Learn the lessons of the past

The pig industry has rallied magnificently after years in the doldrums with problems of disease, low prices and high feed prices. But the spectre of high feed prices has again raised its ugly head following the decision by Russia to ban wheat exports.

Feed represents up to 60% of the current costs of pig production, of which the main ingredients are wheat, barley and soya. Based on current and forecast prices for those three crops, it is anticipated that the cost of English pig production will rise from 137.2p/kg in June 2010 to 153.6p/kg in November 2010.

The impact of these increases on the cost of production is such that English pig producers will start making a loss unless the DAPP moves upwards.

Bpex is urging the rest of the English pig meat supply chain to act now to demonstrate it has also learnt the lessons from the 2007-08 feed crisis and secure supply immediately, rather than be exposed to further volatility this season. This situation is not unique to the UK, as the same drivers will have just as severe an impact on pig producers across Europe.