Light at the end of the tunnel for the Irish pig trade

It has been outlined by the chairman of a farm lobby group’s pig committee that there are signs of of improvement in Irish pig prices.

Speaking to AgriLand, Tom Hogan, the chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Pig Committee, said: “There are signs of optimism for next year’s prices from the middle of February onwards.”

However, Hogan stressed that times are becoming increasingly difficult at the moment for pig farmers and said: “At the moment, things are not very encouraging to say the least.”

He noted that the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in Belgium caused the price to collapse in the country.

Hogan acknowledged that there is a “significant improvement” in the Chinese market but “the contracts are probably full until after Christmas”.

He added: “European prices would appear to have stabilised and bottomed out.”

Continuing, Hogan explained that the IFA’s Pig Committee hopes to meet the Rosderra management over the next week to 10 days.

Hogan is returning from a fact-finding mission to Spain in conjunction with Bord Bia. He outlined that the Spanish pig industry is continuing to expand and he had been examining ways of reducing costs in Ireland.

New markets

Hogan’s comments come after earlier this month, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, agreed a veterinary health certificate for the export of pigmeat, following a trade mission to south-east Asia.

Minister Creed attended an agri-food trade mission to Indonesia and Malaysia, and it was the latter country with whom the agreement was signed.

Malaysia is one of Bord Bia’s top five potential new markets and the minister added that the agreement will give the two countries a chance to discuss further market access in the future.

Commenting on the agreement, Minister Creed said: “This is very positive news, as the Malaysian market has been on the radar of our pigmeat industry for some time.”