Farm Ireland

Monday 25 March 2019

Pig farmers 'in despair' as prices hit a 15-year low

Pig farmers are at their 'wit's end'
Pig farmers are at their 'wit's end'

Irish pig farmers are threatening to leave the industry as prices fail to lift from their 15-year low, IFA and Teagasc have warned, writes Claire Fox.

Pig prices have dropped to €1.38-1.40/kg, with the margin over feed price running at as low as €0.28/kg.

IFA pig chair Tom Hogan said that farmers are at their "wits' end and battling on" and warned that if a price rise doesn't come soon many will leave the industry.

"Farmers are in despair. It's hard to take some of the phone calls I get from them as they are very despondent. Some will keep battling on but I fear that many farmers will leave as they don't see any price rise coming up," he said.

Teagasc pig specialist Ciaran Carroll said farmers were hopeful when prices in Germany increased to over €1.40/kg mark as it was thought the Irish industry would see a rise but that hasn't been the case.

He added that feed prices have increased by €10/t - this accounts for 70pc of the cost of production which is piling extra pressure on farmers.

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