Pig and Poultry Sectors Hit by High Feed Prices

UK - Recent rises in the price of feed for pigs and poultry has significantly increased the cost of production, according to NFU Scotland.
calendar icon 14 November 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
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The price of wheat has risen by 330 per tonne in recent months and soya by 360 per tonne. That has resulted in an increased cost of production of around 8-10 pence per kilogram for pigs, 1.5 pence per kilogram for chickens and two pence per dozen eggs. Although market prices for eggs have risen to take account of the increase in costs, price increases for poultry meat and pigs are now lagging behind.

Chairman of NFU Scotland’s Pig Committee is Andrew Peddie, a pig producer from Fife. He said:

“Whilst higher feed prices have been good news for NFU Scotland’s cereal growing members, they have hit the pig sector extremely hard. Current pig prices are sitting just on the cost of production and increases in feed prices, that are not met by corresponding increases in the market price, make the difference between profit and loss.

“Our customers need to be aware of the fine margins that we operate on. The massive drop in production over recent years, which has taken pig numbers under 500,000 for the first time in 13 years, has taken the industry perilously close to losing its critical mass. The industry can’t afford for any more producers to go out of business.“

Mike Darrah, Chairman of the NFUS Poultry Working Group, said:

“Feed is a massive input for poultry producers and the significant rises we have seen in recent months are compounding problems for the poultry meat sector, already under extreme pressure from cheap third country imports.

“Buyers are quick to adjust the prices they pay when feed prices are dropping. They need to be just as quick when prices are rising.“

Source: Scottish National Farmers' Union - 14th November 2003

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