Pig producers warned to mind the gap

Although there is still a gap between the cost of pig production in the UK and the EU, Bpex has said it is narrowing.

According to the levy board, the latest Cost of Production Report for Bpex from the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) showed UK costs rose by 7%, while the EU average was 12%. Part of the reason for the gap, said head of knowledge transfer Andrew Knowles, was the fact that feed prices rose in the UK earlier than they did elsewhere.

Meanwhile, despite the higher relative cost of production in the UK, Knowles said most aspects of physical performance had improved between 2010 and 2012. He said: “We are improving year on year, but so is the rest of Europe and we need to close the gap faster. There is some good news for the industry in the report, but there are still challenges that need to be overcome.

“For example, the overall average number of pigs weaned per sow per year in the European InterPIG countries showed a 2% increase in 2011, while there was a 3% increase in pigs weaned per sow in Great Britain.”

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