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Pig farmers should cut production to stay afloat

by 5m Editor
13 September 2007, at 1:35pm

AUSTRALIA - Chairman of the NSW Farmers Association pork committee, Dugald Walker, believes the industry needs to cut production by 20 per cent to stay viable.

"I don't know if it would be accepted but there are too many pig farmers and production is too high," Mr Walker said. "More people have got to leave and the Government should help the industry restructure."

He said rumours ere rife that processors had large volumes of imported frozen pork in storage, which could suppress demand and prices for domestically produced pork. Figures supplied by APL show pork imports rose 48pc over the last year to 190,000 tonnes in 2006-7, while exports dropped by 5pc to 60,261t, well down on the peak of 82,679t achieved in 2002-03.

While average porker prices rose over the year by 6.2 percent to $2.76 a kilogram and baconer prices by 9.1 percent to $2.51/kg, feed grain prices rose by 57.6 percent from $177/t in 2005-06 to $279/t in 2006-07.

The pig prices compare with estimated costs of production in 2006-07 of $3.09/kg for porkers and $2.81/kg for baconers. Mr Walker said grain prices were now about $380/t and had reached $430/t last week.

APL said the high domestic prices drove processors to import pork. It warned that with producer costs "unreasonably" high, many producers were likely to become unviable and the industry unsustainable over the medium term.

Source: The Land, NSW



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