Farm Ireland

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Rise 'vital to halt €400k pig losses'

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Pig producers are losing €400,000 a week and need an immediate increase in quotes from processors, says the IFA.

IFA pigs committee chairman Tim Cullinan said factories were in a position to improve returns to producers after the decision by Russia to resume imports of Irish pigmeat.

He pointed out that farmers were currently losing 10c/kg, or €8/pig. With 50,000 pigs being killed each week, this amounted to €400,000/week being drained from producers' pockets, Mr Cullinan claimed.

"Processors stated time and again during last year that two of the factors dragging down the pig price were the closure of the Russian market and the low efficiency of plants due to the dioxin crisis depopulations. Both of these issues have now been rectified, so processors must immediately return pig producers to profitability," Mr Cullinan insisted.

"Market analysis has shown that retail sales of pigmeat in Ireland performed strongly last year despite the recession. There was a strong resurgence in the sales of bacon joints and the sausage market continued to grow strongly," he added.

Mr Cullinan added that a wide variation in processor quotes, which range from €1.20 to 1.30/kg, had resulted in a considerable amount of market volatility.

With Russia now back in the pigmeat market, Mr Cullinan maintained that there was room for processors to lift prices. He said producers needed an additional 8c/kg to break even.

In response to the current difficulties, an emergency meeting of pig producers has been called by the IFA, which will take place this Thursday in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, Co Laois, at 7.30pm.

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