.

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