Cull sow prices may be down – up to £30 per head compared with last year – but pig producers have been advised not to put off replacing older, less-productive animals in their breeding herds.
The managing director of ACMC, Matthew Curtis, believes that better times are coming for the pig industry.
“There’s evidence that the size of the breeding herd is falling in mainland Europe, which will reduce supplies of pigs and therefore firm-up pigmeat prices,” he said. “In addition, feed prices are likely to stabilise or even reduce, so much-needed profitability could return.”
The extra sows being slaughtered on the Continent are having a knock-on effect on the price for British cull sows, many of which are exported. But Mr Curtis said producers needed to keep their herds young and productive to make the best use of the situation. He believed it would be false economy to hang on to older sows until cull prices improve.