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Czech pork prices rise on falling pig numbers

by 5m Editor
21 March 2008, at 10:29am

PRAGUE - Czech farmers reduced pig numbers by nearly 80,000 to 2.661 million last year, and continue cutting the numbers this year owing to low buyout prices, according to statistics the Agricultural Chamber have reported.

The Chamber's president Jan Veleba said the decline in pig numbers would result in roughly a 20 percent increase in pork prices this year because pork supply would be lower than demand.

Czech breeders are closing down whole pig farms, he added. The reasons include the fall in farmers prices, which reached 7.6 percent in 2007, and the growth in prices of inputs, especially feed mixtures, caused by higher grains prices.

Veleba warned that if the unfavourable trend is not halted, domestic pork production would only cover 50 percent of consumption in about a year. Still in 2002, the Czech Republic was self-sufficient in pork production, and the share of domestic breeders has been decreasing since that time. Average per capita pork consumption in the country is 41 kilogrammes a year.

The only way to improve the situation of Czech pig breeders is to raise consumption of Czech-made pork meat, Veleba said.

"Last year, 130,000 tonnes of pork worth Kc6.7bn was imported to the Czech Republic. Before the EU entry in 2004, we imported pork worth Kc1.3bn," he added.

Agriculture Minister Petr Gandalovic told CTK earlier the ministry would try to help pork producers by means of preferential treatment in the rural development programme, that is, in drawing money from EU funds.

5m Editor