Calls made for pig price boost amid encouraging markets

Pig factories have been called on by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) to increase the pig price tomorrow, Friday, June 26, when setting the price for next week.

Commenting, IFA National Pigs Committee chairman Tom Hogan said: “The Irish pig price has been cut by 32c/kg since the onset of Covid-19 in March.

“Following the last price cut in late May, the markets have been very stable with signs of improvement on the home market and also across the EU,” he said.

Delays in getting pigs processed through plants were an issue, “but the situation has thankfully improved and is no longer causing any hold-up”, the chairman asserted.

Hogan acknowledged that the latest pig factory closure in Germany was having a short-term impact, but was not hindering the prime pigmeat markets.

The IFA will not allow it to be used as an excuse to withhold an increase in price, he added.

“The increased retail demand needs to be returned to the farmers in the form of a justifiable price increase,” he said.

The outlook for pigmeat markets remains very positive, with a continuing worldwide shortage of pigmeat, the chairman said.

Demand remains very strong from China, the world’s largest pig producer and consumer, due to the devastation caused by African swine fever (ASF), according to the IFA.

This demand will underpin the worldwide pigmeat market for 2020 and for years to come according to recent Rabobank Pork Quarterly Q2 2020 report.

Hogan called on all pig factories to increase the pig price to at least €1.70c/kg.

“The general price at the moment is 1.64-1.68/kg,” he added

Noting that, in spite of worries for a few weeks during lockdown, factories were able to keep processing going with a minimum amount of disruption, the chairman said:

The kill is back up to full production in every place and there’s no extra volume either. With most economies opening up and things coming back to some semblance of normality you would expect that demand will increase.

“We would feel that definitely things have stabilised over the last few weeks and we would be expecting a rise,” Hogan concluded.