IFA warns processors that ‘pig price must follow the market’

This week’s pig trade across the EU has witnessed pig price increases in many countries such as Spain, Germany and Denmark.

The Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Pigs Committee chairman, Tom Hogan, has noted that these countries have all seen a lift in prices and the average EU price is over €1.80c/kg when compared with the Irish vat inclusive price.

Hogan, who farms in partnership with his son Niall in Co. Limerick, said: “It is not acceptable for Irish processors to expect Irish pigs to be produced at less than the EU average price.

Our costs of production are higher, due to higher feed costs and with margins in the pig farming sector so tight over the past 20 years, we cannot accept less than our EU counterparts.

He said that all pig farmers took a 4c/kg price drop three-weeks-ago and the explanation given was a weakening of the international export markets and similar price reductions in other EU countries.

“If factories are to be fair to Irish farmers, they would stand by this reasoning and return at least that 4c/kg as an official rise to every pig farmer selling pigs next week.”

Current market

Commenting on the current market, Hogan said: “Many pig farmers have received unofficial increases and promises of an extra few cents.

If you take into account this attempt to keep the price below the true market level, pig farmers should be receiving at least €1.80c/kg this week and looking for an increase next week.

He explained that prices range from a low quote of €1.74c/kg up to €1.78c/kg today and €1.80c/kg has been paid for some spot loads of pigs.

Concluding, Hogan urged farmers to demand an immediate return of 4c/kg from their factory when selling next week’s pigs.