The latest cost of production figures from the United Kingdom pig group, British Pig Executives, have been increased following updated performance data, meaning the cumulative loss to the industry is about UK$90 million over the last 18 months. The provisional data for the first quarter of this year showed January 169.2 cents per kilogram, February 165.3 cents and March 164.3 cents. The revised figures for the same period are 173.0 cents, 168.8 cents and 167.7 cents.

Senior Analyst Stephen Howarth said, "This shows the impact that the adverse weather earlier in the year had on herd productivity. However, overall costs have declined significantly since the start of the year as global cereal and oilseed prices have eased back as prospects for the 2013/2014 season have improved. Nevertheless, costs will need to remain low relative to prices for a sustained period if producers are to recover the losses made in recent years."

The latest provisional Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board figures show pig producers are making a profit for the first time in nearly three years. Average costs in June were estimated to be around three cents lower than revised estimates for the month before, standing at just over 164 cents per kilogram.

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With the deadweight average pig price passing this level at the end of May and heading higher still in June, producers stand to make a significant positive margin for the first time since the autumn of 2010. Nevertheless, costs are still more than 6 cents per kilogram higher than they were in June 2012.