Pig costs fall

UK pig production costs are falling according to the latest pan-European analysis from BPEX.

The actual cost of production fell by about 7p per kg to 104.4 due to lower feed prices and improved performance, however BPEX points out the same factors have led to lower costs in other countries.

Overall the EU average, excluding Italian Parma ham production, was 94.5p per kg.

Mick Sloyan, BPEX chief executive, said: "It is encouraging to see the efforts being made by British pig producers to invest in better herd health and improved competitiveness are paying off.

"However, this report clearly highlights that we have to continue to bridge the gap with our major European competitors. The report is an extremely valuable tool in pinpointing the specific areas on which we need to focus and raise our game."

Report author Tony Fowler said the number of pigs weaned per sow in Great Britain continued to improve in 2005, due to improvements in pigs born alive/litter and in litters/sow.

However in both these key areas Britain remains below the EU average.

Meanwhile, costs in Brazil, 53p/kg, Canada and the US, 61p/kg are all significantly below EU levels.

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