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Irish pig producers being short changed on prices

by 5m Editor
22 June 2004, at 12:00am

IRELAND - IFA Pigs Committee Chairman, Pat O’Keeffe, said IFA find it totally unacceptable that the substantial market improvement for pigs across the EU over the past month is not been passed back to Irish producers.

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He said it is this type of action that has the production sector in its current unstable situation with many producers unsure of their future and this instability is reflected in falling pig supplies. The IFA Pigs Chairman highlighted that since 23rd May this year a pig supply shortage and improved demand had given rise to very significant price increases across the EU.

In this period France increased their price by 29c/kg, Germany by 24c/kg, Spain by 22c/kg, Holland by 20c/kg and Denmark by 10c/kg, while Ireland only managed a lowly 4c/kg rise last week. This leaves Irish prices second bottom in the EU price league and 14c/kg or €10 per pig below the average EU price.

“Irish producers expect to get their fair share from the market place, and it was the failure of factories to increase prices this week that has angered producers. With weekly slaughtering in 2004 down by 4,500 per week or 107,600 year to date compared to 2003, surely the processors must know that the failed policy of paying Irish producers one of the lowest prices in the EU is no longer sustainable“.

Mr. O’Keeffe said, “producers rightly expected prices in Ireland to increase by at least 4c/kg this week and now that it hasn’t it would not be surprising to see many producers move pigs from their traditional outlet to get better prices which are available. Producers now believe and there is plenty of evidence to show that loyalty to a particular processor costs and in a tight margin business every cost must be eliminated.

I would actively encourage producers to shop around and be tough on poor paying processors.“ “Given the strong market demand for pigs, producers expect pig prices to increase by a minimum 8c/kg this Friday with 4cent of this increase backdated for all pigs slaughtered this week“, concluded Mr. O’Keeffe.

Source: The Irish Farmers Association - 21st June 2004

5m Editor