The physical performance of the British pig herd is still improving, although GB production costs remained higher than in most other major producing countries in 2013, according to a new report published by BPEX.
The annual report on Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries (2013) shows the number of pigs weaned per sow per year rose by 4% in GB, to 23.6, against a European average increase of 3%.
The GB average number of pigs finished per sow also increased by 0.54 pigs in 2013, to 22.2 pigs per sow. Even so, GB performance was still below the EU average, even when the outdoor herd was taken into account.
“These results are encouraging but we have to keep the foot on the accelerator because there is still a gap with our major competitors and we need to close it,” said BPEX Head of Technical, Andrew Knowles.
“The latest information available shows the British industry is still going in the right direction and making progress, however. Part of the reason for this could be that the industry has been going through a period of profitability which in turn has meant the industry has started investing again.”
The annual report, which is based on analysis by InterPIG, an international group of pig economists, covers the major EU pig producers, along with Brazil, Canada and the US.
In looking at production costs, it reveals that GB remained higher than most other major producing countries in 2013.
Across the year, the average production cost in GB was £1.59 per kg, around 5p more than the average for the other major EU producers. However, GB costs increased more slowly between 2012 and 2013 than in other countries, rising by 6p/kg, compared with an EU average of 9p.