Pig farmers' margins now at rock bottom warn Teagasc
Pig farmers have endured a 43pc drop in financial margins in the past year, according to Teagasc figures.
Ciaran Carroll, a Teagasc pig specialist, told the Farming Independent that this 43pc decrease in margins is the most severe in 15 years, with the current margin over feed price running at 30c per kg dead weight. Mr Carroll warned that this margin could decrease to 20c per kg dead weight if feed prices continue to rise and said the current situation is the "worst it has ever been."
"Feed accounts for 70pc of the cost of production so if there is an increase in prices it has a significant impact. Feed prices have gone up by €10 but they could rise by another €10 and if that happens margins will decrease further," he said.
Irish pig prices are currently trading below €1.40/kg. Mr Carroll said processors need to play their part in setting a sustainable price.
"We know that sow production was up in Europe last year so there are more pigs out there but the German price went up 16c last week.
"We're not asking for that 16c rise but even if it went up by 8c it would be a help. You can be sure if the German price went down 16c in Germany we would have felt that impact," he said.
Teagasc are holding a series of pig seminars this week to help pig farmers look at ways they can reduce production costs.
"Farmers can't control pig price but they can control what's going on inside their farm gate and see if they can be more efficient."