Despite improvements in daily liveweight gain and pigs finished per sow, Britain is still lagging behind its European competitors in the production stakes, according to new figures from a publication on international cost of production.

These statistics, compiled by the British Pig Executive (BPEX), show Britain produced the lowest of all the EU countries in 2009 – managing only 1,643kg of pig meat per sow. Although this is 2% better than 2008, it is still well below the country’s target of 2,000kg of pig meat per sow to bring it into line with its major competitors by 2013.

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The report, “Cost of Production in Selected Countries,” shows the cost of production for Britain's pig producers fell by 4%, compared with a 3% fall across Europe. BPEX director Mick Sloyan said: "The exchange rate has given us something of an advantage and we are narrowing the gap, but our competitors are not standing still so we must continue to seek improvements.”