Brazil remained the lowest-cost pig producer in 2012, breeding hogs more cheaply than in the U.S. and the European Union due to lower spending for feed and labor, according to the annual Interpig cost comparison.

Raising pigs in Brazil's Mato Grosso state cost 0.93 pound a kilogram (US$0.67 a pound) in 2012 from 1.02 pounds in 2011, the study published by U.K. pig breeders group BPEX showed. That compares with 1.12 pounds for the U.S., from 1.09 pounds in 2011.

Pork is the world's most-consumed meat, with the U.S. the biggest pork exporter, followed by the EU, Canada and Brazil, according to data from the United Nations' Food & Agriculture Organization. Feed is the biggest component of pig-production costs, the Interpig comparison showed. "With continued high prices for raw materials, on average pig feed remained higher in 2012 than in 2011," said BPEX.


Average production costs were 1.46 pounds for the EU in 2012, from 1.48 pounds in 2011, according to the report. The comparison didn't include China, the world's biggest pig producer.

Brazil's Mato Grosso state had the lowest feed costs per kilogram of pig at 0.64 pound, compared with 0.79 pound in the U.S. and 0.95 pound in Spain, the lowest-cost EU producer. Production costs were 1.17 pounds in Santa Catarina, Brazil's traditional pork-breeding state in the southeast, the price comparison showed. That was at a similar level as Canada.