British pig production ‘still lags behind’ Europe

Despite improvements in daily liveweight gain and pigs finished per sow, Britain still lags behind its European competition in the production stakes, according to Bpex.

The latest figures from the Bpex publication on international cost of production show Britain produced 1,643kg pig meat per sow in 2009 – the lowest of all the EU countries.

Though this is 2% better than 2008, it is still well below the target in the Two-Tonne Sow campaign, aimed at bringing us into line with our major competitors by 2013.

The report, Cost of Production in Selected Countries, shows the cost of production for Britain’s pig producers fell by 4% compared with a 3% fall across Europe.

Bpex director Mick Sloyan said: “The exchange rate has given us something of an advantage, but the benefit of InterPig is it reveals strategic details of our position relative to our competitors.

“We are narrowing the gap, but our competitors are not standing still  so we must continue to seek improvements.

“The report once again highlights not only that we need to continue to improve performance at farm level, but also the precise areas on which we need to focus. It is those areas that are the key to the Two-Tonne Sow campaign.

“Trying to drive improvements at a time when feed costs are so volatile is obviously a challenge; but if we can improve our performance, it will help to overcome the exposure to those volatile input costs.”

The cost of pig meat production in Great Britain decreased by 4% in 2009, to 131.4p/kg, while the EU average was 131.7p/kg dw, down 3%.

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