Pig export returns 'must go to farmers'
Pig farmers must see the benefit of buoyant export sales for Irish pigmeat, the IFA has demanded.
Tim Cullinan, the IFA's national pig committee chairman, said European export sales had grown by more than 30pc this year but returns to Irish farmers were static and well below average EU levels.
"Export performance has not just been good for Irish factories," he said. "A 31pc increase has been recorded in EU exports between January and May compared to the same period in 2010. EU imports in the same period decreased by 34pc."
He pointed out that recent reports indicated that American pig prices, buoyed by these same markets, had topped €1.60/kg ($105 USD/cwt).
"This is an increase of 21c/kg on the previous year and an 80c/kg increase on the same week in 2009," Mr Cullinan said.
However, he claimed that while the American processing sector appeared to be passing back the returns from strong export markets to farmers, processors here had failed to return even the feed price to producers.
"Irish pig producer prices have been static since the middle of May at an average price of €1.47/kg, which is 10c/kg off today's EU average price," he said. "Profits coming from the export markets must be returned to the farmers producing the primary product."
Meanwhile, Europe's biggest pig producing country, Germany, lifted prices for the coming week by 2c/kg -- to Â¤1.55/kg -- which is attributed to a strengthening in demand and the positive export market situation.