Pig industry confidence at all-time low

Pig producer confidence has slumped to levels not seen since 2008 – as uncertainty about returns mounts, a Bpex study has found.

A Bpex survey found that 53% of producers were less confident than they were a year ago.

However, it appeared that this is not reflected across the whole supply chain, marking a disparity between producers and other businesses across the industry. Retail and foodservice were the only sectors showing signs of optimism.

Overall, competiveness with other UK, EU and global businesses has largely remained the same over the last 12 months.

Bpex found that any investment taking place was mostly to improve efficiency or replace ageing buildings and equipment rather than increase the size of the business. This was not due to the availability of finance, but the widespread belief that it would provide inadequate returns on investment.

Andrew Knowles, Bpex's head of communications, said: “The survey underlines the crisis as a result of the gap between the cost of production and pig prices.

“The volatility of feed prices looks set to continue for at least the rest of this year and therefore something has to change in the attitude and behaviour of the supply chain if producer confidence is to be restored."

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