November 16, 2006


UK pig producers under pressure as pig feed prices rise



The EU drought, low grain stock levels and rising interest in fuels are driving feed prices up in the UK, a report by the British Pig Executive (BPEX) said.


Governments all over the world are now alert to the use of biofuels as a sustainable energy source, the report said, causing more competition between energy needs and the need to supply the feed market.


Prices would rise further through the remainder of the current season, which will push up pig production costs, the report said.


Even so, they are unlikely to reach the high prices seen in 2003/04, as grain supplies from Ukraine and North America should cushion the impact. Cheaper soy would also take some of the pressure off high prices by serving as an alternative feed.


Still, price volatility in the feed industry is likely over the next few months as countries in the southern hemisphere have not completed their harvest.


Meanwhile, farmers would do well to keep a close eye on feed efficiency and wastage to maximise returns, said BPEX KT Manager Richard Bull.


The full report is available at