British pig producers are facing the full brunt of the current international feed crisis, with the price of feed wheat expected to rise to well over £200 per metric ton for the next six to nine months.
“This will push our production costs up to about 170p per kilogram — and with the pig price at 150p per kilogram, you can understand why so many producers are downsizing,” said British Pig Executive Director Mick Sloyan. “I have no doubt that some producers will even decide to get out now, because they have had enough. Others, however, are just scaling back and using the time to do a de-pop and upgrading facilities over the winter because they hope prices will fall back and stabilize in the future.
“This is a very worrying situation and I know it is affecting producers across the world. What’s happened in the U.S. (the drought) is a major concern, especially with the current difficult financial times. Many producers in the EU are also facing the added expense of meeting the partial ban on sow stalls that comes into effect on January 1 next year.
“It’s a real problem and we are trying to get a bit more out of the market," said Sloyan. "I think the retailers will have to bite the bullet — either by taking a hit on their margins, or charging their customers a bit more now, rather than a lot more in the future.”