The pigmeat balance between supply and demand will have to “even out somewhat” if there is to be any hope of prices picking up throughout this year says AHDB Pork in a detailed assessment of whether or not 2016 will be any better for producers than 2015.
While acknowledging that producer margins could have been worse last year, had it not been for the impact of low feed prices, the assessment highlights the continued vulnerability of margins in 2016, especially if there is a sustained fall in pig prices or a rise in feed prices.
The strength of the pound against the euro and the ability of China to keep growing pigmeat imports are identified as being absolutely key to industry fortunes this year, with no expression of hope that the Russian ban on pigmeat imports will ease any time soon.
Current pigmeat consumption levels also seen as a negative factor with consumer demand, to date, showing no increase, despite the present low level of retail prices.
While pointing out that the UK industry still fared better last year than was the case in other parts of Europe, AHDB Pork concluded that 2016 could easily be another year which producers will “want to forget” when they look back in future times.