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Quit Rate Up and National Herd Falls 10 Per Cent

by 5m Editor
14 January 2008, at 9:59am

AUSTRALIA - Australian press reports suggest that high numbers of pig farmers are deserting the industry. They cannot compete against an increasing wave of cheaper imported pigmeat products.

During 2007 imports of processed products such as bacon and ham, increased by 40 per cent and now account for 64 per cent of the whole processed pork market. Local producers are estimated to be losing around $50 per pig due to higher grain prices and competition from cheap imports.

Industry information service INFARMATION says that Australia's 300,000-head breeding sow herd has been slashed by 30,000 sows and a recent survey of pig farmers shows that 27 per cent were planning to quit production in the near future. The only sector of the industry that is managing to maintain productivity and margins is the organic, free-range sector where demand is increasing.

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5m Editor