With global cereals markets unusually stable of late, BPEX reports that the average cost of pig production in December was little changed from the previous month at 146.6p/kg, according to provisional estimates.
This is down just 0.2p compared with last month but is 22p lower than a year ago, when costs were close to their all-time high point.
Previous estimates have been revised down slightly to take account of the latest physical performance data
At their current level, production costs are very similar to those in December 2011, but pig prices are about 24p higher than they were then.
Therefore, while producers were breaking even two years ago, they are currently experiencing positive margins of about £20/pig.
Although this has allowed them to start paying back recent losses, the cumulative deficit over the past three years still stands at £95 million. Margins will need to stay at current levels until at least the middle of next year for producers to get back in surplus.