Pig producers in Ireland are “struggling to keep their heads above water” according the Irish Farmers Association (IFA).
“Pig producers are shocked and disgusted that pig prices have fallen by an unprecedented 16c/kg in five weeks,” said IFA pigs committee chairman, Pat O’Flaherty. “The average pig price this year is 1.63/kg, so 16c/kg is a fall of almost 10%. This is an unwarranted and unexplained drop in prices that producers cannot afford”.
Pointing out that the pig industry always runs on extremely tight margins, Mr O’Flaherty, added that as little as 4c/kg can be the difference between profitability and “falling into the red”.
“A drop of this magnitude over such a short period of time is impossible to cover and farmers are now back in familiar territory, struggling to keep their heads above water,” he said.
IFA also said that the poor situation on farms is being “exacerbated” by feed prices which should have fallen by at least 30/tonne this year but which have so far fallen by only 10/tonne.
“Farmers across the country are querying why such a rapid and huge fall in pig prices has occurred,” said Mr O’Flaherty. “Exports have been very positive this year with both value and volume rising, retail value is also up with bacon and sausages performing very well this year. Farmers need answers and these must be provided by factories immediately.”