Irish Pig Producers Furious Over Price Drop

IRELAND - Irish pig producers are furious with the Irish pigmeat processors for dropping prices for pigs this week.
calendar icon 2 September 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Irish Farmers' Association Pigs Committee Chairman Michael Maguire said they were angry over the cut of by 4c/kg being implemented by the processors.

“It was accepted over the last couple of weeks that market conditions were difficult, however it appears that the processors badly misread the market last Friday. Both north and south of the border, processors made a concerted effort to drop their producer prices. This is despite the fact that increases were achieved in a number of the major pig producing states. German, Austrian and Belgian producers saw an increase of 3c/kg whereas our Dutch counterparts achieved an increase of 4c/kg,” he said.

Mr Maguire said: "Pig producers have just come through the most difficult crisis ever experienced in the sector. Considerable debts were built up over the last 12 months and although prices have risen from the loss making levels of the first quarter of 2008, Irish producers have been below the EU average all through 2008 and are only beginning to recover in earnest.”

The white meat sector in Ireland, which trades on the world market, depends on a balance of trade in the EU. Last years crisis was caused not only by increases in the price of feed but also by an oversupply of pig meat on the world market. This oversupply is almost completely gone at this stage due to massive falls in the breeding herd in the EU.

Pig meat in the next couple of months will become a scarce commodity and processors will be forced to pay a price to maintain their markets. Processors must not allow the breeding herd in Ireland to fall any more or a critical mass will be lost.

“Processors take the easy option of reducing the price paid to suppliers instead of passing increase to their customers. This is a sign of the weak selling practices of the Irish processing sector. In light of the EU increases on Friday last, pig producers expect the price drop to be reversed with immediate effect,” Mr Maguire concluded.

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