Pig farmers need €2.20/kg to break even – Teagasc
According to Teagasc, pig prices will need to rise to €2.20/kg for farmers to break even.
That is the figure contained in its revised ‘situation and outlook for Irish agriculture’, which it published on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022.
It states that the Irish pig price will have to increase by 36% from €1.62/kg to reach this level. It outlines that the Irish pig price is “beginning to rise”, and it expects this upward trend to continue from Q2.
The report acknowledges that pig farmers’ margin over feed is “at a historic low”. “Pig price is barely covering the feed price,” the report states.
It points out that the pig price in other EU countries (outside of Ireland) rose “strongly” last month to the tune of 34%.
In terms of the US, Teagasc says that pig prices have recovered “strongly” over the last two months, as it cites ongoing pig disease issues and a reduction in the sow herd.
The report adds that feed is an Irish pig farmer’s largest input, representing 76% of their total production cost. The state agency warns that farmers should expect a further composite feed price rise of €70-€80/t during April-May 2022.
Sow numbers decline
The report states that the Irish sow herd has reduced by over 10,000 since the start of last month, and some units have closed.
It warns that a further 10,000-12,000 sows are at a “high risk” of being culled in the coming weeks due to high production costs.
“The very high level of debt that these farms have accumulated, due to recent historic losses, will remove the possibility of restocking,” it states.
It reports that France, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, and Germany have seen “significant” declines in their national sow herd populations. According to the report, this sow reduction could equate to approximately 9.9 million fewer pigs.
Moreover, the state agency reports that EU pigment supply is declining due to negative margins over the past year-and-a-half.
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