The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) has published its report on the cost of pig meat production in 17 countries.
The Pig Cost of Production in Selected Countries has been updated with full-year data from 2021, showing that Great Britain’s costs for indoor pigs increased 20% to £1.79 per kg.
All European Union members experienced an increase in costs, with the average price reaching £1.50 per kg deadweight, an increase of 6% in sterling.
The reference price of £1.50 per kg was 7% lower than the previous year, resulting in negative margins. On average, UK feed prices increased 20% in the same period, compared to just 9% across Europe.
AHDB lead analyst, Carol Davis, said: “2021 was a particularly difficult year for pig producers in the UK. Increased feed costs and lower pig prices, coupled with a backlog of pigs due to butcher shortages in abattoirs, all resulted in negative margins last year.
“And although pig prices increased significantly from April this year, they have not been sufficient to cover the continued elevated cost of production.”
She added: “If GB indoor producers were achieving the EU average at breeding and rearing finishing stages on the same cost basis, they could reduce their 2022 Q3 costs from 227p/kg to 218p/kg. If all GB indoor producers were achieving the performance of the top third of GB producers, 2022 Q3 costs of production would be 198p/kg.”
The report also shows that pigs weaned per sow per year in UK indoor herds increased slightly to 27.7, still below the EU InterPig average of 29.7. Outdoor herds saw a small decrease, from 24.4 to 24.3.
Pigs finished per sow, in indoor herds, increased to 25.6, still lower than the EU average of 27.9. Indoor herds in the UK continued to produce more than two tonnes of carcase meat per sow, per year.
Excluding Italy, which produces heavy pigs for Parma ham, the highest-producing EU country in the Netherlands, which achieved 2.99 tonnes of carcase meat per sow.
The report can be downloaded from www.ahdb.co.uk