Danish Pig Farmers Turn to Banks

DENMARK - The sudden increase in wheat prices is squeezing the country's pig producers.
calendar icon 5 August 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

Pig farmers in Denmark – the world's largest pig meat exporter – are feeling the pinch as the result of a jump in feed grain prices, the Danish Pig Producers group said.

According to Bloomberg, the country's 5,000 pig farmers are facing higher feed costs, which may total an additional DKK900 million (US$160 million) this year, Henrik Mortensen, chairman of the producers' group, said by phone from the city of Loegstoer.

Denmark, a country of 5.54 million people, rears 27 million pigs a year, feeding each one 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of wheat and barley in addition to soy products. Feed accounts for two-thirds of production costs.

Wheat traded in Chicago, a global benchmark, reached a 22- month high on 2 August, extending a 38 per cent advance in July that was the biggest since 1973. Russia is facing its worst drought in at least a half century and flooding damaged crops in Canada.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Mortensen said: "It's a chaotic situation as many pig farmers are already in debt. Meat prices will also go up but there's always a delay of some months, which means that farmers have to rely on the mercy of their banks."

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