28 October 1998
‘Pig prices to improve in next six months’
PIG farmers should see prices pick up in the next six months, according to Mick Sloyan, head of pig strategy with the Meat & Livestock Commission.
Mr Sloyan told a conference in Perth yesterday (Tuesday) that there were grounds to suggest that prices would move from 64p/kg now to more than 90p/kg by next spring.
He warned, however: “In the short term, even the most efficient will be losing money on each pig. The challenge is to minimise these losses by cutting costs, managing cashflow and using best practice to optimise production.”
Mr Sloyan outlined the main reasons for the current slump – the high Pound, European over-production, the turmoil in the financial markets and the implosion of the Russian economy.
He suggested that, with sow cullings running 25% above normal, the UK was ready to reduce its herd size by around 12%. In Scotland, where sow numbers have jumped from 51,000 to 74,000 in fewer than 10 years, the culling is likely to be sharper.
- The Herald 28/10/98 page 26