Movement rules hit pig trading

By Peter Crichton

CONFUSION over the latest movement restrictions has disrupted store pig trading.

The new rules came into effect on 17 September, and Trading Standards Offices are working under huge backlogs of licence applications.

With large numbers of autumn sheep and cattle movements due, pig producers are stuck in a long queue in the west and north of England.

The MLC 65p/pig promotion levy has also come under fire, with some producers calling for it to be scrapped, amid criticism of the current pigmeat promotion system.

The effects of PDNS and PMWS are continuing to cut a swathe through pig numbers and profitability.

Pig numbers have fallen by 14% in the past year, says the provisional June 2001 Census. In-pig gilts are down by 12% and in-pig sows down by 5%.

Analysts have pointed out that sow numbers would have fallen further but for the bottleneck caused by cull sows.

With finished pig prices of less than 100p/kg, many producers will remain in the red.

Unless prices move significantly above this benchmark level, further reduction in the size of the UK Pig Industry is forecast.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry


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