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Aussie Pork Industry Challenged by Imports

by 5m Editor
28 July 2008, at 11:47am

AUSTRALIA - The ailing Australian pig industry is finally starting to turn a corner, with prices on the way up. But imports remain a challenge, with numbers showing no sign of easing in the short term.

Australian Pork Limited chief executive officer Andrew Spencer said while prices were improving it was still tough for producers.

"Pig prices are on the way up and they have been moving up pretty consistently," he said.

"In a typical year we'd usually start to see a move in prices within the next two to three weeks but the price move started sometime ago.

"Of course that doesn't mean everyone is making lots of money, especially with grain prices so high. The profitability is still pretty bad."

Mr Spencer said pig meat prices were predicted to keep going up in the following year.

According to Farmonline, Daryl Fielke (Taldra farmer) foresees a good future for the pig industry but believes that the incursion of imports into the country is the major challenge producers face.

Pigs make up roughly 60 per cent of the enterprise, with grain 35 per cent and cattle 5 per cent.

"We produce between 11,000 to 12,000 pigs a year, mainly baconers and a few porkers," he said.

Pig sales made through long-term contracts are held with Coles and Primo.

Mr Fielke grows grain predominantly for pig feed, with between 3500 to 4000 tonnes stored on-site.

"I try to keep a year to year and a half supply of feed on-site," he said.

"We're fortunate that we're able to grow enough grain to meet our pigs' needs, especially in the last couple of years."

5m Editor