Pig producers now hold the “upper hand” says IFA

Irish pig producers have been told they now have the “upper hand” in price negotiations with processors, pushing values to the equivalent of £1.41/kg in some cases.

The sector’s pricing upturn was warmly welcomed by Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) pigs committee chairman, Tom Hogan (pictured above), although with the added message that the improvement in returns to farmers needs to continue

“Following on from a 4c/kg (3.4p/kg) rise in values last week, a price of €1.62 (£1.38) is now the lowest base price pig farmers should be quoted,” he said, adding that some variation above this level is already “very much evident” around the country.

“Competition between processors is leaving sellers with the upper hand in price negotiations and deals above €1.66 (£1.41) have been done to secure pigs. While the increase and trend is positive, however, the processing sector must recognise the poor financial status on pig farms, and the need for a sustained period of positive margins.”

Ireland’s percentage of the EU price has also improved and is currently 101% of the EU average price as reported to the EU Commission for the week beginning January 30.

Factory pig throughput in Republic of Ireland export plants for the week ending February 11 was 60,851 head which was 2,352 less than in the corresponding week in 2016.  Slaughtering’s in ROI export plants is currently running 19.4% behind the same period in 2016.

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