The farm consultancy, Andersons, has given itself an intriguing pig industry challenge as part of its 2015 spring seminar programme, committing to what amounts to a rolling analysis of the sector over a three-week period which promises to be crucial to production profits next year.
The firm’s seminar programme, including a dedicated session on pigs and poultry, will run from February 24 to March 19 next year, a period of development during which the global marketplace will be watching and waiting for the next move from Russia. The unfolding winter impact of PEDv will also be much clearer by then than it is at present, giving industry analysts a much sounder base on which to judge 2015’s trading and price prospects than has been possible in recent months.
When Andersons’ pig sector specialist, Lily Hiscock (pictured), issued her 2015 forecast in mid-November, for example, she saw “little prospect of EU prices increasing much in 2015″. That view was based on the impact of PEDv being “likely to wane” next year, with the Russian ban being “set to continue”.
As such, she forecast “little contraction in production” and “weak consumer demand”, coming together to keep prices low.
“On the domestic front, falls in the breeding herd are likely to be offset by continued productivity improvements,” she said, adding that UK production in 2015 could well be higher than that seen in 2014.
“All this suggests plenty of availability for the coming year and further pressure on prices unless consumer demand picks up.”
How much of a course-correction Ms Hiscock will need to make to her forecasts by the time the seminar series starts, certainly adds value to Andersons’ planned analysis of pig production prospects throughout 2015.
The 14-event spring series kicks off at Harper Adams University on February 24, stopping at locations across England, Wales and Scotland, before ending at the RAF Club, London, on March 19.