IFA National Pigs Chairman Tom Hogan has called on all pig processors to stop cutting the pig price for farmers.
Tom Hogan said farmers have had to take a reduction of up to 20 cent per kilo in the farm gate price for pigs over the last two months, “This undercutting of the pig price has to stop now and stability returned to the market.”
It was clearly evident throughout summer 2017 that Irish pig prices were up to 10c/kg behind the prices being paid to our European neighbours, and an even greater discrepancy was evident between the Irish and UK pig price. Irish pig factories never felt the need to match high European prices, but they have used recent reductions in some of these EU pig markets as an excuse to repeatedly pull the Irish pig price.
Tom Hogan said that while the first half of 2017 was a relatively positive period for pig producers, it is not sustainable to have two below-cost years of production, followed by a short six month window of profitable margins. “With the recent factory imposed drops, the pig price being paid to farmers is now below €1.60c/kg. Costs of pig production are running around €1.50c/kg and the addition cost of maintenance neglected on pig units due to the lack of finance over the last two years, has brought the cost of production up to the current pig price level.
“In the space of a couple of weeks the initially positive outlook for 2017 has taken a turn for the worse and the current pig price needs to stabilise and improve in the final quarter of 2017. Pig farmers have financial commitments that require 2017 to be a positive year, not just the first six months,” Tom Hogan said.
Tom Hogan again called on the pig processing sector to be cognisant of the financial strain that all Irish pig farmers endured in 2015-2016, and the need for stability in the market place to refrain from any further reduction in the pig price.