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Weekly Overview: UK Pig Industry in Crisis

14 March 2016, at 12:00am

ANALYSIS - A new report has revealed that the price UK farmers and pig producers are receiving for their pigs has fallen by a third in around two years.

Since late 2013, the average pig price has fallen steadily. Price falls have accelerated in the past 12 weeks, losing 13p/kg (around £11 per head).

As a result, many pig producers are now losing money and there is an increasing risk some will decide to leave the industry, affecting the level of UK pork available to the market.

Produced by the AHDB Pork market intelligence team, the report aims to provide an overview of the pig industry in the UK and a round-up of the state of the market.

Stephen Howarth, AHDB Pork market specialist manager, said: “The report has been produced against a backdrop where production continues to rise as efficiency and productivity improve and record weights are being seen.

“This all leads to more pig meat on the market. At the same time, demand for pork has dropped, even though the price is falling. UK pork is having to battle hard against cheaper EU imports, exacerbated by the weakness of the euro against sterling and a supply glut on the continent due to increased production and closure of trading routes to major export partners.”

In disease news, Canada's Ontario province has reported three more outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED).

In Eastern Europe, African Swine Fever (ASF) has been found in wild boars found dead or hunted in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia. ASF was also found on two pig farms in Burundi.

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