Pigs Reports

Pigs Council Report March 2023

  1. Market Report  

When the last council report was submitted in December prices were as follows:  

Rosderra €2.08 – 2.12c/kg 

Kepak €2.08 –2.12c/kg 

Dawn P&B €2.08 – 2.14c/kg 

Staunton’s €2.06 – 2.12c/kg 

Sows €1.05 -1.10/kg 

Today, as we come to the end of February 2023, producer prices have improved and are set to increase further.  

Rosderra €2.14 – 2.20c/kg 

Kepak €2.14 –2.20c/kg 

Dawn P&B €2.14 – 2.20c/kg 

Staunton’s €2.14 – 2.20c/kg 

Sows €1.60/kg 

The IFA Pigs Committee led by Chairman, Roy Gallie, have been campaigning nationally to ensure an increase in the pig price, and are in engagements with factories, secondary processors, retailers, the foodservice sector and also within the channels of government procurement. The total throughput for week ending 19/02/23 was 62,851 as recorded by the Department of Agriculture, of which 1,721 were sows.  

There was an 8c/kg increase in pig prices on Friday last which was urgently needed by producers.  The average Irish price is circa €2.16/kg. European prices increased also over the past number of weeks with a tightening in supply the main factor resulting in increased prices.  Recent price increases across EU include; Belgium +8c at €2.14, France +6c to €2.61, Germany +8c to €2.28, Netherlands +12 to €2.09 and Spain +8c to €2.40. German cull sow prices are circa €1.66/kg. The average price for a Grade E carcass for week 7 was €2.20/kg according to the European Commission. Live hog prices in China are circa 16RMB (€2.82/kg dw) which is back from its highs in July last year of 23RMB, but it’s expected that demand should improve in China.  

In the UK, census figures confirm that one fifth of the UK breeding herd has depopulated. Sow numbers at 237,000 at the end of 2022, compared with 295,000 in December 2021, a 20% decline, and 25% below the 317,000 head recorded in 2020. Relating to the Irish sow herd reduction, Teagasc estimate that circa 12,500 sows are permanently exiting the sector. 

  1. Activity since last National Council 
  • Held an IFA National Pig Farmer meeting in Dublin in early February where Minister Martin Heydon addressed the crowd. Presentations from Teagasc and Bord Bia were heard on the day.  
  • IFA Pig Committee members have been engaging intensively with processors and secondary processors to ensure price increases are delivered to farm gate prices and in a timely manner.  
  • Ongoing engagement with department, AHI, EPA, MII and Bord Bia. 
  • Ongoing work with the DNA scheme and testing in particular the foodservice sector as we work toward ensuring as much Irish product as possible is utilised on home soil.  
  • Meeting with retailers on specific issues relating to price, changes in production systems, sustainability and viability of the sector.  
  • Ongoing discussions with EPA on various issues including pig odour, LEAP online and IED.  
  • Communication with media and most recently Ear to the Ground on the pig crisis.  
  1. EU/COPA developments 
  • End of cages – presentation of study’s conclusions. Copa-Cogeca have conducted an impact assessment on the end of cages and the potential impact associated with the change for agriculture and associated transition periods. Should this come into immediate effect by 2025, its expected that circa 3% of EU egg production would cease and up to 37% of pork meat would cease.  
  • Engagement with Copa-Cogeca on proposed IED revised thresholds and various animal welfare issues.  
  1. Upcoming issues 
  • A reduction in the use of imported pigmeat in the foodservice sector is something the committee are eager to work on and see improvements. 
  • Actively engaging and working to ensure fair price is being returned to producers.  
  • Engaging with the EPA regarding various issues including emissions.  
  • Engaging with the Pig Health Check Implementation Group on the National Salmonella Control Programme.  

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