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Stackyard News Jan 07

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    British Pig Industry Confidence Returns

Britain's pig production is showing a welcome upward trend in the latest edition of the annual pan-European cost of production analysis produced by the British Pig Executive (BPEX). The actual cost of production fell by about 7p per kg to 104.4 due to lower feed prices and improved performance, however these same factors led to lower costs in other countries. Overall the EU average, excluding Italian Parma ham production, was 94.5p per kg.


BPEX Chief Executive Mick Sloyan said: "It is encouraging to see the efforts being made by British pig producers to invest in better herd health and improved competitiveness are paying off. However, this report clearly highlights that we have to continue to bridge the gap with our major European competitors. The report is an extremely valuable tool in pinpointing the specific areas on which we need to focus and raise our game."

Report author Tony Fowler said the number of pigs weaned per sow in Great Britain continued to improve in 2005, due to improvements in pigs born alive/litter and in litters/sow. However in both these key areas Britain remains below the EU average.

Other key points were:

  • Post-weaning mortality remains relatively high in Britain, but it fell significantly between 2004 and 2005 as a result of the declining incidence of PMWS.

  • Recent data shows a continued improvement in post-weaning mortality into 2006, with a decline of 0.9 percent between the second quarter of 2005 and the second quarter of 2006.

  • The average daily liveweight gain in finishing herds has been relatively static. But rearing herd DLG showed a substantial improvement in 2005.

  • Carcase meat produced per sow in Great Britain was 1.44 tonnes in 2005, significantly below the overall average of 1.84 tonnes. Nevertheless, the British figures have been on an upward trend, increasing from 1.35 tonnes in 2002.

  • Costs in Brazil, 53p/kg, Canada and the US, 61p/kg are all significantly below EU levels.

Pig Cost of Production in Selected European Countries is out now and is available free to levy-payers in England and Wales by contacting Tony Fowler on 01908 844281, email

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