Pig Returns Forecast to Remain High

AUSTRALIA - With supply of pig meat extremely tight, prices are forecast to remain high in 2009.
calendar icon 29 December 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Australian Pork Limited chief executive officer Andrew Spencer says price rises have been very significant and mostly Australia-wide, with the exception of Western Australia and Tasmania.

"There's a hgue difference between what's going on now and what was going on this time last year," he said.

"Last year we were looking at about $2.50/kilogram carcase weight, and it's now $3.50/kg."

While baconers make up most of the market, porkers have also risen about $1/kg in the past year, according to Stock Journal.

"I believe supply will remain tight for a while for a couple of different reasons," Mr Spencer said.

"It takes about a year for farmers to increase production, by the time they get extra sows, mate them, have them go through gestation and then grow the pigs out.

"It takes money as well, one extra sow takes up about $1400 in working capital."

Mr Spencer says that at the moment many producers would just be making up for the time they spent 'in the red'.

"It's difficult to say what's going to happen next year because the prices over the past six months have been unprecedented," he said. "I've never seen prices go up as much as they have in the past few months."

"In a typical year prices would start to drop off after Christmas, but it's hard to say what's going to happen because the situation at the moment is so far outside the bounds of normality."

Mr Spencer says the relatively low Australian dollar should help make Australian products more competitive on the international stage.

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