May 17, 2016
UK sow feed production declines by 5% in Q1
Compound pig feed production in the UK rose by 1% during the first quarter, compared with the same period last year, data from the Department of Environment, Foof & Rural Affairs (Defra) showed.
However, within this total, there was a 5% reduction in breeding-pig feed. The pork division of the UK's Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board noted that this was the second consecutive quarter that the sow-feed output fell, possibly indicating that the tough financial position facing producers was starting to affect sow numbers.
"However, this conclusion should be treated with some caution, as feed production has not always been a reliable predictor of breeding herd trends in the past", AHDB Pork said.
The Defra figures also showed that the first-quarter price of pig feed was at its lowest level in nearly six years at £209 (US$303)/tonne. This was 12% lower than a year before and suggests that pig production costs may have fallen further in early 2016, helping to partly mitigate the fall in pig prices, AHDB Pork said.
It was noted that there was more use of wheat and barley in compound animal feed during the January to March period than in 2015.