US pig expansion worries UK and EU

By FW Staff

LATEST pig census information from the USA shows a much larger than
expected expansion in pig numbers of 5.7% for the year to June 1998,
to 61.6 million head.

Most of the increase is in fattening pigs, since sow numbers have
only increased 1%, says the MLC.

Slaughter supplies are likely to increase 4-7% in the next year,
according to USDA. With Russian demand down, there is real concern
that exports will be diverted to markets taken by EU countries.

“The US has a 20-30% price advantage over us,” says independent
consultant Peter Crichton. “That could shut doors for EU producers.”

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