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High feed prices hit Thai pig farmers

Feed prices are soaring in Thailand. Hardest hit have been pig farmers, who face rising costs of feed but also a fixed selling price.

Increasing commodity prices, particularly crops used to produce alternative energy, have created trouble for livestock raisers, Yanyong Phuangrach, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said. Prices for soybean meal have jumped almost 50%, and for maize almost 10% compared to earlier this year.

Pig farmers
The costs borne by pig farmers have increased Bt500 (€ 11.24) per 100kg pig. The slowing economy has reduced consumers' purchasing power for pork by 15-20%, while the Internal Trade Department has frozen the price for pigs at the farm door at Bt45 (€ 1.01) per kg. There are about 117,000 pig farmers in Thailand, and the government should allow them to import cheaper feeds from neighbouring countries, such as Laos, Yanyong said.

Yanyong also called for pig farmers to decrease their production costs as the price of commodities is likely to gradually increase. One of the strategies to lower farmers' costs is to balance supply in line with the demands of the market to prevent the pig price dropping.

Freeze prices
The Thai Animal-Feed Manufacturers' Association has agreed to freeze its prices to help pig and other livestock farmers as well. Pornsilp Patcharintanakul, president of the association, said that despite the trend of rising prices for animal-feed raw material because of high demand for fuel crops, the association would try to keep prices frozen as long as possible.

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