Rising feed prices raise alarm

European pig industry could be hit hard

The rising cost of wheat, barley and soya, the main ingredients in pig feed, is expected to push the British pig industry back into the red by the final quarter of 2010, according to a new report from the British Pig Executive (BPEX).

And it warns that, as the grain market is global, other European pig producing nations are also likely to experience hard times in the near future.

“Based on current and forecast prices for wheat, barley and soya, it is anticipated that the cost of English pig production will rise from 137.2p per kg in June this year to 146.35p by November 2010, which means negative returns for every pig slaughtered, subject to future movements of the pig price,” says the report.

It continues that this grim prediction follows reports of the worst drought for 130 years hitting Russian grain crops, which has made the world nervous about the availability of wheat from Russia and the Black Sea region.

There is also concern about the poorer-than-expected yields of barley in Europe and the Black Sea region, as well as robust international demand for soyabean, especially from China, which could push prices up, in spite of an anticipated record US crop in 2010. 

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