British Production Still Lags Behind

UK - Despite improvements in daily liveweight gain and pigs finished per sow, Britain still lags behind its European competition in the production stakes.
calendar icon 15 November 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

The latest figures from the BPEX publication on international cost of production show Britain produced 1643kg pig meat per sow in 2009 – the lowest of all the EU countries.

Though this is two per cent better than 2008, it is still well below the target in the Two-Tonne Sow campaign aimed at bringing us into line with our major competitors by 2013.

The report, Cost of Production in Selected Countries, shows the cost of production for Britain’s pig producers fell by four per cent compared with a three per cent fall across Europe.

BPEX Director Mick Sloyan said: "The exchange rate has given us something of an advantage but the benefit of InterPig is it reveals strategic detail of our position relative to our competitors.

"We are narrowing the gap but our competitors are not standing still so we must continue to seek improvements.

"The report once again highlights not only that we need to continue to improve performance at farm level but also the precise areas on which we need to focus. It is those areas which are the key to the Two-Tonne Sow campaign.

"Trying to drive improvements at a time when feed costs are so volatile is obviously a challenge; but if we can improve our performance it will help to overcome the exposure to those volatile input costs."

The cost of pig meat production in Great Britain decreased by four per cent in 2009, to 131.4p/kg, while the EU average was 131.7p/kg dw, down three per cent.

BPEX Senior Analyst James Park said: "Feed prices decreased following high quotations during the previous year and, as a result, this helped member countries control costs of production.

"The cash costs of production, those which exclude finance costs, were 115.5p/kg in 2009, about five pence lower than in 2008."

"At the same time producer prices increased notably during 2009 which resulted in positive net margins for producers. However, recent increases in feed prices have turned these positive net margins back to negative."

In performance terms the overall average number of pigs weaned/sow/year in the European InterPIG countries increased from 23.98 in 2008 to 24.32 in 2009 while the number of pigs weaned/sow/year in Great Britain, increased to 22.25.

The average number of pigs finished/sow in Great Britain increased for the sixth consecutive year in 2009. At 21.0 pigs/sow, average performance was 0.15 pigs higher than in 2008 and 2.2 pigs higher, an 11 per cent improvement, compared with 2004.

The report it is available, free to levy payers, 3160 for non-levy payers. For copies please contact Dorian Harris, email [email protected] or telephone: 0247 647 8850.

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