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Improving Prospects Forecast for Australian Pig Farmers

17 December 2014

AUSTRALIA - The latest forecast for 2014-15 suggests an improving picture for the country's pig producers as both output and pig prices are on upward trends.

According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) in the latest Agricultural Commodities report for the December 2014 quarter, the prices received by farmers in the latest year, 2013-14 are estimated to be around the same as 2009-10 at around 147 (compared to 1997-98 at 100). This does represent a significant improvement from 2010-11, 2011-2012 and 2012-13, when the price index stood in the mid 130s. ABARES forecasts little change for 2014-15.

The same patterns are expected in terms of gross unit values of farm products. Pork stood at 291 cents per kilo in 2009-10, dropped into the 260s until 2013-14, when it rose to an estimated 292 cents. It is forecast at 291 cents for 2014-15.

The number of pigs slaughtered is on a slowly rising trend - up from 4.561 million in 2009-10 to an estimated 4.778 million in 2013-14 and 4.833 million are forecast for the 2014-15 year.

Pig meat production (carcass weight and includes carcass equivalent of canned meat) followed a similar pattern, rising from 331,000 tonnes in 2009-10 to an estimated 360,000 tonnes in 2013-14 and output is forecast to be 364,000 tonnes in 2014-15.

The value of this output totalled A$965 million in 2009-10, dipping in the following years and rising to an estimated A$1.05 billion in 2013-14 and A$1.06 billion is forecast for 2014-15.

The Australian pig population, meanwhile declined from 2.29 million in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and has now recovered to an estimates 2.15 million in 2013-14. Numbers are expected to recover further in 2014-15 to 2.17 million.

In terms of pork exports (fresh, chilled and frozen), Australia exported an estimated 27,000 tonnes in 2013-14, which is expected to be maintained the following year. In earlier years, the volume had been higher at between 29,000 and 31,000 tonnes.

The value of those exports was on a downward trend from A$109 million in 2009-10 to A$81 million in 2012-13 but A$100-million-worth of exports are forecast to be achieved in 2014-15.

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Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

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