December 15, 2008


British pig production cost among highest in the world


Pig production costs in the United Kingdom are among the highest in the world, according to latest figures from British Company BPEX Ltd.


BPEX Ltd is a company that represents pig levy payers in England. BPEX Ltd is focused on enhancing the competitiveness, efficiency and profitability for English pig levy payers and driving demand for English pork and pig meat products in both UK and international markets. BPEX Ltd is a subsidiary of the British Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board


According to the BPEX's Cost of Production report in 2007, overall swine production costs rose by 12 percent last year, largely due to higher feed costs. By December, the average total cost of production had reached 139.6 pounds per kilogrammes, 18 pounds per kilogramme higher than the annual average and second only to the cost of producing Italian Parma ham.


But while British production costs were higher than most other European producers, Brazil, Canada and the US, there were some more positive findings for the Great Britain sector.


Post-weaning mortality in 2007, declined from 8 percent to 7 percent, and it is now closer to the European Union (EU) average. Mortality fell in both the rearing and finishing herds


The average daily live weight gain for finishing herds increased by 28 grams to 683 grams in 2007.


A sharp fall in pre-weaning mortality meant that pigs weaned rose slightly to 21.61. This was 7 percent below the EU average of 23.26, the same difference as in 2006.


Further weakening of sterling pound against the euro dollar would also help the competitiveness of British pig exports and wipe out almost all of the cost disadvantage British producers were suffering, BPEX chief executive Mick Sloyan said.


Sloyan added that the value of this report is that it highlights in detail where the challenges lie ahead for the English pig sector.


The report was optimistic that there would be further performance improvements next year, particularly after the distribution of the PCV2 vaccine to English pig producers to help control the wasting disease PMWS. It was hoped this would lead to a reduction in post-weaning mortality and increase in pigs finished per sow.

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