IFA National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan has said despite an increasing market price for finished pigs in continental markets, Irish prices have remained stubbornly static. All the positive elements supporting producer prices such as strong exports and dwindling supplies are present and while EU producers are benefitting, Irish farmers are not.
Tim Cullinan said, “I recently visited a number of pig farms in Germany; the price being paid for finished pigs is in excess of €1.60/kg. Furthermore, the German producer has the added advantage of an 80% kill out, a figure which Irish factories never reach. This equates in value terms to almost €5 per pig. Our European counterparts are paying €75 for 28kg weaners while Irish farmers can only get €50 for an even heavier weaner pig. Indications from producers on the ground in Germany are that supplies are very tight. This is supported by recently-published Europstat figures which show a fall off in pig numbers as well as the European breeding herd.”
Concluding, he said that Irish pig farmers need 20c/kg to get themselves into a profitable situation. “A price rise to cope with the sow welfare requirements is vital and factories must act immediately to put the industry on a more secure footing. The feed industry is equally answerable and must not profiteer on the back of farmers. The primary producer simply cannot carry the rest of food chain either up and down stream.”