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Weekly Overview: Free Trade Agreements to Influence Livestock Market Competitiveness

15 February 2016, at 12:00am

ANALYSIS - This week ThePigSite is publishing all the latest from the UK's AHDB Outlook Conference 2016, held Tuesday 9 February.

Speaking at the conference, Andrew McLay from the agriculture and agrifood consultancy, Promar International, said that world livestock market competitiveness will hinge on free trade agreements.

He said that competitiveness in export markets is multifaceted and not just about the cost of production.

Other influences such as tariffs, exchange rates, transport costs and consumer demands also come into play, he said.

Also at the conference, a talk by Prof Alan Matthews from Trinity College Dublin looked at the implications of Britain leaving the EU on food and agriculture.

If the UK votes to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum, the British government would have to renegotiate all its trade deals with both Europe and third countries.

Prof Matthews said that UK membership of the EU was as much about broader political questions as it is about economics.

ThePigSite will be publishing more from the AHDB Outlook conference in the next few days.

In disease news, two more outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) virus have been reported in Ontario, Canada, over the past week.

On February 9, two more outbreaks were reported in the Perth and Middlesex areas. Both farms affected are finisher units.

In African Swine Fever (ASF) news, Russia has reported an outbreak on a pig farm in the Penzenskaya region. Of the 292 pigs susceptible on the farm, one case was reported and 43 pigs were destroyed as a result.

ASF was also reported in wild boars in Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia.

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