Pig producers must compel processors to deliver price boost

Pig producers have been asked to put pressure on processors to deliver what many farmers see as a justified price increase this week.

The chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Pig Committee, Thomas Hogan, has encouraged pig producers to make the calls to ensure processors understand – in no uncertain terms – that a pig price increase is required.

In the IFA, we would be asking every farmer to put pressure on. You need every farmer pushing together.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” he said.

Hogan is optimistic that a pig price increase will be forthcoming and that the average price for the year will be sustainable for pig producers.

As it stands, the pig price currently comes in at around 140c/kg – while the IFA claims that the cost of production lies at 150c/kg. This means that there is a 10c/kg shortfall.

For the average pig price to reach 150-155c/kg in 2018, a significant spike would be required in the coming weeks, Hogan explained.

While 2017 proved to be an exceptional year for pig producers; reduced prices in recent months have been compounded by an increase in feed costs, he added.

“A €10/t price increase in feed results in a 4c/kg increase in the cost of production for the farmer,” the IFA chairman said.

It is expected that processors will announce pig prices for the week ahead at some stage tomorrow; however, many producers would have expected an increase to have already occurred.

Weekly kill

Meanwhile, Hogan went on to explain that the recent disturbance caused to the weekly kill of pigs in Ireland, due to the difficult weather conditions, has nearly been rectified.

Processors killed on two Saturdays to make up for the days lost as a result of the snow, he said.

Concluding, Hogan explained that processors will start to see supplies ease back a little in the coming weeks.