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Fury from Irish pig producers regarding prices

Pig producers in Ireland are furious with pigmeat processors for dropping prices by 4c/kg for this week's pigs states IFA (Irish Farmers' Association) Pigs Committee Chairman, Michael Maguire.

"It was accepted over the last couple of weeks that market conditions were difficult, however it appears that the processors misread the market last Friday. Both north and south of the border, processors made a conscious effort to drop their producer prices.

EU increases
This is despite the fact that increases were achieved in a number of the major pig producing states. German, Austrian and Belgian producers saw an increase of 3c/kg whereas our Dutch counterparts achieved an increase of 4c/kg," he said.

Maguire said "pig producers have just come through the most difficult crisis ever experienced in the sector. Considerable debts were built up over the last 12 months and although prices have risen from the loss making levels of the first quarter of 2008, Irish producers have been below the EU average all through 2008 and are only beginning to recover in earnest." The white meat sector in Ireland, which trades on the world market, depends on a balance of trade in the EU.

Breeding herd
Last year's crisis was caused not only by increases in the price of feed but also by an oversupply of pigmeat on the world market. This oversupply is almost completely gone at this stage due to massive falls in the breeding herd in the EU.

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• IFA

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