The confidence of Britain’s pig producers towards investing in improving performance has resulted in increased production, which is expected to hit a record high of 10 million slaughterings by the end of 2012, according to the latest forecasts from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board's Market Intelligence division for the British Pig Executive

But, said a BPEX spokesman, the significant rise in feed costs leading to mounting losses is expected to undermine further investment and expansion, which will in turn hit the total amount of pig meat produced in the UK in 2013. “This is the first time that milestone has been reached since 2002, when the sow herd was 130,000 more than it is today," said the spokesman. "However, the latest forecasts also show production is likely to fall by almost 2 percent in 2013."

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The situation of tightening supplies is not just something affecting the UK. "The rising feed costs are a global problem and will have a global impact," said senior analyst Stephen Howarth. "On top of that, within the EU, new welfare rules next year will also lead to a reduction in the sow herd."