Slovakian pig sector at rock bottom
Slovak pig breeders are facing a serious crisis in
the wake of a slump in pigmeat prices to as little as SK 32/kg (€0.93).
This is €0.23 to 0.26 below production costs.
"Pig numbers will keep falling for as long as the low prices persist and sow
numbers are certain to slump below the current 76,000 head level," Andrej
Imrich, chairman of the Slovak Pig Breeders Union, said this week.
year is going to be critical as many breeders will lose their patience and give
up," Igor Guba, chairman of the Krakovany Cooperative in the district of
PieÅ¡tany. He warned that the national decline in sow numbers is going to be even
more considerable than in recent years when numbers fell by an annual 10% from
125,000 - 130,000 head in 2002.
Cheap imports from Poland
This year's decline is
attributed to the general surplus of pigmeat all over Europe, and Slovak prices
have been particularly affected by cheap imports from Poland. "Our only hopes
are the markets in Russia and in south-east Asia, but even if we make the most
of it prices are unlikely to return to the levels of two years ago when pigmeat
fetched around SK 41/kg, (€1.19/kg)" Imrich said.
The situation in the
pigmeat sector has been compared with that in the potato and vegetable sectors.
"We will not be able to produce even half of the domestic consumption level and
ultimately it will be the consumer who pays the price," Guba warned.
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