Ireland’s pig industry will remain “moderately profitable” in 2015 according to new outlook forecasts from economists at Teagasc, the country’s agriculture and food development authority.
They do add, however, that the industry’s outlook would “improve very significantly” in the event of the Russian market re-opening or a disease outbreak taking place on the European mainland.
“The Irish pig price was relatively strong through much of 2014 but decreased in the last quarter,” said the Teagasc team, noting that the return to stability in the size of the EU sow herd and increased born alive numbers will boost the supply of European pigs in 2015.
“It is estimated this increase may be in the region of 2-2.5%, an increased volume on the market that could trigger an annualised drop of 8% in pigmeat prices, compared to 2014.”
That’s if export volumes are not further increased, they continued, before adding: “Two significant factors may give the pig price a boost, namely the re-opening of the Russian market to EU exports and the emergence of PEDv or African swine fever in Europe. Either of these outcomes would significantly improve the price outlook.
Without such developments, however, they conclude that it’s “expected that market conditions in 2015 will return a lower pig price”, primarily due to an increased number of pig disposals in the main pig producing EU member states and on-going export difficulties to Russia.