Disease Outbreak Would Cost British Pork Producers Dearly

UK - If you include offals, the United Kingdom pig sector is now exporting a remarkable 25 per cent of its output — which is one of the reasons producers are currently able to pay down some of their debt, for the first time in years, according to the National Pig Association (NPA).
calendar icon 30 September 2013
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The value of pig meat exports, including offals, last year was around £310 million, with China accounting for £119 million of this.

But what would happen if the swill-feeding ban were relaxed — resulting, almost inevitably sooner or later, in an outbreak of exotic disease?

Defra and BPEX have provided figures that show producers would suffer an almost immediate drop of 30p to 40p a kilo, which would plunge every commercial pig unit in the country deep into the red.

Total deadweight value of United Kingdom pig meat last year was £1.22 billion, with exports accounting for a quarter of this.

An export ban would see the meat currently being exported diverted to the domestic market, and the offals being exported going to rendering plants.

As a result, the value of pig meat products currently being exported would plummet from £310 million currently to about £110 million — a loss of £200 million.

"There would also be a knock-on effect on prices for other products in the United Kingdom market, given an increase in supply, so the net effect would be about £320 million," notes BPEX economist Stephen Howarth.

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