Supply Shortage Likely to Lead to Higher Prices

by 5m Editor
28 May 2008, at 2:37pm

UK - According to warnings from pig farming leaders, a severe increase in sow cullings from January to April 2008 is likely to lead to a shortage in pork and pork products within a matter of a few months.

New figures show that Britain’s pig farmers are reducing their breeding herds by culling more sows to avoid the soaring cost of feed. In the first three months of 2008, sow cullings were up more than a third compared to the same period in 2007. Figures from Denmark also show a reduction in the herd size, demonstrating that cost of feed is an international problem, reports the NEBusiness.

The pig industry is suffering serious financial difficulties due to a 70% increase in the price of pig feed caused by the high cost of wheat and soya. The British breeding herd has halved over the past decade to 436,000 sows, and is predicted to decline another 10% this year.

Steward Houston, chairman of Bpex, said: “The rise in sow cullings can only mean that farmers are reducing their breeding herds because of high feed costs. This will lead to shortages of supply in six to eight months time.

“Anyone who thinks that imported pig meat could fill the gap would be badly mistaken. Results from a recent pig census in Denmark show that the problem is an international one.

“Many farmers will face the prospect of going out of business.

“The shortage of supply could mean higher prices in the longer term. But a fair price for farmers now could avert this.”

View the NEBusiness story by clicking here.

5m Editor